In about a week and a half, I start my new job. Last week, I emailed my future boss and asked him what the specs were on the PC that I would be using in the new job. Why was I obsessing about something as minor as the PC I would be using? Because as a developer, that is the tool I use to do my job! If the tools I use to do my job are not up to the task, then I cannot do my job. In addition, I was concerned because of general health concerns. Regular keyboards tend to cause Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and many mice can cause a bad case of 'mouse shoulder'. Obviously I want to have a PC that will allow me to do my job well and not injure my health in the process.
He sent me the specs on the PC. After reviewing these specs, I decided that they were not adequate to do my job quickly and safely to my health. I sent him a list of what I felt I needed in a PC and asked if it would be possible to get a PC with these specs. I also justified every one of the upgraded specs that I asked for. To my surprise, he readily agreed to buy me the exact computer specs I was asking for. Today he sent me the final specs on the PC that he ordered for me, and I am quite happy with the looks of this PC he ordered for me. It looks to be darn near a top of the line PC.
In my current job, my PC is decent, but my monitor is not. For almost 1 1/2 years at my current job, I had a nice 19" LCD monitor. This is a great monitor, especially for someone with bad eyesight, as I have. LCD monitors do not have the refresh problems that CRTs have. This makes them much easier on the eyes, especially when you are staring at it for 8 hours at a time. I was quite happy with my work PC. That changed about two months ago. Two months ago, I got moved from one building to another. When they announced this move, they told us to pack up our PCs but leave our monitors where they were. I had gone by the other building to check out where I was being moved to. All I saw was a sea of tiny desks in a giant room. Each desk had an ancient, piece of junk CRT monitor sitting on it. This means that once I got moved there, I would lose the good monitor in favor of a piece of junk monitor that would not be good for my help. I was not happy with this. I talked to my boss about this and asked if I could move my LCD with me. Since technically we weren't supposed to, he suggested that I just put the LCD in his office and it would get moved with his stuff. Then, once his stuff got moved, I'd just take the LCD back and put it on my desk.
I did this. I was all happy to have my LCD monitor. It made the unpleasant work environment I was in a bit more tolerable. I was the only person in the room who had an LCD. Yes, technically I was dodging the rules by sneaking the monitor over, but I felt it was justified, for health reasons. That LCD sat there on my desk for the rest of the week. On Friday morning, I came in to find that my LCD had dissapeared and a CRT had been placed there instead. No explanation, no questioning why I had an LCD and noone else did. Nothing. My monitor just mysteriously changed. Apparently the finally noticed that I had the 'wrong' monitor, so they replaced it. I was furious. It's bad enough that I have to be placed in a noisy room, with no privacy, and no desk space. To top it all off, the one thing that made this place almost bearable - my LCD, was now taken from me. I asked for an LCD to replace the CRT they placed on my desk, because it was causing eye strain. (which it was). I was basically told, in no uncertain terms that I would not be getting an LCD. This incident alone is what finally pushed me over the edge and made me decide it was time to go. When a company won't even provide reasonable materials to their employees to do their job, it's time to move on.
This problem at work is the complete opposite of what I found with the new job. Not only did they provide the LCD I asked for, but they also bought a PC to the exact specs I requested. I cannot express enough how happy this made me. The fact that a boss considers your needs and is able to provide them without complaint is a very good first sign for this job. This was one of the biggest factors that lead me to accept this job. Let's see how this new job goes...