Which one to wear?
Hi there, I’m Eric. I am the manager of Information Systems and eServices. What exactly does that mean? If it has to do with computers and technology, I am likely involved in one way or another.
I wear many hats.
We have all heard that saying. In fact, between work, social and personal aspects of our lives, we all wear many hats. Some even wear many hats specifically in their work life... I am one of those people. Some of my hats include managing servers and workstations, to working with a team creating online storefronts, to helping our sales staff with presentations and demonstrations. That is the short list off of the top of my head.
But I love it, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
So, why am I so eager to wear so many hats? My formal education is in Print Management, but my passion and drive is computers and technology. I always enjoyed computers and found that working on them came naturally. When planning my career, I decided that work was important to me, and I needed to ensure that I enjoyed it. You see, I am naturally a work-a-holic. So, when starting my career, I joined my education with my hobby. The result is being able to say that I love work. But, why Print Management?
"You see, I am naturally a work-a-holic."
The high school years
As a sophomore at St. John’s Jesuit High School, I completed two years of computer curriculum in three weeks. Not knowing what to do with me, I was dished off on the yearbook moderator, Tom Harms, and put to work. My first task? I was given the title “Index Editor” and was asked to learn the new indexing software and catalog every reference to students in photos and copy. I then designed the layout for the index section of the yearbook. If memory serves me correctly, it was 20 pages that I was responsible for. But, those 20 pages are usually the first place a student checks when getting their book. So, my role was an important one.
My natural curiosity was encouraged by Tom on a daily basis. I finally had something in school that interested me, and something that drove me to succeed. I worked harder in school, and eagerly awaited 3:00 when I could again work in the yearbook lab. I would call Tom in the evening to run something by him, and his wife would always ask what I was doing at school at 8:00 at night. (See, I have always been a work-a-holic!) I continued to put my energy into the yearbook for the duration of my high school career (and even a year afterward helping with the index) and was the editor-in-chief for my junior and senior years.
I was intrigued by everything that went into creating a yearbook, from photos and picas, to fonts (or faunts as I called them) to design and spreads. I was obsessed with everything involved, including printing. So, I decided to study the industry in college, and I was accepted into the Print Management program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Due to my involvement in yearbook, Tom suggested that I attend a local seminar put on by Metzgers Prepress. It was then that I met Joe Metzger. I will never forget our first interaction -- I was sitting in the front row of his first session. I don't remember the topic, but I will never forget how he started the presentation: "I didn't have time to proofread these slides, so the first person to find a typo will get a Metzgers polo shirt."
Overhead transparency two came up, and I raised my hand and said "Mr. Metzger, there is a typo on line two." Joe tossed the shirt my way, the group of professionals had a chuckle, and he went on with his session. Later that day, Joe and I exchanged contact information and I started down the path of my career at Metzgers and in the printing industry.
Little did I know that I would spend time over the subsequent years proofreading Joe's proposals and presentations. And yes, I still occasionally wear that shirt, some 15 years later.
"Mr. Metzger, there is a typo on line two."
So, how about those hats?
There is a lot that I want to talk about, and I want to save more for other blog posts. But, I wanted to introduce you to one of the hats that I wear. In fact, it is the one that many of our customers have seen me wear.
The light bulb moment
It is actually one of the least technical hats that I own. I love to work alongside our account managers in meetings with customers. I love to show off our technology and what our eServices group is able to offer to customers. My passion for technology really shines. I thrive for the Light Bulb Moment when a customer can envision how our services will help them and their organization. I love the challenge of a scenario or service that we may not be offering yet, and how to make it work. These are all things that I experience and share with our customers on a regular basis.
I learned at a young age that you have to love what you do for a living. If you dread getting up in the morning, it may be time to examine what you do every day. That is why I built my career around technology, and why I love work. I consider myself fortunate because I am able to say that, and I hope that you are able to feel the same way.