About this time last year my life changed dramatically, along with my entire family, and my son most of all, when he lost his mother. He is 18, was taking flying lessons, and getting ready to begin his senior year of high school remotely, thanx to COVID. I had recently began my belated career in skydiving having recently taken the coach course and was working on finishing that. A few months after my last entry, I was awarded a black badge at Hack3rC0n, aka SecureWV, for my work over the years volunteering and sponsoring a few student tickets. All of a sudden it didn't make a lot of difference what happened; all I knew was that my son was devestated and needed me. Everything else took a backseat.
At this time, I was two and a half years into a one year contract working as a network field engineer. After the first eight months, they cut our travel to almost nothing to save money, so we were all working remotely handliing tickets in the q (I never could abide by using all the silent letters in that word) and I was making $40 an hour sitting at home in my jammies most of the time. Sure there were times I had to go to the field, but they paid mileage and it got me out sometimes. Then COVID hit and everyone was working from home. All of a sudden, us few field techs were the experts in remote work, and stepped up and helped. Then in October, they realized that they were paying me way too much to sit at home in my jammies with no possibility of travel, as that was postponed for another year, so out went my contract in November.
So now I was back to the field, taking random work over the internet, and facing people for the first time at work in almost two years and with COVID raging. I got the first shot as soon as the VA offered it, and the rest of the family followed suit. My son almost failed to graduate when the program he was in (they created this for him since he has had some issues in the past) sent him his GED when he passed the GED test, he lost his motivation and drive. I could not get him to do the work, no matter what I tried, so I kicked him out. Out on the farm which he had inherited and where he grew up. I cleaned it up for him, replaced the floor wherer it was needed, and stay with him a few nights a week. He was still not getting his work done no matter what I did, but thanks to his principal, Mr Caldwell, who called and offered him pizza to come sit in his office for a few days and finish his work, he graduated. My thoughts were that he needs to go to the military to get the discipline that I can't seem to give him, so he is in the process of joining the National Guard, and for a job that takes a TS clearance no less. He has his mother to thank for that. She set the rules and was the enforcer more than myself, I mainly just enforced what she implemented and tried to set a good example.
Then, out of the blue, I got a job offer when I wasn't looking for a job. I got a call from a recruiter who looked at my profile on Linkedin and asked if I wanted a job. I listened as he detailed the sys admin supervisor of a government computer system in the area and a salary of $65 to 85k range. It required a Security + and a secret clearance, neither of which I had, although I have had a secret clearance before, which should make it easier to get this time since I haven't done anything to disqualify since it ended on discharge and have had a TWIC(transportation worker identification credential) for ten years. I told him I was interested and when he asked me how long it would take to get the cert, I told him about two months. After I took some online practice tests, I called him back and said about two weeks. I got it in a week and got the job offer, pending the clearance. After the pre-screen, they called and said it got flagged and needed an interim, which took four weeks to six months, and they couldn't wait that long. So, even though I didn't get the job, I am now Security + certified and it inspired me to start being more proactive in looking for work and to revamp the website with updated information.