How many of my readers grew up with game shows? Show of hands…? Yup, me too. My mother’s holy grail every night, after dinner, was Jeopardy. I think she was secretly in love with Alex Trebek. But Wheel of Fortune came in a close second, with all of us making wild guesses from those intermittent letters that didn’t always make sense at first.
Real life answers with random clues can be a little trickier. My younger daughter has run the gamut of wildly random medical symptoms, all of which defied logic – much less a diagnosis. We finally got a little more definitive clue during her last stay in the hospital. A blood test, the right blood test, as it turned out, showed that her cortisol levels were virtually nonexistent. Which means her adrenal gland has shut down. Which isn’t pretty, and which explains the erratic and potentially deadly array of symptoms she’s endured for the past few years.
For anyone unfamiliar, the adrenal gland is in essence your body’s scheduling system, the one that manages how frequently and regularly you breathe and your heart beats; your blood pressure, your kidneys, etc. It literally governs EVERY body function. So she’s had times where her heartbeat was 170 beats per minute, and times it dropped to 30 beats a minute or less. She’s had acute pancreatitis, which she was lucky enough to survive. She’s got brain lesions that mimicked MS, the inability to sleep for literally a week straight, and a list of other, seemingly unrelated symptoms as long as your arm. Except the cortisol connection was an instant affiliation, because ALL of them tie into to a busted adrenal network.
In theory there’s a short list of what causes the adrenal gland to go into hibernation, primarily a tumor or Addison’s disease. My daughter is among the lucky(?) few for whom neither of those applied. HIV can cause it – also ruled out. At this point it’s been narrowed down to something autoimmune, hardly a big surprise considering how much autoimmune crap runs in my family. You’d have a hard time throwing a rock at our family reunion and hitting somebody who didn’t have some weird autoimmune disease going on. Now we get to watch the doctors throw darts at finding out what’s caused her adrenal failure. Ten bucks says whatever it is, we all have some variation of it.
On other fronts – which for a number of reasons I didn’t want to post to the world at large on Facebook – I have a new job, starting Monday. If it weren’t for the commute I swear I could probably retire there. It’s an energy company based in the UK, including alternative energy. That’s already a win in my book. The pay isn’t spectacular, but it’s more than enough for us to live on, including enough to cover the costs of a new vehicle soon (which is a must-do.) It was a interesting onboarding process. I submitted my application around 9-ish in the morning a couple of weeks ago. By 10:30 that morning, I’d completed a phone interview and was scheduled for onsite testing and another interview the following day.
The testing was a breeze – it was one of those tests nobody finishes and you simply do as many of the questions as you can within a limited time. I aced it – didn’t finish (like I said, nobody finishes) but my HR contact said I blew most people out of the water. I sat for a solid half hour waiting to be interviewed, which involved countless apologies and ultimately resulted in a different manager interviewing me. And then a second tier manager. And finally the center manager, whose only concern was, “WTF are you doing here? You’re so overqualified for this job it’s insane. Why should I hire you if you’re going to be snapped up for twice as much money in the tech world in two weeks?”
I pointed out calmly – and truthfully – that I’m 1) female, 2) old, and 3) disabled. Despite the fact that it’s illegal, discrimination is rampant, particularly in the tech industry. I also clarified that while I’m certainly in it to make money, we’ve downsized so we can survive on less. I left out the part about embracing the substantially lower stress involved in doing this job, though I did ask a couple of clarifying questions. The answers left me stunned, thinking, Really? That’s all you need me to do? Seriously? For God’s sake, sign me up NOW!
I did explain something not a lot of people realize: that the tech industry is on the cusp of some huge changes, dictated by one little bitty bug – the IP4 to IPV6 transition. It’s looming, unavoidable, and going to cost a shit-ton of money to implement.
The Internet connects to all computers by an IP address, a series of numbers and dots,, and it’s running out of numbers. In some parts of the world, I believe the end has already been reached. We’re talking worldwide in a matter of a year, maybe two, if that. Contrary to popular understanding, no you can’t just add more numbers and dots to fix it. It requires a complete overhaul of how the Internet works. It’s going to involve every level of the Internet, websites, and computers, phones – anything and everything capable of going online. For tech companies it involves a complete rebuild of their infrastructure, and that ain’t cheap. That money’s going to have to come from somewhere, and I’d bet anything it’ll come from the pockets of tech employees.
It’s public record that for all the money passing through its coffers, GoDaddy.com has yet to show a profit on the books, and they’re among the biggest players. They went public ahead of this changeover, and it doesn’t take rocket science to put two and two together.
There are other cost realities I didn’t and won’t address because they involve proprietary details, but trust me when I say I escaped just in time. There’s already been one bust of the dot-com bubble. I foresee another on the horizon, and this one could get ugly.
When I walked into this new company’s local building, it conveyed an incredibly positive vibe. In addition to three(!) sequential interviews and the test, I sat in for half an hour or so with one of the reps doing the job I’m being hired to do. I smiled to keep from laughing. Seriously – in comparison to what I used to do, this job is a walk in the park. I assume there’s more to it than I saw. Even so, I don’t foresee the kind of monster stress I dealt with at my last job.
The HR person, the one who called to formally offer me the job, told me that the first manager who interviewed me wrote in all caps that I was to be put on HIS TEAM. It was nice to get the vote of confidence. Now I just have to live up to it!