What's Up With Edwin?

  • Posted on: 16 July 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

Edwin: Hi Shawn, I am Edwin Wessels, currently 38 years old and living in Zoetermeer the Netherlands. I was born on Curacao, the Dutch Antilles and lived there for 4 years before moving to the Netherlands where I am currently working for the ING bank.

Shawn: Let's talk about your IT career. Where did you graduate? What have you done since then?

Edwin: Okay, I have started my IT training when I was around 19 years. I studied at the Haagse Hogeschool (dutch University in the Hague). I never finished the course due to me deciding I was better of working (I still regret that in a way but no point in looking back).
When I decided to working my first IT job was with Apple Ireland as a Customer Service Agent. This was first line troubleshooting support with customers, no business. After a little bit over 1 year I was offered a job with the Customer Care support, this was basically handeling customers with complaints.
Then I had an opportunity to work for Blizzard as a GM for World of Warcraft, yeah, I couldn't resist. I did this for a few months before moving back to the Netherlands.
Back in the Netherlands I started working as a 1st line agent with Sitel to support HP business printers, ranging from simple printers to the large A1 printers and everything that came with it. After a while I made promotion to a trainer for the Inkjet department which I did for well over a year. After that I got another job opportunity.
I was invited to become Team Lead for Smartfix for an English team that was to be launched shortly after I would start there. This never happened. The support we were giving was ranging from simple OS support to installing WiFi, Kaspersky support and at a certain point also installing fiber optics. After spending there for 1 year the company went broke and I was let go.
At this point I moved back to Zoetermeer and shortly after getting back there I was offered a job with Siemens as a first line agent for Royal Haskoning. The support we gave here was in dutch or in English and was ranging from simple OS questions to software related. I did this for 1.5 years before Royal Haskoning outsourced their service desk to an Indian company. During this transition I was offered a job with ING.
Currently I am working for the ING group in the Netherlands. My work is a 24/7 365 job as we are monitoring the servers for the ING grp. I work mainly with the z/OS servers from IBM and HP machines. Another part is working on Unix/Windows systems aswell.

Shawn: What was Blizzard was like?

Edwin: Sure, The job for Blizzard was located in Velizy, France. A weird place for a company that wanted to attact multiple languages but they made it happen. when I started working for Blizzard it was just before the European launch. We started with the support for Beta with the general questions around and then also were allowed to assist when the game was launched. This was a great event and even Mike Morhaine came over from Blizzard HQ and spoiled us with presents (Collector's Edition for World of Warcraft, all of the Diablo games and also all of the Warcraft games). We had several tools to be used ranging from a simple quest helper to a tool to allow us to teleport all over island and then return to the GM island.
Shortly after that when the servers opened the support we were giving was ranging from questions of people being stuck to people being hacking. Each incident we had to investigate but we were never allowed to show ourselves to the player. This gave some fun moments and some fun talks. The atmosphere with Blizzard was friendly at that time and the only stress there was, was to do the tickets and then after 8.5hrs you were free to do what you want and head home. From what I have been told by old colleagues is that after I left the atmosphere changed when people needed to make quota's with the tickets and the enviroment got less friendly. No idea how it is nowadays.

Shawn: "never allowed to show ourselves" -- I love the idea of the GM / God with the unseen hand.

Edwin: Yeah, there was some leniency when the beta ended and we were allowed to interact with the players. Some of us duel'ed players with an invinciblity on as well which gave us some entertainment

Shawn: awesome! With all of the languages under your belt: how many languages do you speak?

Edwin: I speak Dutch and English fluent, I can read some minor german and speak it minor but not even a full conversation.

Shawn: don't you have Arabic languages under your belt, too?

Edwin: I used to speak, write and read it when I was around the age of 8. This was due to the fact I was living in Saudia Arabia for 2 years due to my father working there for Shell. Unfortunately I never continued with it and lost all the ability ever since. Something, once more in hindsight, would have landed me some pretty awesome jobs should I have known it now.

