Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Marathons and Technologies

Several of my friends registered for the Chicago Marathon and now for various reasons, cannot participate.  Some are injured, some are undertrained, some have physically relocated. 

The Chicago Marathon's official stance is that you cannot trade or transfer your bib and there is no deferral option.  The dubious reason given is for insurance purposes.  Apparently if something happens to you while you're running under someone else's name, you wouldn't be covered by the insurance policy and I suppose technically the waiver "you" signed wouldn't apply.

It's an unfortunate situation especially since the entry fee is about $150.   Which means people are gonna do it anyway.  The risk of getting caught is low and the desire to recover at least some of your money usually outweighs any moral dilemmas. 

The Powers-That-Be at the Chicago Marathon should really just accept it and come up with a system to transfer or defer your entry.  They could charge a modest fee and impose a limit such as must be done at least 30 days before the marathon and limited to 500 people.  I'm certain the technology exists since the New York Marathon use to let you defer and other races allow you to switch from one event to another. 

However, just like the Cubs will probably never have to worry about attendance, the Chicago Marathon will never have to appease the average runner as long as it keeps attracting the elite world record changers.

You wouldn't go to Podiatrist a when you need a Oncologist. Or Urologist when you really need a Neurosurgeon. Sure they all might have sat in the same anatomy course back in Med School, but their career paths and specialties are vastly different.

Very few in IT look this good
 It's like that in a lot of fields. There are different types of lawyers. Even different types of accountants.

Yet for some reason, people lump everyone in Information Technology under the same umbrella.  They think we are sitting around, holding hands and singing Kumbaya about the servers or something.

Here's the thing.  Some IT people write code.  Some IT people manage databases.  Some people create web sites.  Some IT people fix broken desktops and laptops.

Most start out in a lower level role and work their way up to something more lucrative, important and impressive. 

When I tell people that I work in IT, they immediately start telling me about their computer problems, which can all be diagnosed as you are using a piece of technology you do not fully understand, please find an 8 year old to explain it to you immediately.

My job itself is hard to explain even to other IT people.  Usually I can get away with saying I'm a SME (Subject Matter Expert) or Application Manager.  Basically I'm riding the coattails of the product I supported at the No-Name Software Company.  It has kept me employed through a couple of recessions.  Meanwhile, I also strive to learn new technologies so as not to get pigeon holed into one product that might someday become obsolete, like Lotus Notes.

1 comment:

  1. After illegally selling my bib to another runner, I was able to legally get into a sold out 10 mile race here because someone I met here couldn't make it and transferred his bib to me. :) I'm learning that most races in this state let you do that. Yet, another reason to look for a home here. ;)


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