Monday, October 23, 2006


Hey there, I believe I promised y'all a tale of jobs lost and found and work and pain and stupid people? Wait? I didn't? You have no idea what I'm babbling about? (What else is new...?) Well, please, pull up a chair....

Once Upon a Time...
No, wait. That hardly seems the way to begin this sort of tale. No.

It was a dark and stormy night in the city, when...
No, that doesn't seem quite right either.

So there's this guy... let's call him KBN (once you think back, it will make sense...), and he had been out of work for almost six months (which is a long time to be out of work, what with mortgages and car payments and the like...) and then after a series of "near-misses" and "almost happened" job opportunities he got called for a phone interview on an add he saw in the newspaper, for a company we'll called Outdarkened & Co. The phone interview went well, so he was asked in for an in-person interview. Then a second one, after which he met with a number of people who would be his coworkers. Then there was another phone interview. After five to six weeks of this, he was offered a position.

Now his instinct told him that there were some yellow if not red flags. Lots and lots of talk had come up about overtime. And working late. And on weekends. But he needed the job and decided he was just nervous -- he'd been at his former company a really long time (by modern standards) and he was just nervous at the prospect of a new thing no doubt.

So he started the new job. And within the first week it was crystal clear that beneath the surface (and not that far beneath at that) there was a nigh boiling sea of discontent amongst his teammates. A lot of that seemed to stem from the team leader, but it was nothing KBN didn't feel he couldn't fix. After all, fixing problems was what he did best. Besides, he figured, it was probably just nerves... it was a different than what he'd been used to -- he could make it work.

The weeks wore on and things got worse. Then they got briefly better... it seemed that the powers that be knew that there were issues with the team leader and things were said and some issues were changed for the better. Things were looking up. "See," KBN thought, "you were just imagining things... intuition, schmintuition..."

And then slowly things started downhill again. And it started to become clear that children learn what they are taught. While it was still tempting (and possibly valid) to point to the team leader as the source of all problems, KBN (who it should be pointed out, was not fresh off the turnip truck and had a fair command of reading people) realized that it wasn't that easy. The team leader, he was simply emulating what he had learned from the powers that be -- the higher ups in the company. It was starting to become clear that this was one of those situations that KBN couldn't fix.

He had trouble accepting those types of situations, he always did, but he started to not actively but more than passively look for a new gig. His plan was that he would stay there until he found something new, or absolutely could not stand it anymore (a point which seemed to come startlingly close every few days -- and if not for him than for a coworker). In fact, in the five months he was there, he saw eleven of his coworkers depart. The powers that be seemed to be aware that something was amiss, but did not seem to consider that they or their protege, KBN's team leader could in any way be contributing to the problem.

So a couple opportunities almost happened, and then one day KBN happened to attend a job fair near his old job. As events unfolded he got called in for an interview based on one of those meetings. That same week he was called by a tech placement firm who wanted him to run a government contract up in MD. So yes, he had two opportunities the same week. Taking a calculated gamble, since things got progressively worse each day, he opted to tender his resignation. Being the mature, business people he thought they were, in spite of accepting the two and a half weeks notice KBN offered them, the powers that be asked him to leave that day (which, incidentally was fine with him, because it meant he could go home and get in a nap before his evening's public speaking commitments...)

The next day he received a job offer from the first (the job fair) company. By the end of the week he had a second offer from the MD gig. He opted to take the one from the job fair, both because it was closer to home, and because it wasn't exactly the same as what he'd done before. But either way it would put him back in a management role for which he is most cut out.

The moral of our story: Listen to your instincts; don't rationalize them away. There's a very good reason you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach.

The preceding story was a work of fiction. Any similarities between persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
So that was our story. I hope you enjoyed it.

In completely unrelated news, I wanted to mention that I will be starting a new job on Halloween (oooooh, scaaaaaary). And for the record, I have a really good feeling about this one.

Much more to talk about, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


Insidious Mr. Huge said...

Congratulations are in order. Knowing how miserable KBN has been the past couple of months, (and how much the overtime has affected his schedule) this is great news. I'm sure NMX is thrilled as well.

A celebration is in order.

Jado said...


Thanks for the story, mister. Do you have any cookies or milk? It's almost nap time, and I want a snack.

Congratulations to KBN on his new gig. If it can't be professional play-tester for RPGs, at least make it something that doesn't make him want to kill himself or others.

Really that's all you can ask for.

So now I know. And knowing is half the battle. GO JOE!!