Category Archives: Imported

Posts imported from my old CMS – Blosxom

And it’s official(warning, techie post)

Today I spent the entire morning with one of my bosses. We went to an ITMA meeting. Let me start by saying that ITMA stands for Information Technology Management Association. Basically, large companies pay to be members, and there are monthly meetings regarding different topics.

Just to give you a quick visual picture of how out of place I felt at this meeting: It was performed by Cisco Systems Engineers. They demonstrated different router and network steps to make remote connections more secure. They were security professionals. To the point that they had thumb print recognizers to log into their laptops. And following the meeting (from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.) they sat at our table for a catered lunch.

Next, alot of big companies in the Grand Rapids area had their CIO’s (chief information officers) and I.T. directors there. Companies included Steelcase, Spectrum health, Herman Miller, and Bissell Homecare Inc, etc. “Wait, vanberge… didnt you interview with Bissell” ? Yep!!

So you dont have to scroll down, I had just completed my second interview at Bissell when I accepted the job with Mercantile bank. So I called Paul @ bissell to let him know he could take me out of the running.

I chatted with Paul from Bissell during the intermission… And he got to meet my current boss, and I got introduced to the Bissel big wigs. Paul from Bissell also told me that they ended up hiring a guy that had worked with them before as a contractor. But, if he was not in the running, I would have been one of the top two. It just really was a good feeling overall. I felt like a real “professional”. I felt like I was meeting “colleagues”. I got free breakfast, lunch, and coffee. So, hopefully by now you can see how I felt a bit out of place. But, I did learn alot about Cisco networking products!!


Adult Vanberge

Now that the holidays have come and gone, there is one key theme that I can’t really get myself away from–Adult Vanberge.

I felt this odd sensation over myself sporadically over the course of the holiday season… Basically, I felt “Adult”. It really hit me on New Year’s day. Johnsoc2 and I typically spend the day at her uncle’s house where her whole family congregates. Board games, rose bowl, beer dogs, life is good. However, this year’s get-together quickly evolved into myself, flo, and johnsoc2 talking with another couple about various health insurance options, benefits, car insurance, and career paths. It was really pretty funny, because it’s like it hit us all at the same time. We all kind of paused, and everyone had a “what the hell are we doing??” look on their faces. We even joked about it afterwards. It’s as if we all realized there was no more kiddie table. But- we damn sure tried to bring it back with a hardcore session of Uno Attack.

Basically, I feel that this awkward transitional period that I have felt myself in is coming quickly to a decisive end.

Merry christmas, happy new year… I hope everyone that I bought gifts for enjoys them to full capacity. And I am sorry to mr. Florence that his car’s (my former car) front passenger wheel ended its 11 year relationship with the rest of the car. Tomorrow starts my semi-new years resolution of jump roping every weekday morning. I plan on starting with 10 minutes a day, and i’ll just go from there. Laugh all you want…. im gonna stick to it 😉


My food tray is up, my seatbelt is buckled…

After completing a full work week at my new position, I really feel excited. I’m excited about using REAL I.T. equipment (Progressive Distribution Services, Incorporated used Netgear 4 and 8 port home networking switches… Great way to utilize a T3). I’m excited because the company is really growing. I’m excited that I get a laptop. I’m excited that I get a nextel. I’m excited that I get business cards. I’m even excited that I have to wear a tie to work. I’m more than excited. — With my new career, I work with people who have fun at their job, and all of them are more like friends then they are bosses or co-workers. It really is a great atmosphere…

With that said, I’m already dreaming about the vast array of possibilities. Tuition reimbursement as a benefit probably means that I’m going to pursue MCSE and CCNA certifications (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate), and possibly a masters after I pound out a few years of REAL I.T. experience. Who knows what happens from there.

Christmas comes right around the corner, And I’m definitely looking forward to a couple days with families. Great food, captain morgan’s enhanced egg nog, etc.

So, to everyone I wish a merry christmas. Especially to you, Fred Meijer for your fantastic sale on men’s dress wear. I now own 7 long sleeved dress shirts and 9 neckties. 🙂


Cheateau D’If — escape complete

After 2 months and 29 days of being without employment, I have finally landed
myself a position.

I was offered two different jobs, from the red cross and mercantile bank
respectively. Although the red cross sounded like a great opportunity, the
salary was a bit lacking. My gut feel was to go with the bank, and I did.
(from here on… when i say “gut feel”, no fat jokes!)
So, starting Monday Dec. 13 I will be an “IT Specialist – Server Support”.

