Yearly Archives: 2004

My food tray is up, my seatbelt is buckled…

After completing a full work week at my new position, I really feel excited. I’m excited about using REAL I.T. equipment (Progressive Distribution Services, Incorporated used Netgear 4 and 8 port home networking switches… Great way to utilize a T3). I’m excited because the company is really growing. I’m excited that I get a laptop. I’m excited that I get a nextel. I’m excited that I get business cards. I’m even excited that I have to wear a tie to work. I’m more than excited. — With my new career, I work with people who have fun at their job, and all of them are more like friends then they are bosses or co-workers. It really is a great atmosphere…

With that said, I’m already dreaming about the vast array of possibilities. Tuition reimbursement as a benefit probably means that I’m going to pursue MCSE and CCNA certifications (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate), and possibly a masters after I pound out a few years of REAL I.T. experience. Who knows what happens from there.

Christmas comes right around the corner, And I’m definitely looking forward to a couple days with families. Great food, captain morgan’s enhanced egg nog, etc.

So, to everyone I wish a merry christmas. Especially to you, Fred Meijer for your fantastic sale on men’s dress wear. I now own 7 long sleeved dress shirts and 9 neckties. 🙂


Cheateau D’If — escape complete

After 2 months and 29 days of being without employment, I have finally landed
myself a position.

I was offered two different jobs, from the red cross and mercantile bank
respectively. Although the red cross sounded like a great opportunity, the
salary was a bit lacking. My gut feel was to go with the bank, and I did.
(from here on… when i say “gut feel”, no fat jokes!)
So, starting Monday Dec. 13 I will be an “IT Specialist – Server Support”.

With this position I take a slight pay cut from what I was making at
progressive distribution. But, the great benefits and “not communist” work
culture will more than make up for the slight drop in my annual compensation.

I really couldnt be more excited… I feel that I am about to start a
real career
as opposed to having a shitty job. All excitement aside, I
am so grateful to my friends, family, and better half for not labeling me as
an unemployed loser (or worse) for making a rash decision to leave my job back
in september. Even though I truly cannot think of a less desirable work
environment then progressive distribution services incorporated.

With all that said… I am going to offer a bit of advice. Go with your gut.
I made one decision that will forever change my life. And I made that
decision at the drop of a hat. In retrospect, if I had not made that choice, I cannot imagine where I would be now, and how much I would hate 66% of my conscious life. These types of decisions do not come around often, so the stakes are lower. But I believe the theme to be the same….

go with your gut


Point of Change

This week begins with many very real career opportunities for myself. Particularly, my second interview with Bissell went extremely well. I am one out of 6 remaining candidates. If I am contacted for a third interview, I will be one of 2. I do feel very confident in my chances (particularly since one of my interviewers was a former student consultant at GVSU. However, I do have several other very real options should that not pan out in the end. Really, I feel like I would be more than content with any of them.

This overall feeling of content is more than welcomed… especially when I consider where I was at 1 year ago.

Not only was I working at a job that I genuinely hated, but it was honestly the darkest part of my entire life to date. I was new to the real world, and I was alone. I lived alone, moved away from my friends/room mates that I had grown almost pervasively close to. I really never felt so lonely. I lived in weekends where I was able to hang out with my friends. In between, I was bitter. Pizza boxes piled up and I spent countless amounts on video games and DVD’s trying obviously to fill a void.

My life now is a polar opposite. I am in a great relationship (which corresponds to having a great room mate), I have great friends, and my family has been there through everything. I really believe that this turn of content plays a subliminal role in me leaving my job. When I was unhappy, that job just went along with everything else. But as things began to turn around for me, the job began to weigh heavily on me; bringing me down constantly. Life is definitely too short… Shedding that skin was the most necessary thing that I could have ever done.

Back on my feet like a freight train I’m coming.

double yew tee ef

Normally I wouldnt just want to chronicle events in my life with this site/journal. but this is deserving of written record.

Last week I was contacted for several job interviews; Bissell (yes that one), the red cross, mercantile bank, Pfizer, and finally: The Cybernet Group.

Wow, I am psyched… job interviews everywhere. Bissell was yesterday, it went well. Then it happened. I was casually chatting on line after I returned from the Bissell interview, and mr. Torrey informed me that Cybernet may be being raided by the FBI. Evidently it was a rumor around his office. So, I call Eric Z. Florence(since he works for wood tv 8), and he confirms. The Cybernet group was being raided at that exact moment by the FBI, Secret Service, and IRS. Offices closed, all equipment siezed, the whole 9. The day before I was to interview. I was speechless. I tried to call and see if the interview was still on, but nobody answered.

