Jenster's Musings

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Change in the Air

Our family, or at least our marriage, is about to take on a new dimension. Todd begins work with a new company next week. It will require a bit of travel - maybe a little more than he travels now only more spread out instead of two or three weeks every quarter. The real difference will be that he'll be working from home when he's not traveling. Did you get that? He will be working from HOME.

For the most part I'm looking forward to it. We'll be saving a bundle on petrol (doesn't that make me sound so very European?) and I think I've talked him into swimming with me. I'm hoping he'll drag me along on those days I don't want to go (which is probably just about every day). He will only require clean and pressed "nice" clothes when he travels - which really won't change much of anything for me because it's not like I iron like I should anyway. I'll also have a daily lunch buddy. I think it's going to be nice.

Realistically, however, I imagine there will be an adjustment period. Every time he's at home he throws me off my mojo and I'm not sure why. My routine just seems to go right out the window. That will not be acceptable if he's home every day. How in the world will I spend hours on the computer or reading with a messy kitchen and piles of laundry?

I am seriously proud of him. It's funny because when we were dating I knew he was smart, but I didn't know he was THIS smart. For the last several years he's been working in the electricity sector - not for an electric company, but for a Regional Transmission Office (RTO). I liken an RTO to an electricity broker. They "trade" electricity between electric companies in their region and watch the transmission lines, making sure they don't overload here or run out there. That's the Jenster's Mega-Simplified Version, but I think you can get an idea of what his company does.

Have you seen Live Free or Die Hard? If you haven't you should. It's one of the most realistic action movies I've ever seen. (That statement, my friends, is dripping with sarcasm.) If you can suspend belief it's awfully fun. Definitely one of my favorite car-chase-explosion-shoot-'em-up movies to date. The reason I bring it up is because a terrorist targets the electric grid, among other utilities. Imagine, if you will, what would happen if the entire US electric grid was shut down. It's not a pretty thought at all. Which is why it's high on Homeland Security's list of possible terrorist targets.

Which brings me to Todd's job. In a nutshell he's responsible for making sure the various departments are following procedures and compliant with the government regulations. All electricity entities, including the RTOs, are periodically audited and it can prove bad for them if they are found to be non-compliant.

He works with others across the U.S. and Canada in similar positions and the FBI and Homeland Security to come up with these regulated procedures to insure protection against a terrorist attack on the electric grid.

His new job is for NERC - North American Electric Reliability Corporation - the pseudo-government organization that does the auditing. Yup. He will no longer be the stressed out auditEE, if you will, but the in charge auditOR.

I know, I know. "Auditor" has such a negative connotation to it. But I like the idea of someone out there making sure these companies are doing what they need to be doing so we can continue to enjoy our a/c and TV and lights and refrigerated food and so on, not to mention health care machinery like life support, etc.

If you'll indulge my bragging just a smidgen longer. According to his new boss he is considered a national expert in the electricity sector. I admit it. I'm fairly preening with pride right now. That's my man. All mine!

He starts this new position in July, though he'll be at the home office in Princeton, New Jersey for a bit of it before we go to Hawaii. You know, orientation and all that. Then we'll be settling into our new arrangement. Should be interesting...

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:19 AM :: 16 People musing:

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