Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

... and another door (and era) closes

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that the subject of the panel I'll be participating in at BlogHer ("what happens when you blog your true self and the whole world shows up?") may be about to be lived out in real time. Last week, I made a decision which will certainly affect my life, at least in the short-term. The thing is, I've written about some of the issues leading up to that decision here, in various posts on this blog. I was happy to do so, when I wrote them... and now, part of me says that I might regret having done so. Another part of me (the stronger part) says that all I've ever written here is the truth; and why should I be frightened of the truth, or the consequences that follow from *telling* the truth? At heart, I'm an idealist; maybe, in fact, I've subconsciously engineered a perfect lab experiment to show that "blogging naked" is (for me, at least) the right thing to do. I guess I'm going to find out; apart from anything else, hopefully it will give me even more material to draw on for that panel discussion at the end of July! ;-)

Let me explain. Last week, after more soul-searching than I can ever describe, I decided that the time was right for me to accept the inevitable, take a deep breath, and resign from my present employer, Exony. This was one of the hardest, saddest and most upsetting decisions I've ever had to make; and the days since then have been marked by the passing of more tears than I thought my body could hold. But, it's the right decision, I'm sure; I believe I've achieved a huge amount at Exony (certainly for my sake, and, I hope, for the benefit of the company, my soon-to-be-ex-colleagues, the company's shareholders and the company's customers); but I also believe that I need to move in a different direction. The timing, frankly, is less than perfect (for me, if not for anyone else); I suspect I present a few additional "opportunities" (alright then, challenges) to a potential employer, which other candidates for employment might not; well, that's fine; in an interview, and on examination of my work and references, I'll let my skills and abilities be scrutinised alongside anyone else's, and be judged accordingly.

But will I get the *chance* to have my skills, experience and personal qualities examined in that way? Or will the fact that I am (unashamedly) transgendered, committed to weekly pre-operative preparatory treatments (specifically, speech and language therapy and electrolysis), likely to be out of action for at least a couple of months early next year and still dealing with a few memory and concentration issues be too much for a potential employer to get past, at least until they've had a chance to interview me? I guess we'll see, won't we!

The bottom line is that I've written here, on multiple occasions, about the difficulties my memory and concentration issues have caused in recent months. If I believed they were going to affect me universally (in all areas of endeavour) and permanently (i.e. they were not likely to improve), then I would make plans accordingly. But I really don't think that's the case; I know that my knowledge and experience is still there; I can still use them in the arena of Exony's activities, but, frustratingly, not all the time. When I focus on something else (i.e. any of the myriad areas with which I am technologically enthused) then I don't experience those memory and concentration issues at all. I can write without a block; I can conceive (and develop) technical solutions incorporating OPML, XFN, metadata management, social networking, distributed learning systems, audio media production and consumption as well as the technologies I currently wield on behalf of Exony (primarily, database management, multidimensional analysis and business intelligence). I think, sadly, my memory and concentration issues are a result of feeling unable to apply my interests in such areas, in my current position.

By explaining why I'm leaving Exony (and having blogged on associated issues) I could conceivably have an adverse impact on securing my next position. However; what I've written here (today and in the past) is the truth, and if a potential employer gets cold feet as a result of what they learn about me from this blog, then I suspect we would not have had a long and fruitful relationship in any case. Either way, any future employer is going to have a hard act to follow, in comparison with my colleagues at Exony; a finer collection of talented professionals, both open-minded and open-hearted, I do not expect to meet in one place and at one time again. But I'd *love* to be proved wrong! ;-)

Thanks, guys; I hope you all know how much it's meant for me to have worked alongside you. You may soon be ex-colleagues; but I will always think of you as friends.

And yes, I am now, professionally speaking, open to offers... ;-)

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