Thursday, June 07, 2007
Aqui' me quedo
Yesterday, my day begin by saying goodbye to my Math Buddy Juan Nunez whom over the past year have became somewhat attached to as he proudly takes a bold step into fifth grade. Life of kids in the inner city is difficult. Drugs in the community, single parent households, lies told by the media and kids who are forced by their virtual babysitter to watch Channel Zero and how many of us who have good jobs in corporate America turn our heads as we drive by them on the way to work each and every day without even one acknowledgment that they are humans just like us.
Volunteering brings out something that way too often gets buried in corporate life and sometimes we get caught up in our humorless monotone of the your message is important to us culture that in all reality treats everyone as just a number and we forget our duty as humans on this planet. At least on judgment day, When God (Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh or whatever name you prefer) asks me how did I help make the world a better place, I can say I honest with my heart and soul attempted to do my fair share.
During the day, several recruiters contacted me regarding Enterprise Architect positions and the cliche phrases of competitive salary (does this translate to I don't pay for top talent or I am not a bottom feeder?) of which I cordially suggested that they would be more successful if they talked about the human aspects of the position instead of talking about 401K matches and the like as this stuff is expected.
I concluded the work day with emotions flowing. I have observed many of my female coworkers in emotional states but us guys can't bend so low. I guess I am weak when I see my own employer do something that isn't well publicized nor acknowledged in any big way in the media yet is hugely important to the economics of America. I lost count, but I had the privilege of watching at least 40 different inner-city high school children receive pretty generous scholarships.
The funny thing about these students is that they came from all walks of life and had truly diverse backgrounds. One of the more interesting conversations I had that night was with the parent of one of the students who didn't speak any English. I rotated through several phrases I know in other languages and came to learn he was from Bosnia and that we did have a language in common.
Throughout the night I talked with folks who were born in the United States as well as from other countries such as Guyana, Brazil, Puerto Rico and other wonderful places. It has been a long time since I have been in a setting where the word diversity wasn't abused.
On the way home, I remembered a conversation with several architects who are employed by various Wall Street firms and how they consider us Hartford folks as Junior college types who work on second-class business problems. I can proudly say that regardless of one's perception of working in my particular vertical or even of me in general, that I have one thing that New Yorkers can't touch and that is mastery of the human aspects of technology.
Yes, I can make more money if I were to move to NYC but that would require me to be less human. I will let others become savage in the pursuit of happiness while I focus on what is truly important in life.
As far as retiring from the blogosphere, I hope that folks don't mind if I stay a little bit longer and break my promise of retiring once I hit my 1,000th entry. Working for such a wonderful employer brings joy to my heart in the same way that interacting with others who read my blog does and it would be ashame to give either up.
Aqui' me quedo...
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