How Did I End Up in Germany - Life as a Contractor

Last Update: April 02, 2019

How Did I End Up in Germany - Life as a Contractor

We left off in my bio with me getting a job in Korea, thanks to my buddy Bobby!

It was an entry level position that pretty much equaled my pay that I was getting on active duty, plus as a contractor I was able to get the overseas tax exclusion and that is a big boost to reducing taxes. After all, I only had the certs and not the experience so I wasn't going to complain.

I was the webmaster and email server guy using a Solaris "pizza box". That's how thin the server was and so we called it that. As I was saying I was happy doing that and also doing basic tech support stuff answering customers/users questions and helping them out.

However, it didn't take long for me to get bored with it because it didn't take long to fully understand the job and I wanted more. Lo and behold, another buddy of mine whispered in my ear saying there was a position that had been open for some time as a VAX VMS server administrator with one person working under the manager.

So, I approached my boss and asked him about it and he said he had another track that I would go, but he would think about it. Bingo! It wasn't long and I was promoted to that position and took over the VAX servers with one employee. :-)

Well, if anyone knows computers they know that even in 2001 VAX computers were dinosaurs. Let's just say the 1 TB disk array was the size of a big refrigerator and was made up of many, many hard drives.

Sure enough a few years later as it was going away another job position opened up, only this time with about 12 employees and a bunch of Windoze based systems. You got it! I got the job.

Now, one thing I haven't mentioned during this is that these contract positions were written so that it was the norm to put in several hundred hours over what a normal man-year would be as we were very frequently involved in exercises that ran 24/7 and we would be working 12-hour shifts.

Let's fast forward 8 years and due to a recompete for the contract the company needed to cut costs to underbid the competition, that happens a lot in the contracting world when a company wants to keep a high value contract. Well, we were told that if housing was cut our pay would be increased to make up for it. Guess what? It didn't happen and as a result I started to look elsewhere for work.

Oh, also during this time of working all these hours I managed to get my MBA!

As luck would have it, one of my former employees whispered in my ear and told me of an open job position that was 8-5 Monday through Friday and any overtime would be paid as overtime. :-) Woohoo! I jumped on that very quickly!

A year and a half go by and our recompete came up and the prime won the contract so all was good to go, NOT!!! One of the former employees who hired me whispered in my ear and said I should look at the schedule for the next year.

Guess what??? I wasn't on it!!! This was 2 weeks prior to the end of the contract. Doh!

The government decided to close the positions in Korea, Germany, and Alaska and the prime didn't tell the sub contractor. I had to call my boss and he had to ask them?! Grrr!!!

Now, I'm going to be out of a job in less than 2 weeks in Korea. :-O

Luckily for me I was able to convince someone I was right for an entry level job working at the same place I had left as a manager. To make matters worse, I had to commute by subway 90 minutes each way, not including the time to and from the subway station to the house and the office. Needless to say, I was avidly looking for work somewhere else.

Lo and behold, one night around 2AM I got a call from a recruiter asking if I was interested in working as a Network Engineer in Germany.

Well, here I am still in Germany almost 8 years later.

Thanks for taking the time to read this story. It took me a while to think what I should put on my blog, then it dawned on me that my BIO left a lot of questions unanswered so here you have some of those answers.

Cheers! Or, as they say in Germany, Prost!!!

Les, and remember you get more with Les!!!

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Babou3 Premium
What a great story! the world is so big and great.

Have a nice day.
Ingrid
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leswaller Premium
Yes, and as we get older the world gets smaller!
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alisterbrede Premium
Prost to you!
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leswaller Premium
Thanks! Hahaha, accidentally put that in your profile.
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JaneMahlehle Premium
Great story, thanks for sharing!
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leswaller Premium
Thanks for taking the time to read it and comment! :-)
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JaneMahlehle Premium
No problem!
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MelWaller Premium
I learned some more to your story. Thanks!

Mel
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leswaller Premium
You're welcome! :-)
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tjkhan1 Premium
Interesting read ... its always good to have a nose into others lives ... 😄
All the best mate 👍
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leswaller Premium
Thanks, I appreciate it! Cheers!!!
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