Michael Costolo 9:12pm, 24 September 2006
Just because I'm curious, what do we all do for work?

Technically I'm a materials scientist, but I spend too much time explaining what that means to people so I just say I'm a physicist. This isn't lying because physics is what I studied in college. Though back in graduate school I would often tell women I met that I was a plumber or a roofer because it got me fewer questions and weird looks ;)

I have always worked in industrial R&D. Much of the work I did in California is finally making its way into products now. As it has always been, the work I do is toward enabling products that won't exist for another decade or so. From hydrogen storage materials, to laser eye protection, to chem-bio defense technologies, I do a wide range of technology development.

The odd thing is that I spend all day around cutting edge technology, but have a thing for old manual cameras rather than the latest DSLRs. Perhaps it is the simplicity in the design, or perhaps it is that decades after they were built they still function perfectly that draws me to them. I have a medium format system right now that I'm very happy with and am hoping to get a 4x5 system soon. You know, to go with the darkroom I'm building.

How about you?
poopoorama PRO 12 years ago
I'm an animator at a game company. :)
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
I am between lives. I used to be in sales but I while I was good at it, I was not happy. I went back to school for a post degree certificate in public relations at Ryerson University in Toronto. I am also looking for work in my new field and I am going to tell you, changing careers is no picnic. I know what I want and I will work for it.

peylex 12 years ago
In another lifetime I was a paralegal - Now I'm staying home with my kids while they are young. Once they are all in school, I'm sure I'll go back to work but most likely in a different field. I worked for a personal injury law firm and sometimes I felt like the sleeze was wearing off on me. I need to find a more rewarding career...
Mayzshon 12 years ago
Currently, I manage an apartment complex, not the most fulfilling job in the world, but it pays the bills.
noicework Posted 12 years ago. Edited by noicework (member) 12 years ago
I manage a mental health urgent care clinic; our target populations are low-income, uninsured and "under"insured residents of the county I live in.

Photography keeps me sane.
picsbymac Posted 12 years ago. Edited by picsbymac (member) 12 years ago
I've stopped working. Before, I worked in the IT department of a national railway . About 2 1/2 years ago a running partner asked what I would do if I could start over (assuming I won the lottery). I figured that there was no reason to wait.

This past spring I graduated from a Landscape Design program and was fortunate to begin a contract in my new field. While I use my project management and facilitation training from IT, I don't feel like I'm working. Even on a crazy busy day I enjoy it that much.
David de Groot PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by David de Groot (member) 12 years ago
I'm a firewall administrator, but more often than not I just tell people I work with large computers (I added the large because inevitably the very next thing to come out of thier mouths was "can you fix my PC?").

Although I do a good job, I no longer really enjoy my work, in fact I've come to the conclusion that work is for paying the bills so I can have a lifestyle I enjoy. Thus on weekends I'm out in the yard, off taking photos, geocaching or learning how to go offroad in my new (to me) 4wd.

I feel compelled to say I wanted to be a lumberjack, leaping from tree to tree, but that'd be wrong ;-)
photo by Alison 12 years ago
oooooh, he's a lumberjack and he's ok.....

LOL ....sorry David!

Hey, I'm a stay at home mum this year. My girls are both at school now so next year I'll go back to being a casual Primary school teacher, a few days a week. I love teaching kids... it's often hard work, but so satisfying when you can see that they have a "light bulb" moment, or when they just enjoy the fun stuff we do together.
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
It is interesting to see how many of us are less than satisfied with our career choices. Why do they make that lottery so damn hard to win?

I'd love to get out of industry and teach. I just can't afford the pay cut.
Alina Smith: Works 12 years ago
I've been a photographer for years, and am currently a student in photography. I'm getting the feeling that's not common here in our little group, and I'm feeling pretty lucky. :)
Bill Smith1 PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Bill Smith1 (member) 12 years ago
Well, for now I am really enjoying public relations, mostly volunteer work and school.

What I really want to do 10 years from now when I have enough experience, reputation and credentials, I want to start my own agency and maybe have a black and white photo gallery on the side.

Another cool idea, considering that Toronto's camera stores pay lip service to film and seem to be on a death wish to compete against the Best Buys of the world. I would love open up a camera store that sells film, darkroom stuff and used gear like Blue Moon Camera out of Portland Oregon. I live in a region that has 6 million people within 2 two hour drive either way, there is a hole to fill.

I think the PR route will suit me over time as I have done my time in retail in both the store floor and corporate. Plus the pay is good and I can afford some cool gear.

photo by Alison 12 years ago
Wow, now there's some goals... something to work hard for. Good on you, Bill. I'm sure you'll achieve them! And then - when you are famous you could invite us to show some of our photos in your gallery too.... visiting photographers from around the world.... I can see it now!
dglennon 12 years ago
I'm in the complaint department, but don't send any of your dead parrots to me.

