August 28th, 2008

Consider yourself notified and "speed dating" for your technical communication career...

I had such a great, affirming day today.

I had a meeting scheduled, whose subject was "Quick Task Prioritization Meeting," with my manager for 4:15. At 2:45, she instant messaged me that her 2:00 meeting had ended early, and asked if I wanted to go ahead and have ours then.

I gave her my two weeks notice, and she at first seemed flabbergasted that I didn't have to get another job if I didn't want to, and then thanked me for giving her two weeks notice: "If it were me," she said, "I'd be out of here instantly."

I posted this message on our EAGLE discussion database, and sent an e-mail to the same effect to probably about 40 or so people I've worked with over the years in IBM:

so long farewell auf wiedersehen adieu

Well, my financial advisor has declared me "financially independent," so I'm going to embrace the independent part and scoot on out of here. :-)

I gave my two-weeks notice today. My last day will be Friday, September 12th, but I guess that since I only work Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays anyway, it'll essentially be Thursday, September 11th.

It's been a great ride here, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you for at one time or another being my steering wheel, being my seat belt, or refilling my tank.

As an IBM stockholder in my portfolio, I'm counting on all of you to keep the roads ahead free of hazards. :-)

Best of luck! And good-bye.

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Back when I was still in grad school, in 2007, and active in the NC State University student chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, I dreamed up this educational program that our chapter could sponsor: an event where professionals in the six areas of concentration that are possible in our Master of Science in Technical Communication degree are available to talk to students about what a typical day in the workplace looks like for such a professional in such a field.

This idea came to me after attending the annual national STC conference, at which one of the sessions I attended was a "progression session." They work like this: one professional would be available at each of six tables. For 10 minutes, the professionals speak about their jobs, and then for 10 minutes the students can ask questions of the professional. After 20 minutes, a bell rings, and all the students get up and move to a different table with a different area of interest.

We were unable to pull this off during my time in the chapter, but I was thrilled to be invited back tonight to see the program come to fruition by the current leaders and chapter. Here's how the program was advertised:


Time: 6:00-8:00PM
Date: Thursday, August 28, 2008
Place: Caldwell Lounge at N.C. State University

Curious about the varieties of technical communication? Then come to our August program, which offers a progression session where you can learn about them.

A progression has many different speakers presenting on various topics simultaneously. Speakers will each host a table with a presentation on a topic from their own area of practice. Attendees hear a twenty-minute presentation about one topic, and then move to another table to hear the next twenty-minute presentation, and so on.

Our speakers include:

Agricultural Communication:
Natalie Hampton
Web Design and Development:
Rick Sapir
Environmental Communication:
Mike Brown
Information Systems Communication:
Ann-Marie Grissino
Health/Medical Communication:
Sam Uhl
Industrial Communication:
Andrea Wenger

At one point in the evening, we counted 48 attendees, so it was a resounding success.

Thanks to Sarah (the STC faculty advisor), the current officers, and members of the student chapter for realizing the potential of this program and carrying the idea forward to make it happen!

Also, thanks to the STC-Carolina (the local professional chapter of the STC) for providing the professionals, without whom we couldn't have done this. It was a great collaboration!