9 lives

October 9, 2009 at 11:33 AM Leave a comment

Today I celebrate my 9 year anniversary at Rackspace.  In October 2000, I was starting a “job” at an upstart company that had this crazy idea of turning server hosting into a service.  Having been in the customer service industry for 3 years prior at Sears Home Central, I had actually planned a career at Sears since my then diminishing music career seemed to be wrapping up.  I generally liked working for Sears, at the time.  It was horribly corporate, but a large company like Sears seemed to hold a lot of opportunity for someone like me.  I had already been the youngest service manager they ever had.  I had won numerous national Sears accolades for my service delivery.  However, it seems there were some folks at Sears that were not so fond of my rising success, and made me choose between completing my university degree or Sears by forcing a schedule change.  I chose to finish college.

Education.  A smart choice.

Education. A smart choice.

Picking up a quick job to help pay bills, and mere months away from graduation, I began sending my resume all over the country and searching the fledgling internet for every opportunity I could find.  I felt the boom in the tech industry was coming to and end and I wanted to get my foot in the door some place.  I received numerous rejection letters, lots of calls, but nothing seemed to be coming together.  I didn’t think I could make it in San Antonio.  Growing up here, going to school here, and graduating here, there weren’t many large companies that were interested in anything but application developers.  Certainly not much in the tech world, which was where I was focusing my education.  Despite my managerial experience, I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted to do forever.  Leaving class one day, the university was having a career fair.  I went home, changed clothes, and returned with some resumes.  That’s when I stumbled upon Rackspace at a career fair at UTSA.  Scoring an interview on the spot, they invited me to headquarters for a real interview.  Charles Riley and Heather Barko interviewed me.  From a technical standpoint, I didn’t do that well.  I know that looking back, but damn did I have me some customer service skills.  On my birthday, October 4th, I got a call that I was hired and to report in to the office the following Monday.  SCORE!

Top of Weston Center - circa 2001

Top of Weston Center - circa 2001

Weston Center - San Antonio, TX

Weston Center - San Antonio, TX

My first "Tear It Up!" Award

My first "Tear It Up!" Award

Rackspace offices circa 2001

Rackspace offices circa 2001

After nine years, as with any journey, it’s not always been easy.  It’s not always been smooth.  While I’ve not had a lot of first-hand experience for which to compare it, I’ve certainly paid attention to my friend’s and family’s experiences.  I think I can say that Rackspace is one of the best places to work I could have found.  Rackspace is challenging.  Rackspace is a fun place to work.  At this point, Rackspace is much more a part of me as I am a part of it.  But, to be fair, I’ve offered a fair share of myself.  Besides my day-to-day job, I get to play my music on my weekly radio show on the internal radio station we lovingly call K-RACK on Fridays.  I’m a part of our rookie orientation class we call Rookie-O, where my alter ego Harry Longshanks comes out when I dress in a wig and glasses.  I’m 1/2 trainer, 1/4 game show host, and 1/4 comedian.  The rest of the time, I get to dress in a way that makes me comfortable, where a serious meeting can have folks wearing button-downs and slacks, and the person next to them wearing shorts and flip flops — that’s the culture here.  It is in this I hope I’ve helped flourish, set an example, and stands as a testament to doing what we do best. Being ourselves to do our jobs.

Harry Longshanks - DJ and Game Show host extraordinaire

Harry Longshanks - DJ and Game Show host extraordinaire

It’s been a helluva ride.  I’ve had to reinvent myself many times.  I’ve worn many hats.  I’ve made a career.  I wouldn’t change one second of it.  I’ve met great people.  I’ve been offered many opportunities.  I’ve grown personally and professionally.  My experiences have made me not only good at what I do, but stronger in who I am for every strength I’ve been allowed to grow in the fertile ground at Rackspace.

nathan-025_std

For all of my “Friends and Family” at Rackspace, thanks for giving me a chance, and thank you for continuing to make this journey nothing short of an adventure.

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Entry filed under: Inspirational. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Art imitating Life imitating Art H1N1 spells “hiney”

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