The Rejected Box – An Ode to IT Professionals

Melisa Wachs //

Hello IT professional.  If you haven’t heard it lately, I hope you know that you’re really amazing. You’re probably helping “laymen” like me all day long. Maybe you were explaining simple encryption, or sending out a phishing warning, or just updating software. Perhaps you don’t feel appreciated, so today I want to give a sincere “thanks.”

See, I’m not one to be able to grasp the abstract. The very idea that electricity can be harnessed, moved and stored is a mystery to me. This fascination is not just with computers. I give the same amazement to anyone who fully understands stocks, bonds, IRAs or 401ks. Where is the actual money, people?!

Working at BHIS, where penetration testers are the face of who we are, not the back-end in the basement, I’ve noticed a common thread among you (and probably most IT professionals). You seem to have rejected simple answers, boundaries or directions. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a rebel, like John was. What I’m saying is that at some point you found yourself in a box. The non-rebel may just say, “fine, give me a box, but I’ll define it on my own terms.” Thus, perhaps you took that box, used that definition to your advantage and made yourself a rhombus, when everyone else made squares. Still a quadrilateral, but now it’s your quadrilateral.

The World Wanted You to be Bob, and Bob Alone

John tried to destroy the boxes handed to him, and argued with anyone who tried to close the lid on him. Mr. Sam (above) and he would have really gotten along! He definitely got this trait from our father out of pure necessity.

As children, our parents stumbled upon an old cabin out in the middle of nowhere. It was isolated (40 minutes from civilization), the well at times filled with rotting animals we’d only find after our stomachs turned with the smell, and we had no entertainment but dirt bikes and raspberry patches. It was a dream childhood in many ways.  (I really wish the rotting animal part was a joke…)Melisa_blogpost_1


This cabin became our permanent home after an addition and remodel we did ourselves. Our father taught us how to continually bend our boxes. How, after all, do you build a home that isolated? We adapted.

But, for me all that physical work makes sense. I can see a ceiling doesn’t need to be lowered, but a floor that needs to be raised instead. I can’t see how the IT world works.

This is what I find amazing about you. It often seems that you work on a different world where the gravity is different and the languages are foreign. Being on calls with our team, or listening to IT conversations is intimidating. It’s like I’m a five-year old, in France, watching beautiful people drink good wine and laugh dismissively at me as I ask where the potty is.

Thank you for being the crazy non-box “Bob,” but the wild quadrilateral you are!

Here’s one last zoom in for you to check out John’s 90s grunge hair. I’m not sure what he’s holding, but it sure looks like a toilet seat that’s rejected its own rules of conformity.


On a final note, if you catch John at a conference ask him about our dad + chainsaw = bay window. And…the squirrel.

Ready to learn more?

Level up your skills with affordable classes from Antisyphon!

Pay-What-You-Can Training

Available live/virtual and on-demand