For some time I debated how to pursue this.. Then I realized there was no other option. Go to the interview as planned.

I made this decision at 9:25 a.m. this morning, interview was at 10 in downtown GR. SO.. I threw on a white shirt, tie, white socks, black shoes. I did not shower, brush my teeth, or even really style my hair. I got downtown and parked at about 10 on the dot. I walk up to the Cybernet group’s doors and attempt entry. The doors were locked 🙁 and not a person in sight. I buzzed the intercom – “Hi, Eric Vanbergen here for a job interview”. I continued to buzz the com 7 or 8 times. Finally, a woman came on…..

“May I help you sir?” – woman
“Yes, I am here for a job interview.. Eric Vanbergen” – me

“Well… the office is closed today” – woman
“Should I come back tomorrow ?” – me
“Ummmmm…. Did you watch the news last night ?” – woman

“No” – me

“Okay… well, you may want to go onto some news sites about this company” – woman

“Did you guys get robbed or something ?” – me

“Sir, I cannot discuss details.. But you should definitely look into some news websites about this company before you pursue a job” – woman

“Can I come in ??” – me

Then she was done talking.

Apart from that slight deboggle (is that a word?)… I do have alot of job opportunities starting to pan out further. I have 4 real interviews, so I feel like my vacation is about over. And for that, I could not be happier.

Portrait of a Father

Wednesday of this week proved to be a perfect day. I didnt have to work (surprisingly!), I got to play Halo 2 which really is the best game of all time, and finally I was specially invited by my father to meet him up in hart for dinner. This was because my mom was going to be working late in baldwin. It might seem like a wierd thought to drive an hour plus change to go to dinner, but I’d jump at every opportunity to go see my parents. My father really is the greatest man I will ever know.

A little bit about my father: His name is Michael, but everyone always calls him “Mickey”. He is just over 50. He has worked at the same company for 28 years. He started as a janitor, and has been moved up the ladder many times. Machinist, electrician, electrical engineering, regular engineering, and he has been a ‘reliability engineer’ for 9 years. His hair is receding (thanks for those genes!), he is starting to ‘grey’, and I have never seen him without a mustache. Even in pictures.

As a father, 2 sons could not have asked for more. He helped me and vanbergs build the coolest sandcastles when we were super young. He used to build flying model airplanes with his bare hands, and he let me fly one when I was 7 knowing full well that I had about a 90% chance of crashing it. He ran and chased baseballs down the street multiple times while I was trying to learn how to throw a curve ball. He coached like every team I was on through elementary school. I specifically remember that he volunteered to be soccer coach and baseball coach for multiple years. He always fixed my first car when it broke. He single handedly remodeled our entire house over a 10-15 year period. (House was worth 20k, now worth 90k. In hart thats alot) And finally… He worked his ass off so that his two sons could have the option to go to college. My father never had the choice.

If there ever was a role model, that is my father in a nutshell. He wanted me and my brother to be able to do the things that he never could. I admire the man completely, and respect him more than any other man. My mom is great too… Honestly there could not be a better set of parents for two un-appreciative boys to grow up with. Well, I appreciate it now… my most heart felt thanks to both of you.

Ha ha… Im actually really starting to get choked up. And yes, I crashed the model airplane.

Gambler’s anonymous

This weekend consisted of playing in my first ever poker ‘tournament’. I have played games with friends, family, for cash, for fun, but never in a tournament. For some reason, I felt a bit intimidated and nervous; even though this tournament didn’t involve any real money. 1st prize was a card table and nice chipset, 2nd was a very nice chipset, etc.. and up through 5th place received some type of poker related prize. I ended up doing pretty well actually, finishing 13th out of 90 players. My only main goal was not to get eliminated on day 1, and I did succeed in that.

Other random weekend notes include: Frankie v’s is the home of the beer tower, go team w00t, camel light wang guy (apparently), people cannot use “u-scans” efficiently, rice krispy treats de chris j, and suited queen – jack which ended it for me.

Also, I was re-reading some of my old blog/journal/requiem… and wow, some of that attempted written word is so terrible that i debated deleting it (shitty metaphoric attempts, blatantly stupid remarks, etc). However, I left it all. I also made note of some entries that I found interesting for various reasons. So I would like to point those out to you. yes. you.

11-29-03, 8-4-03, 8-30-03, and I think 1-2-04 is my favorite. read’em if you
like, no guarantees