First Day at The Perfect Job

First Day

“You’ll be working with these guys.  They come up with crazy new ideas, and you have to make them work,” my boss told me.

YAY!  I was dancing up and down with joy, but only on the inside.  On the outside, I said, “Great!  My crazy ideas will sound normal, then!”

Company A is a magical place where everyone is happy and the work is fun.  Today was my first day of work, and I’m in awe.  There aren’t any cubes.  THERE AREN’T ANY CUBICLES!!  In a world where almost every company has transitioned to open seating, I have an office with a heavy wooden door.  It’s like stepping through the looking glass. This can’t be real!

There’s also a cute guy with brilliant blue eyes, but I keep telling myself, “I don’t date guys from work.”  I managed to work for my last company for 1.5 years without dating anyone there.  Of course, that was easy since 70% of the population was too old for me and 99% of them were married.  The other 30% were too young for me or female (not my type).  So it was easy to keep my mind on work.  Therefore, I’ll just pretend that Mr. Blue Eyes is old and married.  Easy, right?  Ya, right!

As a mechanical engineer, I enjoy challenging work.  I won’t bore you with details, but I will say that I get to work on electronic assemblies.  My first assignment is an Internal Research and Development (IRAD) project.  YAY!!

Everyone was super nice.  There’s a wall with pictures of babies, couples hiking, and families.  The frames are eclectic and I just love how family-focused the company is.  Lunch was catered BBQ; a going away party for an employee who was quitting to go to school full time.  How awesome is that?  The conference room was packed with employees coming together to wish this guy well.  And the BBQ was darn good, too.

As I was driving away, my old boss called me.  The one that I left in 2013, because he wouldn’t promote me and didn’t appreciate me.  He said that there’s a job available, if I’m still looking.  Too late, sucka!!   I mean, Thank you very much, but I already found employment.  

Ok, I’m off to grab a glass of wine to celebrate.  We’ll return to the subject of Sex in the next blog: Friends with Benefits.

Cheers!

HIRED! My Favorite Words

1996, a Strawberry Pirate

1996, a Strawberry Pirate

Woot Woot! On March 2nd, I will join the ranks of the employed. Company A hired me to do my dream job! No, I’m not going to be a pirate. I just added that picture to match the one of my little boy. Which is here because he is 21 years old today! Is the cosmos trying to tell me something, by giving me a great big present on my son’s birthday?

Maybe it’s saying, “Don’t embarrass your son by posting pictures of him as a young child!”

Nah, that’s too easy.

Jack, age 4, 1996.

Jack, age 4, 1996.

Maybe it’s saying, “Take Jack out to eat to celebrate! You’ll be saving money by having one dinner for two awesome events!”

DONE! That’s like having a two-for-one coupon.

Which reminds me, I was listing my favorite words earlier. So far I have:

  • Clearance.  I love a good sale, but clearance sales are best.  When someone compliments me on something that I bought on clearance – that’s when I really get to brag!  “Oh, girl, I got this jacket on sale, after Christmas, on the Victoria Secret website!  You gotta check out the deals!!”
  • Wine.  Reminds me of good times with friends, romance, and relaxing nights with the TV.  Good times.
  • Orgasmic.  I heard this adjective for the first time in high school.  Bonnye B was describing a Toblerone chocolate bar.  I wouldn’t say that the chocolate was that good, but I love the word.  Just hearing it makes me smile.
  • Wine.  Whether from California, Argentina, or Chile, it’s usually good.
  • Gorgeous.  Doesn’t matter if you’re describing me, my jacket, or someone else – this is another word that makes me smile!
  • Cabernet.  Thought I was going to say, “wine,” didn’t you?!
  • Strawberry.  Sugar is sweet, and you are, too!  I mean, I am.  I don’t know about you.  But you’re reading this, so you’re probably as fruity as I am.  ; – )
  • Zinfandel.  Red, specifically.  Spicy, blackberry, yummy.
  • Bonus.  Reminds me of money, and also a little something extra (lagniappe, as we say in Louisiana, my other home state).  Who doesn’t like to find a toy in the cereal?  BONUS!
  • Wine.  I love wine.  See why here.
  • Hike.  I love hiking.  Something about being out in nature, surrounded by woods, brings me peace.  Just thinking about it makes me happy.
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  Something bout the sound of it, makes me quite precocious.

What else? Oh yes…

Cheers!

Break Up Brunette

Brunette1

I dyed my hair brown after the break up.

No, I’m not referring to ending things with Jason. He wasn’t around long enough to call it a “break up.” Likewise, I’m not referring to Greg. Or any other man, for that matter. I mean my break up with my former employer.

Layoffs are rough. Oh, excuse me, “reductions in force.” Must be politically correct now, mustn’t we? Unemployment is equal to jobless, whatever you call it.

Emotionally, there’s the whole, “Why me?” and “Those bastards!” It’s the stages of grief, from shock to questioning to anger to acceptance, and everything in between. Just like when someone dies or goes through a breakup. And really, my company dumped me. It wasn’t because I expected a wedding ring because we’d been together over a year, but the reasons don’t count as much as how it makes me feel.

So I dyed my hair. This isn’t a unique response to the situation. This isn’t really that drastic; in 2013, I went blonde for Halloween (Kill Bill). THAT was drastic. However, dying my hair brown was a big change. And I needed one of those.

Brunette_DamnGood

We all deal with grief in our own way. I’m trying to avoid crying into the open container of ice cream; I’d much rather punish myself with a forceful workout. Well, I keep telling myself that, as I continue to pass on the ice cream, and as I drag myself out of bed in the morning for a workout. “Forceful” may not be as accurate as, “enthusiastic.”

