Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Looking at the Geek People Proposition

I'm facing big changes to my life at the moment. I've decided that my involvement with Manaiakalani and the Drop in Geek Cafe are at a natural conclusion.

Which leaves me with a great big problem. How to make money. Get a job... I can just imagine it now. Someone is going to tell me to take just any job and I'm going to look off into space while I decide whether to hit this person or not.

The problem is that I resent being sent off to the back room/basement/closet/mystical cave of I.T. things etc. I've been ranting about it for as long as this blog has been running. We concentrate on technical skills and forget about the people factor. Technical skills can be taught. Reading people and dealing with them is a whole other skill that's not so easily taught - and speaks more to the approach of a problem.

Using "Anonymous" on that post that I hate so much, the one about virus protection on Linux (it gets A LOT of hits), as an example you've got a whole bunch of people who just seem to forget that they're dealing with people. It's about the mystical unknown... not the people on the other end trying to get stuff done.

So... how do I find a job? I was hoping that with my reputation I could go and work on another Manaiakalani like project. That I would be offered an opportunity. Go into a cluster of schools, and use those technical skills in aid of people while still interacting with people. But then, that's not going to happen if there's no one on the other end who sees value in this sort of approach.

I know that I interact fairly well with kids and have an idea of pedagogy. The other day, at the Tangleball Open Day, I found myself giving someone a big ups for allowing the kids to fail. As an adult, this is one of the hardest things to do. You see a child doing something that isn't going to work and so you tend to step in and help. Meanwhile, the kids will learn much more from the failure than from an adult showing them how it should be. The Tangleball Open Day allowed me to see just how much I enjoy working with children. It's become a part of my being.

And okay, there have been opportunities offered. But those opportunities are going to require months of sitting in front of a computer. There's the whole stir crazy bit i.e. going out for that coffee you can't afford just to be in contact with people. And hey, these things could turn into quite a bit of money - but then... well... money's become important but not so important as to allow it to make me miserable.

There's something really... galling in there. The implication that I can't make money by doing something that I love. Given that I tend to throw myself into my work (in almost a literal sense), then doing something I resent for work leads to me being generally... angry. I can't make money by helping people...

So... what now?

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