About Chris


Me

Hello everyone!  My name is Chris. I’m a single dad working in the IT field as a Lead Systems Support Analyst for an accounting company. That’s just a fancy way of saying “Senior Help Desk Technician.” I’ve been in and out of the IT industry over the past 17 years and I have an interesting job history.

 


Leaving the Nest.  Life as an Airman

After graduating high school and enjoying my last summer vacation, I shipped off to basic training and joined the US Air Force. I served in the military for seven years as a Computer Technician and took the opportunity to travel the world. It was an amazing experience. I was stationed in Biloxi, San Antonio, South Korea, Guam, Germany, and Kuwait. Needless to say, I’ve been around!

If you haven’t been to Europe, I suggest you put that on your bucket list. Make it happen!


Life After the Military

After serving in the military for seven years I got out and decided to pursue my degree full-time. Fast forward 4 years, and several IT internships later I graduated with a BS in Information Systems and Technology. It was an accomplishment!


Economy Crash. Tough Times Ahead

Unfortunately, the time I graduated was the time when the economy tanked. Naturally, company’s went into survival mode, laid off employees, and downsized. Others weren’t so lucky and folded completely. During this time I couldn’t find a job to save my life. It seemed no one could.

After many fruitless attempts to find work within my career field, money was getting tight. I had to move back in with family after being on my own for over 10 years. Not exactly a high point in my life but hey, I did what I had to do.


The Casino Industry to the Rescue? Not Ideal, but it’s Work

Times were still tough. I was on unemployment for months, and my job prospects were abysmal. Did I mention that I couldn’t find a job to safe my life?

Well during that time, my sister was dealing poker and doing well from it. She suggested that I go to poker school and learn to deal cards. So, I signed up at the local poker school and began to train. She had connections in the casino industry and helped me get my foot in the door as a slot attendant while learning to deal poker. Yep, I was a walking cashier, cashing out tickets for slot players.

I cashed out tickets for about six months when positions for blackjack dealers opened up. The kicker? Full training provided by my employer; an opportunity which I jumped at! I dropped out of poker school, trained to become a blackjack dealer, and went live in six weeks. It was new, it was fun, it was exciting, and it paid well! Good times were here again.


Being a Blackjack Dealer: The Good and the Bad

The pay for a table games dealer is pretty decent. I was making close to $50,000 a year working only part-time. It’s nearly impossible to find a part-time job that paid this well. I considered myself extremely lucky to find an opportunity like this.

The pay was great, but the job had its drawbacks. I had no benefits. I worked on tips and my paycheck fluctuated every week. It was a 24/7 operation; I had to work odd hours and holidays. The casino was exempt from the non-smoking laws because it was on an Indian reservation. I was breathing in second-hand cigar and cigarette smoke at work. Each day I left the place smelling like a used ashtray. As Cleveland perfectly puts it: “Oh, that’s nasty.” 😆


Getting Back into the IT Field

Being a blackjack dealer was fun and paid well, but I didn’t find the work fulfilling.

I decided to get back into the IT industry after dealing cards for a little over 1 1/2 years.  That’s a long time being out of the IT field. It’s fast paced, and if you’re not up to date on current technology, then you’re obsolete. So, I used the remaining of my Montgomery GI Bill to pay for a couple of computer boot camp classes. I finished the courses, got a couple of certifications under my belt, and found the job I’m now in. It doesn’t pay as well as my blackjack gig, but it’s full-time with benefits, it’s on a normal schedule, I’m working  in my career field again, and I have a great boss.


Returning to the Competitive Job Market

Why am I looking for another job? Well, my son lives out-of-state, and I can’t help raise him 3,500 miles away.

While the economy has recovered somewhat, it’s still difficult to find a job. Despite the experience I’ve gained from my current employer, I’m still having a very hard time finding employment at another company. I’ve applied to several places over the past seven months, and managed to land a single interview. I’ve spoken with HR reps about other jobs I submitted application packages to. They either say that the job has already been filled (thanks for the update people), or they’re still reviewing  the 250 plus applications they received for the job I applied for.  250 applicants?! As my jaw dropped to the floor I thought to myself, “that’s insane.” That tidbit of information gave me insight on how fiercely competitive the job market is.


