Guest Blogger: Rachel Carmichael
Way back when I was a brand new Newbie, I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Carmichael.
Rachel was an Oracle DBA in New York City, co-authored ‘Oracle DBA 101’ and ‘Oracle 9i DBA 101’, was an active participant of the Oracle–L list and regularly attended many of the big conferences and events, including the UKOUG annual conference here in the UK.
Two years ago she embarked on a radical career change and disappeared from the Oracle community. Since then we have remained friends, and I often get people enquiring as to what she’s up to these days.
I decided it would be fun for Rachel to provide an update, in her own words, so here it is….
"So…….. to quote Mark Twain, “the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated” :-)
Two and a half years ago, I dropped out of the Oracle world. To be precise, I dropped out of IT completely. For a long time, I had been bored by what I was doing. Now I know that’s heresy, to the Oraclites out there it’s impossible to become bored with the minutiae of each new release. But, well, I used to insist I was never really a geek. This just went to prove that.
I’ve always loved animals and I had this idea for a company to do in-home care for geriatric and special needs pets. I decided that if I were a licensed veterinary technician it could only help sell the service, so I went back to school for a two-year degree. Now you have to remember, I’d been out of college for about 30 years at that point, most of my classmates were young enough to be my kids! It’s hard to get back into the routine of studying and taking tests and CARING about test results.
Two years of sciences, anatomy, microbiology, veterinary nursing (surgeries and care), veterinary laboratory procedures (do you KNOW how many parasites there are?), farm animal care (you haven’t truly lived until you’ve had your arm up to the armpit in a cow’s rectum)……
And I did it. Me, the non-science geek, the one who always got sick to her stomach when she saw the surgery shows on television. I’ve become fascinated by this stuff (yes, I’m definitely a medical geek now, I run to see maggots and talk about the size of the cancerous lump that was taken off and…..). I graduated, with high honors (my mother would have expected no less of me).
I went through laboratory animal training, I even worked as a part-time animal caretaker at a research facility – rats and mice and the occasional surgery on a pig. And I geeked over it all.
And now….. I work in the ICU of a specialty referral and emergency hospital in Manhattan, a cancer center in the city. I treat really sick animals. I lose my patients more often than I would like. I put in catheters, take blood… and my conversation much of each workday consists of “Oh goodie, you peed!” and “Oh stop it, just stop it, I’m not even sticking you with anything”.
And I love it. I have no regrets about my decision. I make less than 1/3 of what I made as an Oracle DBA. And I have thousands of times the happiness. There’s this incredible feeling of joy to see an animal I thought was going to die, who I’ve fallen in love with, sweated over, cried over… to see this pet go home healthy.
I’m still around, still have email and answer mail, still think of you all and miss you terribly. But I don’t miss (heresy!) Oracle for one second."
So there you have it.
If anybody wants to get in touch with Rachel, you can either leave a comment here (I know she'll be reading them!) or get in touch with me and I can pass details on.