Twilight of the Tech Director

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Les Kern, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #1
    I was wondering if any others are going through the same thing I am...
    I've been a technology director for over 20 years. Before that I had my own Apple-centric consulting company. I bought my first Mac in the 80's, and fell in love. Since that time I have been mostly all Apple, purchasing perhaps 30 machines and various other products, When something new came out, I bought it. I learned everything there was to know about their capabilities, then put those capabilities into a very successful career.
    I recently resigned my current position as of June 30th.
    Six figures to no figures. (Although I do have a pension and can collect SS in a year and a half)
    I am growing weary.
    Nothing excites me any more. Not the new Macbooks, the Pro, the watch, or whatever. Same on the PC side. I still read a bit about the new technology on the "other side" and simply go "meh". I tried getting more into PCs and built a really nice i7 decked out, and Windows 10 is pretty darned good, but again, "meh".
    Is it burnout?
    Is it fear of growing old?
    To old to learn the new technology?
    Laziness?

    I have not figured it out yet, but I do know I am drawn to other things that I have loved over my life. Cooking is one. Painting is another. My guitar skills are rusting away.
    Not sure what it will be, but it's very likely it won't be in technology.

    Anyone else seeing the twilight zone approaching?
     
  2. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #2
    Congratulations on a comfortable retirement. I understand your feelings.

    Was this a sudden decision?
     
  3. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #3
    No, been building up over the last few years... Began in earnest when I had a freak accident that shattered my hip. (Don't ever do that) I had to be sure that my family didn't suffer if the finances were't right, and I did talk to them about it so there were no surprises.
     
  4. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #4
    I know retirement is no easy transition as most young people think. If it's not a sudden the decision why are you finding argument in it? I'm not being critical. I'm not sure I'm ready to hang up even with the financial means.

    (As a side note - yikes on your hip. How did it happen?)
     
  5. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #5
    Maybe I'm just scared. Technology has been what I lived and breathed for decades.

    As for the hip, I placed my Macbook Air on the rook of my Smart car. It started to slide off the back as I stood at the passenger door, I jumped to catch it and curled around the flat back of the car, had no way to use my leg or arm to break the fall, and landed square on the tip of my femur, the PERFECT place to shatter it. One inch either way and I'd have a bruise, but NO... two years recovery after having it pinned, not healing then a new one installed (Hip 3.0). The good news had the best doc on the planet (Did some Chicago Bears) who used robotic surgery. I can't even tell I have a steel beam in me. The Air was undamaged.
     
  6. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #6
    Have you considered talking to a therapist? I have used them a few times over major points in life. I don't think I would have made it through some transitions as well adjusted (as I think I have) without their professional conversation.

    I am near the point of stop working and it concerns me too. I don't know exactly where to find a new purpose. I think if I can figure that out I'll be better.

    First off you should immediately scrap the Smart Car and don't replace it with a Prius either! Buy a Mustang or Carrera...stat.

    It's excellent news your hip feels well. That's one hell of an injury.
     
  7. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #7
    I have indeed. It has helped a number of people in my family. I think what I'll do is wait until I am actually off and see how I adjust. My wife just got a job the other day, so we'll have fewer worries. And health insurance... maybe the most important thing.

    Gave it to my daughter and just bought a GTI. Damn that thing is quick.

    Thanks so much! They told me when it happened that this type of injury is life changing. Now at my checkups they are impressed I responded so well. I owe that to the doctor. I lost 2 inches on my thigh. Got it all back but the strength is about 50%. Because I am lazy and hate PT.
     
  8. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Congrats on your retirement and sorry to hear about your injury. Hopefully you're not in pain, or at least a tolerable level. As someone in their late-mid 20's, having suffered chronic pain for over a decade, I know how much pain can affect your outlook and ambitions. I imagine disability due to injury is similar.

    Sounds like you're have a bit of an existential crisis! I'm a bit young to fully comprehend life in retirement as my career is still flourishing, but I imagine it being very difficult, especially if you're a work oriented person such as myself. I can't imagine not having a job to do daily. Must be scary to think life is "winding down" (for a lack of a better term), career is over, kids are grown, have I accomplished my goals, etc. I'm making myself anxious and my retirement is almost 40 years off (probably more)!

    I suppose the challenge is to find new activities to make your retirement life feel meaningful and fill your time. Work a new job, explore hobbies, travel, etc. Maybe you're tired of tech and looking for something else to satisfy your curiosity at this point.

