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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
the previously promised details...

Yes, I'm staying with Magenic. I love my job and you couldn't ask for a better company to work for.

So why the move?

I've been living in South Carolina and working for an office in Atlanta for a company based in Minneapolis. I've been traveling nearly 100% and simply put, I'm a bit tired of it. I'm tired of never being home, never seeing friends or family, never really getting a day off...

When I wasn't traveling, I was at the shop. If you've ever owned a retail business before, you know there is very little downtime... especially on the weekends. I LOVED owning Reality Check Games, and I had a blast doing so. It's a great business with a fantastic community of regulars. I'll miss them, and I hope I can find a buyer for the store.

Part of being successful at a company like Magenic, or any MS Partner, is exposure. Getting out to Code Camps, User Groups, Conferences, etc... Writing articles, books, blogging... Playing with new technologies... community involvement. You get the idea.  Sure you can have a good solid career without doing a lot of these things, but if you really really want to shine and be recognized, these things are a must.  (This is, for the record, also part of the path to MVP.)

The problem is... between traveling 100%, living 2 hours away from my office, owning a business that devoured my weekends and attempting to have some semblance of a social life, some things were getting the short end, and I was burning out.

So... in an effort to save my sanity, I decided to look around and evaluate my options.

I considered leaving Magenic, but that wasn't really a solution. All the other companies I looked at would have involved travel. Simply put, there aren't a lot of tech jobs where I live. Certainly not any that pay what I'm used to making. But I didn't really want to hop from one travel job to another... what would that accomplish?

I considered moving to Atlanta to be closer to the office. I figured maybe get some local gigs. That didn't take long to rule out... No offense, but you couldn't pay me enough to live in Atlanta. Too much traffic, too much crime, too much of everything. So that wasn't really a good option either. Besides it's too hot in Atlanta.

And honestly, it's too damn hot in South Carolina too.  I grew up in Virginia, which means we had all four season, and snow.. lots of snow. I like snow. Doesn't everyone?

So if I wasn't willing to move to Atlanta, or change employers, what did that leave? Well I could relocate to another office or keep traveling 100% and watch my health, sanity and community involvement start circling the drain.

A few weeks ago, I was up in Minneapolis for a travel gig, and I thought... you know, this place is nice. Nice people, lots of lakes, freakishly cold-ass winters... and of course, lots of Hockey.  sounds good to me.  So, over dinner, when someone jokingly suggested I move up here... I thought to myself, WHY NOT?

I gave it some thought for a few days. Talked to a few folks, did some quick searches, thought some more and then decided to pursue it a little further. I talked to the manager up here in MN... we discussed details like money, expectations, timelines, etc... and came to an agreement.

So... by moving to a city with lots (and I mean LOTS) of local work, the likelihood of having to travel again anytime soon is pretty low. It could still happen, of course, but generally speaking most guys up here never have to travel. Selling Reality Check Games means my weekends will be free too.

It will be nice to be home for dinner, home to help with homework, home to work on all the little projects I never had time for... like writing more articles, coming up with presentations, learning new technologies, finishing my robot, etc...

Reality Check Games

There's always a chance we won't be able to sell the shop in time (<3 weeks to go) and if that's the case, well I'll keep what I want and have a big sale and then liquidate the rest on ebay... and I'll have the most awesomest game room any house has ever seen.

I'm definitely keeping my arcade games either way. (I'm up to 6 now: Championship Shootout, Donkey Kong 3, D&D Tower of Doom, D&D Shadow Over Mystara, Fire Fight and my MAME Cabinet. I ended up selling my Crystal Castles a while back.)

So, that's it?

Pretty much. Found a house and a neighborhood that I really like. Gonna lease it for a year or two to see if I still like them both, and if so then I have the option to buy. I'll be up in Minneapolis by the end of the month, just in time to hook up with D'Arcy for a beer before his Falcons game. I have a feeling he's going to need a bunch of them by the time it's over.

I've already made contact with the local DE, so give me a month or so to settle in and then start looking for me at your local user groups, code camps, etc... cause I'm gonna be everywhere. I've already been tapped to do an XNA session for the local Minneapolis Code Camp 3.0 and invited to by D'Arcy to raid Canada...

It's good to be back... and it's good to be working for Magenic. They take good care of their people.
Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2007 12:52 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: ch ch ch changes, part 2...

# re: ch ch ch changes, part 2...
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I hope all goes well. I can't even begin to understand what it is like to leave the business behind.

Good luck!!!! I am looking forward to the enhanced blogging!
Left by Jeff Julian on Aug 08, 2007 3:58 PM

# re: ch ch ch changes, part 2...
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If you have to liquidate, shoot me an e-mail and let me know. I'm always up for a good sale. :)
Left by Paul on Aug 08, 2007 4:16 PM

# re: ch ch ch changes, part 2...
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I must admit I'm shocked by this. I thought the gaming store was the Dream and the work was just a means to that end. Now you're giving up the store for the work? I'm sure the commuting has to be a royal PITA so can't blame ya there!

I wish ya all the best! Thinking about starting up another store in Minn?
Left by stevenc on Aug 08, 2007 4:16 PM

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