I Travel, I Geek, I Conquer

I'll begin with the requisite background story. Some of my co-bloggers have tales of enviable focus and multi-year plans that led them to land the perfect job. That's not how I got here. 

I tend to tell a lot of stories, and that's what I look forward to doing with this blog. Personally, I think the story about my first computer (a TRS-80 Model III)—and its standard-for-the-time-yet-oh-so-laughable-now 300 Baud modem that pulled text in from BBSes at a rate that was readable on the screen in real time--is an interesting one. However, those who hear this story generally fall into two camps:

1) Persons of my vintage for whom this was also the case and who therefore don't find it particularly fascinating, or

2) Younger persons who have no temporal link to that era of computing and hence don't find it particularly fascinating.

So I won't tell it again.

That does, however, serve as a reasonable segue into the roots of my love affair with technology. I wish I knew where and how I acquired my penchant for gadgets and tech but the truth is, I have no idea when the obsession started; in fact, I have no memories of not being this way. What I do remember from an early age is taking things apart and (usually) putting them back together.

What didn't begin until later in life was my obsession with travelling, food, cultures and languages. The common definition of someone who gets into things to the extent I do is “a geek.” As they say, if the shoe fits ... and fit it does. Techno/computer geek, travel geek, food geek, culture geek, language geek--all are equally applicable.

As for my job history, there's an overused phrase which I’ll call upon here only because it's the best way to describe my career: "Follow your happiness." As a phrase, it’s a little too new-agey for me, but I'm stuck with the fact that it fits.

I've been extraordinarily lucky throughout my career to find work that I honestly enjoy doing. Not every minute of every day, to be sure, but much more often than not I've had fun. In 14 years with IBM and Lenovo, I have gone from hardware and software testing to project management to desktop PC product management (3 years in Tokyo) to operations to my current position as competitive analyst and product/technology "Ambassador."

Much like my co-bloggers Gavin and Erik, my fundamental nature is to be more comfortable in Doc Martens and punk band t-shirts than “office wear.” And like them, it's something I've had to deal with in the corporate world. That said, self-expression takes many forms. Clothing is part of it, but for me a larger part is being able to spend your time doing and learning things that you find interesting. The latter is what truly floats my boat.

My name is Kevin and I am The Ambassador. I travel the world talking to customers, business partners and Lenovo sales teams about our engineering philosophy, our products and the technology that goes into them. I travel, I geek, I get paid to tear apart and talk about computers. Not a bad gig.