With this position I take a slight pay cut from what I was making at
progressive distribution. But, the great benefits and “not communist” work
culture will more than make up for the slight drop in my annual compensation.

I really couldnt be more excited… I feel that I am about to start a
real career
as opposed to having a shitty job. All excitement aside, I
am so grateful to my friends, family, and better half for not labeling me as
an unemployed loser (or worse) for making a rash decision to leave my job back
in september. Even though I truly cannot think of a less desirable work
environment then progressive distribution services incorporated.

With all that said… I am going to offer a bit of advice. Go with your gut.
I made one decision that will forever change my life. And I made that
decision at the drop of a hat. In retrospect, if I had not made that choice, I cannot imagine where I would be now, and how much I would hate 66% of my conscious life. These types of decisions do not come around often, so the stakes are lower. But I believe the theme to be the same….

go with your gut


Point of Change

This week begins with many very real career opportunities for myself. Particularly, my second interview with Bissell went extremely well. I am one out of 6 remaining candidates. If I am contacted for a third interview, I will be one of 2. I do feel very confident in my chances (particularly since one of my interviewers was a former student consultant at GVSU. However, I do have several other very real options should that not pan out in the end. Really, I feel like I would be more than content with any of them.

This overall feeling of content is more than welcomed… especially when I consider where I was at 1 year ago.

Not only was I working at a job that I genuinely hated, but it was honestly the darkest part of my entire life to date. I was new to the real world, and I was alone. I lived alone, moved away from my friends/room mates that I had grown almost pervasively close to. I really never felt so lonely. I lived in weekends where I was able to hang out with my friends. In between, I was bitter. Pizza boxes piled up and I spent countless amounts on video games and DVD’s trying obviously to fill a void.

My life now is a polar opposite. I am in a great relationship (which corresponds to having a great room mate), I have great friends, and my family has been there through everything. I really believe that this turn of content plays a subliminal role in me leaving my job. When I was unhappy, that job just went along with everything else. But as things began to turn around for me, the job began to weigh heavily on me; bringing me down constantly. Life is definitely too short… Shedding that skin was the most necessary thing that I could have ever done.

Back on my feet like a freight train I’m coming.

double yew tee ef

Normally I wouldnt just want to chronicle events in my life with this site/journal. but this is deserving of written record.

Last week I was contacted for several job interviews; Bissell (yes that one), the red cross, mercantile bank, Pfizer, and finally: The Cybernet Group.

Wow, I am psyched… job interviews everywhere. Bissell was yesterday, it went well. Then it happened. I was casually chatting on line after I returned from the Bissell interview, and mr. Torrey informed me that Cybernet may be being raided by the FBI. Evidently it was a rumor around his office. So, I call Eric Z. Florence(since he works for wood tv 8), and he confirms. The Cybernet group was being raided at that exact moment by the FBI, Secret Service, and IRS. Offices closed, all equipment siezed, the whole 9. The day before I was to interview. I was speechless. I tried to call and see if the interview was still on, but nobody answered.

For some time I debated how to pursue this.. Then I realized there was no other option. Go to the interview as planned.

I made this decision at 9:25 a.m. this morning, interview was at 10 in downtown GR. SO.. I threw on a white shirt, tie, white socks, black shoes. I did not shower, brush my teeth, or even really style my hair. I got downtown and parked at about 10 on the dot. I walk up to the Cybernet group’s doors and attempt entry. The doors were locked 🙁 and not a person in sight. I buzzed the intercom – “Hi, Eric Vanbergen here for a job interview”. I continued to buzz the com 7 or 8 times. Finally, a woman came on…..

“May I help you sir?” – woman
“Yes, I am here for a job interview.. Eric Vanbergen” – me

“Well… the office is closed today” – woman
“Should I come back tomorrow ?” – me
“Ummmmm…. Did you watch the news last night ?” – woman

“No” – me

“Okay… well, you may want to go onto some news sites about this company” – woman

“Did you guys get robbed or something ?” – me

“Sir, I cannot discuss details.. But you should definitely look into some news websites about this company before you pursue a job” – woman

“Can I come in ??” – me

Then she was done talking.

Apart from that slight deboggle (is that a word?)… I do have alot of job opportunities starting to pan out further. I have 4 real interviews, so I feel like my vacation is about over. And for that, I could not be happier.