Here's why I love my job. I was sitting at work one day, chatting via IM with some guy who thought he could flirt. He couldn't, but he thought he could, so I was quietly laughing at his ineptitude.
Anyway, we were chatting, and I went silent for a while. He kept asking where I had gone, and finally I came back, and informed him that I had had a call from the Department of the Treasury, and had to take that call, but was finished and could resume our conversation.
He thought I was kidding. He chortled a bit at my joke.
I wasn't joking.
So, despite the inadequate pay, weird hours, and my constant need to make members of management feel like taking their own lives, I really do love my job. The work isn't a challenge at all, but the variety of people and companies I get to deal with is astounding.
Shortly after I started, in one day I fixed routers for both christianity.com and a gambling website. I felt like I was playing both sides of the fence.
On September 12, 2001, I built a massive VPN tunnel to bypass the former World Trade Center and get the stock market and a bunch of banks back online. I had like 30 guys on the phone at once, each working for a different major bank, and all desperate for this to be done quickly. I was tempted to ask them who could offer me the lowest interest on a home mortgage.
One more than one occasion I've resolved a problem and had the man on the phone tell me that he loved me. Apparently, men get like that when you save their jobs.
I had a case where the man couldn't believe his luck in getting an engineer who wasn't in India. He was particularly surprised because he was in Texas, as am I.
I've been inside the Pentagon's network, although I haven't even been to the same state as the actual building.
Of course, it hasn't always been good. I had a case where the "customer" wanted me to fix his virus problem that had nothing to do with any of the equipment that I support. His reasoning was that getting support from my company cost him nothing, since he already had a contract, but calling Microsoft would cost a fortune. His contract with us had nothing to do with computers, though, just routers, and he kept asking if I could fix his virus if he bought another piece of equipment.
I've had cases where the customer didn't like what I told him, so he would say, "Let me talk to a man." Seriously.
I've had cases where the customer would start yelling and cursing because the problem was all his fault and he couldn't believe he had been so stupid. More often than not, this would be followed by a low review directed at me, because I failed to properly prove that the problem was all my fault.
It's been an interesting job, though, with ups and downs, and I can barely remember ever working anywhere else. During the course of this one job, I've been through more life changes than any other time in my life. And the company has been there, always letting me know that they support me and if I'm having problems I don't have to worry about my job.
But I think that's because I won't tell them the Master Password and they're afraid of what will happen to the payroll database if my name is removed. As well they should be.