Hello, My name is Aaron Vail.
I am the following:
- Solavei Social Member
- Advocare Distributor
- an employee at a warehouse club (which shall remain nameless to avoid retribution)
- an out of work Systems Administrator (hence the warehouse club job)
As a husband and father, my goal is to provide for, take care of, and lead my family. Which isn’t easy, especially since I am working at near minimum wage. But let’s rewind a little bit.
I moved to Florida from San Francisco in 2005, two weeks after Katrina decimated New Orleans. A number if my friends thought it was crazy moving to hurricane country, but hurricanes get warnings, earthquakes do not.
My first job in Florida was for a Florida only furniture company as a systems administrator, which lasted one year. I was let go for downsizing. The real estate market crash was written on the wall.
After that I was gainfully employed at a firm that basically provided all inclusive IT support for small businesses and non-profits as a Network Engineer. The position required sales ”based on recommendations”. Those recommendations were really up selling, not based on business need. Which I have a problem with, and needless to say it caused a lot of tension with my employer and myself. After a number of clients had closed up shop because of a slowing economy, I was no longer needed.
While I was employed here, I started dating my now wife, Cathy. We were freinds for a while before and hung out in the same groups. And there was (and still is) a lot I found attractive about her. I found her to be very kind, caring, helpful, never quick to judge, and she’s gorgeous!
Now I was out of work again. Out of desperation to stave off my own personal financial meltdown, I took a position at a software firm for technical support. The software was a call tracking software focusing on helpdesks, so the calls I was getting was from similarly skilled systems administrators. The reason I was hired was because of my skill set and they were gearing up for a major release, which usually means a higher call volume. Again with the nature of the economy, people weren’t buying. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Or why replace something that is broken, but works, with something that may have more issues (which it did)? So without the increase in call volume I was no longer needed. A side note, I was awarded highest sales for the quarter for Technical Support, two days before my last day. That stung.
And again with the unemployment. For the next several months were the most difficult for me financially. Unemployment covered rent and nothing else. Friends and family (mostly family) helped out with the other bills for a while, by giving me odd and end jobs for some quick cash. But even then there was only so much I could do. I reached a point where I turn off my services (because electric had to go, and everything else required electicity).
I finally found a job working for a company that I believed was recession proof. I was wrong. The company was an IT outsourcer. Companies that had a small budget for IT would come to us for robust IT solutions for low cost. Sounded good.
I was to be part of the helpdesk solution. Because of my experience, they made me a team lead. As a team lead I was responsible for three clients. Everything was looking up, so I asked Cathy to marry me. If she stuck with me thus far, she’d never leave. She, of course, said yes!
So we got married, and had a wonderful honeymoon at St. Augustine, Florida. It looked like things couldn’t get better.
3 months later, they did. We (meaning my wife) were pregnant.
Needless to say, I was extremely excited, and extremely scared. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. My child’s future, his attitude, his demeanor, his intelligence. A lot of him is influenced by me, good or bad.
So I’ve got a decent job, a wonderful wife, and a son on the way. 3 months before the arrival of Ezekiel, I was laid off. The three clients I was responsible for decided to seek IT solutions elsewhere. Which left my without a job, again.
Now a couple of weeks before I was laid off, I had a medical scare. I was suffering from these headaches that were nearly dibilitating. I went to numerous specialists, and finally and ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor) suggested I had a brain tumor and I needed to get an MRI to locate the tumor. The MRI found nothing.
So here I was, unemployed, and distraught because it looked like my wife was going to be a widow, and my unborn son would never meet his father. Praise God that never happened. Turned out the headaches were caused by a crack in one of my lenses that I couldn’t see. Once the lens was replaced, 15 minutes later the headache was gone.
A couple of weeks after my unemployment started, a coworker from my previous employer informed me that a friend of his was starting a dot com and needed a web developer. I’ve done it as a hobby so I jumped at the chance.
Everything seemed to start out just fine. My only complaint was there was not any concrete design of the site. From a development aspect, it posed a challenge as changes were made and then undone, as the design kept changing. This worked for a while, until my boss needed more time to figure out the layout. Which meant more time off. Eventually it went from 40+ hours to about 20 hours a week then to 4 hours every other week. And that wasn’t paying the bills.
So I started looking for another job. And I landed at a warehouse club. Working part time in the rotisserie department. Where I’ve been for the past two and a half years. Since I started, I would still work the web development job off and on for a few hours here and there. The warehouse club had since made me full time, but still near minimum wage. Cathy and I have been looking for other opportunities to make some extra money, and possibly bring me home from the warehouse club.
Hence, this blog. My goal here is to share news about opportunities that I have come across, little tid bits about what I found out about some of my technical hobbies, political ramblings, and the occasional gripe (though I hope there aren’t to many of those).