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Meet Sam -- This Week's Featured Employee

September 17, 2010


This week's Featured Employee is Sam, Guidance's longest standing employee. Sam is a Managing Director for one of Guidance's biggest and oldest accounts. We asked Sam to answer a few questions for us, check them out:

What’s your title?
Managing Director

How long have you been at Guidance?
13 years, 8 months, 11 days, and I'm the only one who's been around long enough to verify that ;-)

Tell us about your hometown.
I grew up in Wilmington, California, known as "The Heart of the Harbor". Unfortunately, gangs were pretty rampant and so where drug dealers, so we moved to Lomita. Once, the Lomita Sheriffs pulled me over in front of my new house after I did a totally legal U-turn. Because of the old address on my license, however, two other police cars and two DEA cars pulled up very soon behind me as well. Sweaty and nervous, I had a couple of detectives saying things like - "You know, we find that people that use cocaine are often sweaty and nervous. Are you on any narcotics?" It was a welcome relief from being intimidated by gang members and their pit bulls, so I took it all in stride, and kind of appreciated that my new neighborhood was very much into keeping out the riffraff.

What city do you currently live in?
Carson, California – with a Long Beach zip code, which makes getting any kind of service almost impossible, as each thinks the other one is responsible for coverage.

How did you decide on this career?
One of Guidance's founders offered me a job after I'd taken a course in ColdFusion.

What was the oddest job you ever held?
Guidance has been my first full time job, and I got to see all the strange and amazing characters come through this place - myself included. Fortunately for me, just a few months before, Quarterdeck declined to hire me after I tried to fix their “sample a problem vs. explain it via an email” to a fictitious customer (always read all of the directions before starting your task!). I also answered, "Ask them to calm down and call back later?" to the question "What would you do when you have an angry customer on the line." Oh, yes - it was a customer service call center position. I was 20, a homebody who hated the phone.

What do you like most about working at Guidance?
That this group of smart, fun loving people still let me in the door every day. I've learned … everything here. Years of high impact situations have left me with a great deal more confidence than I ever had. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm cavalier or apathetic about things; just calm enough to deal with things as they come and work through tough situations until they are resolved.

What are you currently working on?
I'm coming up with an alternative to a client's highly successful caching scheme that has been in use since I wrote it back in August 2000. This time, the goal is to make the data even more reusable, and consume less memory; all while still fulfilling the client's need to promote data across all servers at once, quickly refresh their catalog data, and still maintain the 1ms lightning fast cache read time. Here's a picture of Sam at work!
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