Supply Chain Guy
I started life wanting to become a writer. I had an unnatural obsession with reading and looking at the names of people on the book covers, it struck me as the ultimate achievement. What I read about being an author was that one should write about what one knows. In that pursuit of knowing something worthy to write about, I led a varied life.
Spent my early childhood on a farm, check!
Had various jobs as a teenager, check!
Had interesting parents, check!
Had interesting siblings, check!
Lived in interesting times, check!
Worked as a salesman, check!
Worked in a mental hospital, check!
Worked in a prison, check!
Had a paper route, check!
Learned to drive a forklift, check!
Wrote for the high school newspaper, check!
Wrote for the college newspaper, check!
Was a parent, check!
Ran for public office, check!
Lost the election, check!
Anyway, all this preparation for being a writer didn’t really make me a writer. What I really needed was stability and a job that paid the bills. Writing never paid the bills. I abandoned writing to become the antithesis of a writer. I became a supply chain consultant. I didn’t just become one right off. First I worked as a dishwasher, an assembler of airline galleys, a paint maker in a factory, a forklift driver, a shipping and receiving clerk, a rodman, a surveyor, an exploration geophysicist, a land man, then a data communications expert, a software designer, a technical support manager...then a project manager for supply chain.
What I learned along the way was that the “what” didn’t matter so much as the willingness to learn. While I became enlightened about the secret to work success, the work environment seemed to focus on the “what.” No matter where I went after being a supply chain guy, everyone saw me as a supply chain guy. No matter how much I tried to explain that being a supply chain guy was just something I had decided to become, I was stereotyped into that role. No matter where I went, people wanted to pay me to be a supply chain guy. Don’t get me wrong…I am a very good supply chain guy. I just never have accepted that supply chain guy is all I could ever be again.
your limitations and they’re yours.” Richard Bach
“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” Richard Bach
I managed to break out of the supply chain guy mode by learning about RFID…way back at the turn of the century. I got hired to be an RFID guy. It was great. Then the company that hired me to be an RFID guy got out of the RFID business and assigned me to be…a supply chain guy. The reason for their decision was because I had been a supply chain guy in the past and they needed me to be one in the present. So I spent another ten years as a supply chain guy. Implementing technology into the supply chain from various hotel rooms around the country. At night, I started writing again. Supply chain paid the bills and fed the family while writing fed the soul.
I wrote mainly about philosophy. Everyone has one. Even people who claim to have no philosophy have a philosophy. Philosophy is a subject matter that can be focused or scattered like the wind. My philosophy is pretty focused and has to do with the recognition of reality and free will as absolutes. That has no bearing on my skills as a supply chain guy except to say that I approach solutions from a position of certainty that if you don’t violate reality you can solve the problem. Having my name on actual books is pretty cool…too bad all the bookstores are closing.
Currently, I am no longer a supply chain guy. The particular supply chain I was supporting as gone another route and moved to a new city. Now I search for work and write. I must admit that I write more than I search. I am also working to learn a new technology, one that fits with my knowledge of RFID, data communications and supply chain. The Internet of Things (IoT). I read about it and write about it. I think it’s the next big thing for paying the bills. I also work on the skillset known as the job hunt. It isn’t like writing and it isn’t like supply chain as it feeds neither the soul nor the family. I believe I can master it as I have mastered many skills in my life.
The trick is to be noticed by someone who needs either a writer, an Internet of Things guy or even a supply chain guy. Best of all would be to be noticed by someone who understands that the supply chain and the Internet of Things are soon to be indistinguishable. Starving writer seems like a bad idea.