This is the place to find out what new and exciting events are unfolding in the life and times of Je Kemp.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The corporate life, for some, a virtual Eden of money, travel, conferences, and perks. For others, it is a revolving nightmare of miscommunication and complete paranoia. Today marks my 5th anniversary with the company I work for, CNN. I remember when I started out, I just needed a little extra income and low and behold, five hard years have now passed me by somewhat like the ghost-like opportunities for advancement with this company.

This anniversary does mean something to me. My commitment to them shows that I am loyal despite uneven treatment during economic downturns. If you want to know the truth, I am trapped here, a victim of my own success. Now that I receive a steady paycheck and no longer lead the fly by night life of a young adult. Moving from apartment to apartment, taking opportunities as they appear, living life one day at a time, not worrying about the grim realities that lay over the next pass on the road of life. That is not me, I own a house, a shithole little house on the wrong side of town. Sketchy is what people with affluence would call it. Not that I have ever even been robbed or assaulted by anyone in this "sketchy" neighborhood.

There was a time when I did not have just wonderful commitments to cover. Homelessness is a concept that causes me concern. I tricked myself into thinking that there is a future for me here. I tried to join in, in essence become something that I am not. I was never interested in broadcasting as a career. I remember dreaming of one day owning an outdoor store, selling tents and the like but after a brief stint with REI, I discovered that this dream was built on sand and our modern internet society could never go for such a thing. I had to shift my focus onto something else. I have always enjoyed having the ability to understand video, film, computer systems, etc. I have never been the guy with the flashing "12:00" on his vcr. No sir, I have been able to set the clock on every electronic device I have ever encountered.

When at, I embraced their culture, I loved my work and my responsibilities, I was part of the conduit that informs the world of relevant & newsworthy events. I was proud to be responsible for being the first on a story, When the Kursk sank, The world knew only twenty minutes after I saw it on the wires, I had found pictures & video of the submarine at port, I made my superiors proud, I made myself proud to be part of the team and then the bottom dropped out and they sent me home. The dot com crash of 2001. Why is it when the bubble bursts, no one at the top suffers? I saw the internet as the holy grail of job booms for my generation. I can thank the greedy nature of America for dashing the dreams of thousands like me. Did I get rich off the internet? No. Did I lose my shirt from the bust? Almost.

I went to work after being laid off with a company called metricom, I tested wireless bandwidth. The pay was good and the work interesting to say the least. They went under after I had been with them for three months. I was feeling pretty desperate by this point and was considering going back to waiting tables when I got the call from CNN domestic. They wanted me but I had to take a pay cut. I accepted their offer.

What is the point of this? I am computer literate, I don't need much instruction, I readily understand the basic mechanics of electronics. I never even applied to my present position. I am known for my expertise with streaming video. I am nothing but an overeducated robot. Too bad I can't afford the bandwidth to host my own streaming media site, alas, perhaps one day when I am old and gray and no longer sexually desirable....

Reflections at five years with the company. Message to self, don't be here in five more years because if you are, you need to go ahead and find a high place and jump.

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