    Personally, I think tech developments have become far less interesting and profound. Most are just subtle improvements. The 80's, 90's, even to mid 200x's especially were times of life changing tech inventions- GUI's, modern OS's, personal computing, GPS, Internet, cell phones, smart phones, mobile tech, wireless internet digital photography, creative software, social media. Now everything is wrapped into a single device. I think we've plateaued a bit until that next big thing.

    Glad to hear you're getting professional too. It can be very beneficial in navigating the complex feeling associated with massive life changes.
     
  9. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #9
    I am so sorry for your continuing pain. I sure hope you find relief and soon. Even with my 2 year struggle I cannot imagine a decade or more.

    I think you're right, it's mostly an existential crisis. Mortality is peeking over the fence at me. I have a very long-lived family (oldest 105) but my dad died at a young 71 from kidney failure. I just turned 60. In some ways I envy the young, some ways not. Oh to be young again and full of energy with waist-length hair (bald now dammit) and enough testosterone to supply a small city. I grew up when it was easier to live. Times were simpler, and back then you could have a decent living on minimum wage. Those days are gone, replaced with more uncertainty than might be comfortable.
    And I also agree with your dialogue on technology... The days of wonder are over. But it goes further than that for me, as I just don't get any satisfaction from anything any more, whether its setting up a new computer or designing a WAN.
    I have a lot of hobbies as mentioned, and I just spoke to my wife today about taking over the day-to-day house stuff. I have no issue cleaning toilets or doing laundry, and perhaps the slowing down will be beneficial. No more 80 hour weeks, deadlines and unreasonable bosses.
     
  10. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #10
    Maybe you just need a different focus in technology. I do technology in education. It's still exciting to find the right apps for a classroom, or teaching a teacher how to use an app or a service. Some of them need very basic instruction (including those who are 30 years my junior)! It's rewarding.

    Don't just retire unless you really have a lot to keep you busy. Really busy.
     
  11. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    Thanks LK. Herniated discs, traumatic nerve damage, and subsequent nerve impingement is not fun, especially the fist few years. Luckily 95% it is tolerable these days, I've become acclimated. Occasionally, I wake up feeing I was run over by a freight train in my sleep. Those days suck but are few and far between at this point and are short lived. I can't run comfortably anymore, but I swim a 2-3 miles a day instead. I assume I'm more active than most guys in their mid-late 20's.

    There are most definitely benefits to being older. And there's a lot more to discover in the world regardless of your age. Hopefully you'll find something new to help fill your time with something of interest.

    Interestingly, I do a lot of work with drug addicts in inpatient and IOP programs who seem to have a similar issue. Many are young (early-mid 20's) and have used since ~age 14-15. Most of them don't know how to have fun, let alone experience pleasure, without drugs/alcohol- as that's been their source of fun for their entire adult life. Its very hard for them to discover fun activities for their spare time and It's had to enjoy life without enjoyable activities (Bordem is a big relapse trigger). Similarly, I imagine much of your life that you can remeber has been devoted to work and raising (now grown?) children. The best you can do is just explore things that peak your interest.
     
  12. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #12
    I have L4-5 thin disks and the foramen's are impinged. I know what not to do, but when i do it on occasion it's the ambulance and up to three shots. Last time it was two of torredol and one of morphine to ease the pain. I know of what you speak.

    Except that part of actually being older! I've travelled the world and done more up to now than most, but there's plenty more to see.

    Righteous work. Really. Giving of one's self to help those in need... Righteous. Yes, daughter is 21 and didn't turn out too bad with me being her father.
    Funny thing about drugs... haven't done them since the 70's (mostly because of the threat of that prison thing) and I am chomping at the bit waiting for grass to be legalized in IL. Then this whole thread will be meaningless. ;)
     
  13. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #13
    I do agree that for the most part tech is boring but retirement umm yea I have plans for that. Boats, greasy garages, no cell phones, hanging out with my wife.
     
  14. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    Well, consumer technology is kinda boring nowadays. I mean, we're so immersed into it that a new computer is not an event anymore (unless you use Apple's recent strategy: wait 5 years to upgrade then come up with something).
    My suggestion? Go teach. You will teach to the next generation, and even better you can use some retro computing to show kids what you can do with 64kb of RAM, all while you re-live the excitement (and nostalgia) of the old days!
     

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