Last day at Hillcrest

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted anything to the website, but this event is a biggie and one I’d like to share with everyone.

Right after graduating from TSTC in 1998 I was lucky enough to get on at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco as a Help Desk tech… December 1998 to be exact. Since working here, I’ve had the pleasure to work with MANY great people, all of which have become very close friends over the years… a true family. I started moving up the ranks, and now almost 9 years later I’ve been a Help Desk Tech, PC Tech, DBA, and Webmaster.

As all great things do, my time at Hillcrest has come to an end. It was a VERY hard decision, but to some degree it’s a decision actually prompted by Hillcrest. Beginning June 2007 Hillcrest brought in a management firm called CHC to help oversee the hospital since we lost our CEO earlier this year, and the first thing they did was cut several top executives.

Any cuts gives employees the heebie-jeebies, but it wasn’t until directors started getting word that they had to also cut X number of people that we all knew it was for real. Even though the head of Hillcrest’s board told the Waco paper these cuts were rumors, with a family and baby on the way, I had to be proactive. I started getting resumes out early June to make sure I could secure something for that ‘just in case’ scenario.

In my job searching, I found several prospects, one of which being with First City Financial. A good friend of mine, John Kramolis, went over there after Hillcrest let him go during a lay-off about 4 years ago, and he told me of a Microsoft .Net programming position they had open. Well I applied, interviewed, and they made me an awesome offer.

It took some time to decide one way or another because honestly I love what I do at Hillcrest and enjoy working with everyone up here… but with lay-offs it seems every 3 or so years, stability was a key issue.

Before final word from FC came through, the day hit. Tuesday, June 26th. One by one co-workers were called into their managers offices and given the news that was their last day, and after all was done, over 70 people had been cut. I wasn’t one, but many of my closest friends were now jobless. The Waco Trib posted two articles about this – article one and article two. The next day I got final word from FC that the job was mine if I wanted it, and I accepted, putting in my two weeks notice on Friday, June 29th.

In my almost 9 years of working at Hillcrest, I had never interviewed for another job because I love working here. I still love working here… but I honestly don’t know what this place will look like in 2-3 years. This was a decision I had to make both for my family and also for my professional career. Microsoft .Net is where it’s going now’days, and having this chance to learn it is a wonderful opportunity. Also, I look forward to working with John again and the other guys at First City. I’ve met everyone on the technical side, and they seem like a great group of guys… Hopefully my geekiness will fit in [grin].

As for today, it’s the eve of my last day at Hillcrest. I’ve spent much of this week going through the 9 years of crap I’ve collected in my office, and it’s definitely weird. I found Christmas gifts from years past, notes from co-workers and family members who are no longer here, even a wedding invitation, which I’m now scratching my head wondering if it was meant for someone. Woops… As I choose what comes home and gets thrown away, it’s obvious this has been my home with family all around, and tomorrow will be tough walking out those double-doors and getting into that elevator for the last time. Hopefully they’ll keep me on part-time, so I’ll still be around in some capacity, but it won’t be the same.

This is definitely a new chapter in that great book of life, and I’m anxious to see what lies ahead. I know it’ll be different, something better, some things worse, but I do know it’ll be fun none the less.

– Sam