notes from a transition

It’s been a bit strange changing jobs.  My former responsibilities as the security officer for a university are so different from what I’m doing now.  A few idle thoughts:

  • Life at the university, particularly for management, is entirely interrupt driven.  Between the phone calls, urgent emails and meetings, I seldom had time to stop and think.  Unfortunately, that meant that a lot of work was done at home.  At the new place, work is nowhere near as disruptive.  I’m in the office for eight hours and I get eight hours worth of work done.  No meetings.  No phone calls.  Few emails – none urgent.  The change has been a little jarring.  The biggest advantage is that I’m not trying to actually do all of my work at the end of the day, so I’m leaving and getting home at a reasonable time.
  • The university structures its benefits to the advantage of the highest paid.  Everyone has to pay for a share of their health insurance.  The 403b, which is incredible, pays progressively more for people at the high end of the pay scale.  IIRC, if you put in 3%, they put in ~8% for the first $50k of salary and then ~13% for anything above that – assuming that you are in the better paid category of staff.  Hourly employees receive less contribution and have a 5 year vesting period.  At the new place, they cap at 4% of your salary, so it’s nowhere near as much in retirement.  However, they also pay full health and dental.  The upshot is that everyone receives health benefits, regardless of income.  Retirement benefits which are typically only used by people at the high end of the income scale are less generous.  Overall, a far more equitable system.
  • I’m finding that I’m much more relaxed.  I am responsible for the implementation of a decent sized project, but because it’s only one project, there is much less stress and I’m not working in the evenings.  Which gives me time to find great things online.  Like the following from Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s:  “via ovicipitum dura est”  or “the way of the eggheads is hard.”

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