Today is the 24th anniversary of my starting my current job at what was then called IDX Systems Corporation — a software firm specializing in healthcare information systems, including radiology, hospital and large practice revenue cycle, scheduling, clinical data management, etcetera, etcetera. The firm was purchased by GE in 2005 and made part of GE Healthcare (mostly because GE wanted our radiology software). Fourteen years later in 2019 we were spun back off to a new entity called “Virence” — all except radiology and imaging solutions, which GE kept — and purchased by a venture capital firm, Veritas. Veritas merged us with another newly purchased company, athenahealth, which specialized with cloud-based revenue cycle solutions for smaller practices, and the new merged entity took on the “athenahealth” name. (We were pretty happy about that, as basically none of us liked the coined-by-marketing name “Virence”.) Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital purchased athenahealth from Veritas in 2021 and that’s how the situation stands now.
So, depending on how you count things, I’m either on my third employer or my fifth — but I’m still in the exact same position. I almost said “exact same job” but didn’t, because even though I am technically in the same position, the position has changed very very drastically over the years and bears little to no resemblance to what it started out as. I started as a technical trainer and now am a Senior Consulting Services Manager (with no one reporting to me) who does some of everything. Well, everything except legal and accounting — I’ve done development, support, installs, marketing, training… whatever they ask me to do. I guess one factor that contributes to my still being here after all these years is that I’ve tried very hard to never say “no” to anything they ask me to do, even if I have absolutely no idea how to do it at the moment. They wouldn’t ask me if they didn’t think I could pick it up quickly and I’ve never said “yes” and then had to say “sorry, no, I can’t do that after all.”
My job involved an enormous amount of travel some years — sometimes as much as 40 weeks out of the year. For the last two years, however, I’ve done no business travel at all; everything has been virtual. (I have my first scheduled onsite customer visit since March of 2020 in a few weeks… shuffling off to Buffalo, NY, as it happens.) I always liked to say “I get to travel a lot” instead of “I have to travel a lot” because, frankly, I really liked the variety and the new experiences and the whole “heading off on a mission to a strange and faraway location each week” thing. The travel was always to domestic locations and, while they’ve never sent me to Alaska or Hawaii, I’ve been on business trips just about everywhere else in the USA. (I crossed Hawaii off, marking my fiftieth state, while on vacation in February of 2017.)
All in all, I can’t complain about my lot in life and my employment history here. I’m well paid and I’ve been fortunate to almost always have good managers over me, people who know that I am trustworthy and reliable and don’t feel a need to micro-manage. I’m able to do all this while still living in Vermont (the 24th anniversary of Carole and me moving here was two days ago, in fact; we moved up here on Saturday, May 16, 1998) — and I’ve always sort of thought that all those trips to big crowded cities have had a lot to do with making me appreciate coming home to Vermont that much more.