Isolated Pawn: A Rook’s View – Nathan Gomes

For those not aware, an isolated pawn is a term in chess where a pawn does not have a pawn of the same color next to him. This is a piece of terminology and obviously not how I feel at F12. I highly doubt that any new employee would describe their first few months at F12 as isolated.

When I arrived at F12, I came from job that was mentally unsatisfying and just boring. I had reached a point where I needed change and so school came into the picture. When I landed at F12 the way the office works, the way employees treat one another, the very work environment was so different compared to what I was used to, it seemed alien to me. I was a backward pawn in a game of blitz chess it seemed. A job was offered to me, much to my surprise and delight, and I realized that everyone in my office and all those I’ve met from other offices, were quite welcoming and warm. In my service manager I found a relaxed and ready to teach leader, instead of the dark bishop I expected. In my general manager I found a king willing to listen, explain and inform for the sole purpose of everybody’s improvement. In my fellow employees I found knights willing to explain, guide and teach someone who lacks experience.

The company culture seems to be one of acceptance and not sacrifice, of learning and not stagnation, of moving forward and not stalemate. They accept the fact that mistakes will be made; it’s almost impossible not to in the world of computers. As long as you own and learn from the mistakes, keep the customer informed and care about their needs, you can move forward. After a short time here I’ve realized that I’m not expected to know everything, like I thought I might have to. F12 has some core values like “make I.T. fun” and “make I.T. easy”, that are positive ways to reinforce positive attitudes amongst staff that help give our customers the best possible experience when they might be at their most stressed. All of this adds up to more long-term maneuvering instead of a risky opening gambit, and in the world of IT minimizing risk is a part of the job!

This company design of respect, less blame and more problem solving and a fun, relaxed work environment is something I’m not used to. Although after experiencing it, I would like to think all work environments are like this. If not, this might be a work model worth looking into. In this respect, F12 is ahead of the pack. A place, where there is no major or minor pieces, is a workplace that is able to attract the best and brightest, and the best and brightest give the best service to our customers. And if we’re not here to give our customers the best service, then what are we doing here? Some places say they are the fastest, like they’re running on a chess clock. But with that kind of speed you have to question the quality of work. I personally would rather get it done right, than fast.

So all things considered this company philosophy of happy staff and quality customer service is something I can get behind. A company that invests in its employees and makes the needs of its customers a top priority can’t go wrong. Of course if we’re on our way up, does this mean that another company is on its way down? Our middle game too strong for them to adjust to? If all of this is true, then it’s only a matter of time before we deliver checkmate.


Nathan Gomes

System Specialist

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