Shawn: That's still really cool that you can pick up languages.

Edwin: Nowadays not anymore when I got older I lost that knack for it and never had a real interest in it. English I have been speaking / reading / writing since I was 8 as well. But I continued that language and it is still my prefered language over dutch

Shawn: English is behind; or do you actually prefer it to Dutch? Edwin : I prefer it to dutch

Shawn: Wow. That's cool.

Edwin: I find it easier to control my thoughts / speech in english, while I am stumbeling over the dutch words at times. Also it ties back to my enjoyement of reading my books in english, movies / series in english without subtitles and I still enjoy, when I can RPG sessions which are in english as well

Shawn: There is a LOT of pop-culture in English So what are your plans for 2014?

Edwin: Yeah there is. It is hard for me to see why I prefer the English but somewhere down the line it was prefered.
I am currently working on myself in various ways.
I have started to pick up Crossfit to work on my shape, condition and weightloss. This is something I have started to love and I am looking forward to it everytime to the next session even if I end up exhausted, near death after a full workout. Combine that with focusing on my eating pattern I am hoping to lose a significant amount of weight.
For the rest, there are some other plans that I am hoping I can still fullfill and if it goes well I am still looking into moving to Canada later this year.

Shawn: Where are you going career wise? Are you staying in IT?

Edwin: At the moment I am still in the IT but in all fairness, my heart isn't in it anymore. I have been doing it now for close to 20 years and I have always been in a support role and it has worn me down. Combine that with a 24/7 work right now and sleeping problems for me, I am not enjoying it anymore.
As it stands now I am looking into expanding my career into the diving industry. I am planning to become an Instructor for GUE and make that my work so that I can enjoy a different, more vibrant career.

Shawn: You're trained for the cold water diving, right? How is that different?

Edwin: I am, the water in the Netherlands is cold in the winter. The difference between cold and warm/tropical water is the protection you wear during dives. For example most diving in the tropical is done in 3mm or 5mm wetsuits. which means when you get out of the water you are can remove the wetsuit and don't have any fear of overheating. Now in cold water most people either dive with double 7mm wetsuits, but that happens roughly from march till oct most of the time since it can get cold when you get out of the water. The other option is a drysuit which gives you a better isolation in the winter and also for longer dives. Due to the use of Drysuit you have more options for diving and you can continue to dive even if the temp is below 0 celsius.

Shawn: What got you interested in diving in the first place?

Edwin: It kind of started due to my dad who used to dive on Curacao. And about 12 years ago we had a reunion on Curacao and I had my first diving experience there.
Then about 5 years ago someone gave me the idea for diving to combine it with an restaurant and then to merge both options together with other water sport options as well.

Shawn: Do you do any underwater photography?

Edwin: Nothing so far, I do want to get in it but the price for the camera and underwater house is a bit to expensive at this moment. I do enjoy watching photo's from others from underwater

Shawn: You dive with friends, right? How did you get into that group?

Edwin: I do, When I decided to start with diving I went to a nearby diving store and signed up there for the diving courses. Over time I the people I went diving with became friends. Slowly that grew as new people got into diving and I got into the GUE community for diving as well

Shawn: Where does your instructor stuff sit? Are you doing it now? Or are you already at an instructor-level?

Edwin: For PADI I am a rescue diver, which means that I will need to Divemaster before starting the Instructor course. I haven't started that one yet as there are other things I want to sort out before commiting to it as I will be responsible for the lives of others as well. As for GUE, I am currently on Fundementals level. I will need to take either a Tech 1 course, which is diving towards 55m depth with Trimix. or do Cave 1 course. Once I have completed either one of those I can start the instructor course for GUE.

Shawn: This has been awesome. Thank you for doing this.

Edwin: no problem, was fun to do

Shawn: One last question: what's your website ?

Edwin: http://www.edwinwessels.com

Shawn: Thanks!

Edwin: No problem

Last updated date

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 10:29