Something Snapped

A combination of factors led to my current state of mind. Frustration with the massively competitive job market, being underpaid, and not being able to see my son regularly has created the perfect storm for me to say, “enough is enough.”

The straw that broke the camels back was a bad job interview experience. Remember the one and only job interview I got during my seven month-long job search?  Yep, that’s the one. Based on the job description, I knew I was the perfect candidate. Of course, I had to learn and grow into some things, but I was more than capable of doing it. It was a phone interview, and I was drilled with questions by a panel of 4 people.  I really miss the days where things were much simpler.


Why I’m Here

Frankly, I’m tired of working a 9-5 job for someone else. I don’t want to fight traffic to and from work five days a week. I feel constrained working in a tiny cubicle for a relatively small salary.

Time flies, and before I know it my son will have grown up. I want the time and financial freedom to be in his life as much as possible, and I don’t believe a traditional job will give me that opportunity.

If you’re in the same place I am, or can relate to my experience, then I want to help you escape the rat race. If you’re just looking for a supplemental income, that’s perfectly fine too. If you’re tired of getting scammed by “get rich quick” schemes, or getting ripped off by these self-proclaimed “gurus” who are offering a “silver bullet” product about online marketing, then you’ve come to the right place.

With that said, let’s escape the drudgery of the rat race and get started!

Check out my profile on Wealthy Affiliate. I’ll see you there.

You’re friend,

-Chris


Leave a Comment!

What brings you here? Leave a comment below and share your story.

8 thoughts on “About Chris

  1. Chris, this was such an amazing story, besides the minor grammatical error that you made, I thought that you really touched a lot of people with this knowledge. I really hope that you can be able to reunite with your son who is on the other side of the country. I know for a fact that you are definitely going to be able to see him with what your doing here at Wealthy Affiliate. I had no idea that you knew how to deal cards by the way, that is definitely a useful skill to have, but unfortunately you weren’t seeing much results with it. HR block is definitely hard to get in to because a lot of accountants apply there, since it’s such a big company. I know a few people that work at HR block themselves that can testify to this as well. The rat race is truly over Chris, and I am so happy that you found your way out of it. You are going to see a lot of success at Wealthy Affiliate, where you are not being given bs from other supposed guru’s or potential scam artist. You really did outdo yourself with this article, it was so interesting to read, and I could relate to it so much. Good luck, on your path to success, I guarantee you that if you keep publishing work like this, that you are going to see a lot of amazing things in your future. 😀

    • Hey Florida,

      Thanks for the comment and words of encouragement. I miss my son like you wouldn’t believe. He just turned 2 the other day and I couldn’t be there for his second birthday.

      It’s been awhile since I’ve dealt cards so I’d have to seriously brush up on it if I ever decided to work for a casino again. I did well as a dealer, and it was fun for a little while. Entertaining the guests was great. I and was always rooting for them to win…especially when they tipped, lol. 😀 However, I always believed there are other professions where I could be more productive in. That’s why I like my current job more, even though it pays less.

      Anyways, thanks again for visiting! 😀

  2. Hi Chris – Your website is beginning to take shape. I really enjoyed reading your about me page.
    Its a matter of hanging on in there. Follow the lessons and do regular posts, everything will eventually come together.
    Keep on Posting
    Mark

  3. Hi Chris.

    I cannot even begin to imagine living so far away from my son. I really feel for you buddy.

    I have two kids, and just working full time seems like I don’t get to spend enough time with them, I actually had my daughter crying on the bed the other day, saying that she really misses me.

    I really hope and pray that things work out for you so that you can be with your son.

    Your website really looks great!

    Blessings.

    • Hey John!

      Thank you for the kind words. I should update my About Me page.

      I was laid off from my job last October, and have been looking for work ever since. But the news comes with a silver lining. I’m still unemployed, but I moved last November and I’m reunited with my son again! All this free time gives me the opportunity to work on my site while I’m not plugging away sending out resumes.

      I hope all is well.

      -Chris

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