In the real world I'm a computer programmer. I mostly stick to web site application development.

My father, a police officer, was interested in photography. He did it for the PD and set up their lab. I picked up my first SLR from him. I don't consider myself a great photographer, but I enjoy doing it so I'll keep on keepin' on.
carnun Posted 12 years ago. Edited by carnun (member) 12 years ago
Hmmm.. I have an M.Sc in Mathematics, but I've been a software engineer on the Southern African Large Telescope for the last 5 years. Really a great job - very hi-tech (unlike my film cameras), but it's time to move on so that'll only last until the end of the year.

In the mean time I'm trying to launch a software project to support Mathematics teachers in South Africa. We've got a huge problem with Maths here and I love helping people develop skills so this will hopefully lead to my dream job!

Unfortunately there is no way the project is gonna fly if I don't get funding before the end of the year and getting funding is a slow process... If I didn't have a kid I would risk it and try to live off rice and wine, but unfortunately 11 month olds need lots of nappies so if there's no funding I'll have to go job hunting again...
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Bill: We think alike. I'm hoping to have my darkroom techinques to the point where I can have an gallery/archival b/w printing business running in about that time frame. (All the pro labs in this area have ditched enlarger prints). A gallery to go along with it would be great and was not something I'd thought about before. I've got the equipment, now it 's just a matter of the skills. My darkroom classes begin at the art museum next week ;)

Though I enjoy my day job right now, it is essentially the same as being self-employeed. You bring in the money, you get a paycheck. I figure I might as well have my own business where I at least get to manage the overhead and realize my profits. The day job is great experience in heading that way though. I've learned more about running a business than I ever thought I would (have to).

Like they say, you gotta have goals...
Riccardo Mori PRO 12 years ago
I'm a freelance translator (mostly - but not limited to - technical stuff), technical writer (and writer in general) and IT consultant.

I would be enjoying what I do, if it weren't for the wild jungle that is the translation field, especially if you're a freelance. Most of the work must be done promptly and with nearly impossible deadlines, then when it's time to pay all the urge strangely wears off. And I have to wait months before a payment comes. Fortunately this doesn't happen with all of my clients.

I'm slowly working on offering more services: I've always been fascinated and attracted by typography and book design and after some years of practice in the filed, I'm finally studying the theory behind those things by myself, because I need to fill this weird little gap (people used to take a look at some books I designed and printed during the university years and couldn't believe I hadn't attended some design or typography class or school).

My intellectual curiosity has always been strong and therefore my interest in photography sparked soon, at age 12 or 13. Then I left it to rediscover it with digital photography a few years back. And now that I know more, I'm returning to film.

Whew, I've been a little verbose. Thanks for reading.
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Riccardo: Ever played with TeX or LaTeX? If you're into typography, you'll dig this way over MS Word, etc. I typeset all my own documents using LaTeX. I use Word at work because I have to, but that's word processing and not typesetting. Word sucks at anything over about 5 pages.
Riccardo Mori PRO 12 years ago
Mike: I fiddled with LaTeX a while back, actually. As for the unnamable word processor you mention, I rarely use it. I have it on my Mac only to open certain documents my clients send me. When a translation is needed without particular styles, I insist on using RTF or TXT files, and I use text editors such as TextEdit, Tex-Edit Plus or BBEdit. When a translation has to be made on a book template already prepared, I work with Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, accordingly. Oh, and I was forgetting PDF files.

Thanks for reminding me of TeX and LaTeX – I should study those more. :)
carnun 12 years ago
Thought I should at least show you guys what the telescope I work on looks like;-)

Michael Costolo 12 years ago
That's SALT in the background?
carnun 12 years ago
Yeah, the foreground's the louvres of the 74" telescope (SALT's a 10meter telescope so approx 400" ;-).
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
That's a big scope! What are the louvres for?
carnun Posted 12 years ago. Edited by carnun (member) 12 years ago
Basically to keep the direct sunlight off the telescope wall so that the temperature inside and outside can be equalized easily.

On SALT we have a huge aircon system that pumps the building cold during the day and then open up vents and stuph during the night to keep it that way. Even though it's sunny and warm in the rest of South Africa Sutherland just had a little snow on Wednesday - go figure - snow in the spring time.
mammoth bit [deleted] 10 years ago
I'm bored with my work at the moment, hence all the posts to old threads. I'm a pharmacist. Didn't like working behind the dispensary counter much. I'm working in drug information now which would be alright if it wasn't so damn slow. I'd rather stay home with the kids if I had the choice but bills need paying.
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