Tonight, I’ll deal by drinking with Lilly and pretending like the job from Company A is a done deal. Because finding a job has become my full time job, and I really need a night off. If blondes have more fun, then Ms. Lilly (a true blonde) will show me how it’s done right.

For the record, I’m still a Strawberry.  Even if I’m not strawberry blonde!

Happy Singles Awareness Day!  Cheers!

Brunette_kiss

The Waiting Game

Watch_strawberry

I’m waiting to receive a job offer after interviewing for five jobs. FIVE!!! Waiting sucks. Patience is not my strongest virtue.

Last week, I interviewed with two different companies for 5 different jobs. That is, Company A has two jobs open for which I may be perfect. Company B has three jobs available. I’m a mechanical engineer by day. Kinda like Ironman’s alter ego, Tony Stark. Altho, I’m more of a Pepper Potts/Tony Stark combo: Pepper’s good looks combined with Tony’s brains.  Oh, and her humility, too.  😉

The jobs at Company A are performing the same electronics packaging work that I was doing between 2006 and 2013. Only, Company A is better, because it’s a smaller company and I’d get to do more real engineering (thermal analyses, CAD, drawings, etc). The interview went very well; I feel very good about it. I had a good rapport with my interviewers and I was excited about working on electronics again.

Company B is a utility company. Ok, the work isn’t as sexy, but it’s stable. People are always going to have houses, so they’ll always need utilities. The interview went well, but not great. I think they liked me, but I’m not exactly what they’re looking for. That’s ok, they’re not exactly what I want, either.

Fun fact: although I’ve applied to nearly 100 jobs via the internet, I was called for these jobs because a friend handed my resume to the hiring manager. I have one friend (professional contact, really) who is a supplier who works closely with Company A. I have another friend (former coworker) who works for Company B. So it seems that it really isn’t what you know, but who you know.

I interviewed with five different people at Company A and four different people at Company B. Company A gave me 45 minutes with each person: the hiring manager, another manager, their boss, a mechanical engineer, and a human resources representative. Company B put three managers and an HR person in the same room and took turns drilling me for an hour. I prefer Company A’s method, in case you were wondering. From what I’ve read, Company B’s method is becoming more prevalent, and I can see the advantages. That interview was only one hour, while I was at Company A for four hours. The time flew at Company A because I really enjoyed the people and the conversation. Heck, I can talk about myself for hours, easily! It’s a topic that I know well!

Seriously, though, there were a couple of brainstorming questions that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed them mostly because I had answers: one was a situation that I’ve faced before (thermal dissipation from a circuit board) and the other was a general mechanical engineering question (how to design a beam to withstand a force).

The interviews were on Tuesday and Wednesday. I prioritized the jobs, from most desirable to least desirable, on Wednesday night. I mailed thank you notes on Thursday. (That’s not a typo. I handwrote thank you notes and put stamps on them for the US Postal Service to deliver.) I’ve thought through the salary that I want, and what I would be willing to accept.

Now, all I can do is wait.

And wait. And wait.

Did I mention? Waiting sucks. Patience is not my strongest virtue.

Company A said that I’d hear back within two weeks. After I forwarded a resume of a former coworker for another opening that he has, the hiring manager told me that I should back this week. THIS WEEK! Yay! Although, this week has five days and if they wait until Friday to call me, I’ll be going freaking insane! Hey, no comments about me already being there! : – )

Company B said that they’d make calls on Friday, two weeks out. That’s February 21st. The calls would be for second interviews. SECOND INTERVIEWS?! I could be working at Company A by then. WTF?! Are they sadists? I need a job YESTERDAY!!

I’m keeping myself busy with schoolwork, housework, and blogs (obviously). My Netflix account is being put to good use. I work out at least once a day, and yet…

WHY DON’T THEY JUST MAKE UP THEIR DAMN MINDS AND CALL?! Heck, even if they don’t want me, just say so, so I can move on!

I really want to work at Company A. Either position would be fine: one is a mechanical engineer, the other is more of a leadership (team lead) role.

In the meanwhile, I keep applying to other jobs. Just in case. Because, I don’t have a job offer in hand yet. For one of the FIVE JOBS that I could possibly get.

And my son wonders why I drink!

Cheers!

PS My darling Russ hasn’t contacted me, either. Life is rough!

I Got Laid (Off)

“Yesterday was my first day back to work since Dec 31. And my last. The reduction in force hit me; my position was eliminated.” I stared at the text on my phone before sending it. I really like Joe, the guy that I met on Match, and I wanted to see where the relationship would go. But, I couldn’t hide this from him; it was too big.

I also knew how I’d react to a text like that if the situation were reversed. I’d be skeptical that he had a job in the first place. I’d think that maybe, he was looking for a place to stay or a Sugar Momma to take care of him. And I knew what my response would be, Sorry to hear! Good luck finding another job. Contact me when you’re stable.

I took a breath and pressed “Send.”

Five minutes later, he texted, “What?” Then he didn’t wait for me to answer; he called me.

“Are you serious?” he asked me. “You’re serious, right? You wouldn’t joke about being laid off?”

I laughed nervously. “I’m dead serious. That’s better than the reaction that Reggie had – he said, Are you fucking with me?! The man never cusses, but he dropped the f word!”

Joe said, “I can’t believe that they’d fire you right after the holidays! Did you have any clue that this was coming?”

“Well, yes and no. I knew that there were layoffs—uh, Reductions In Force—happening last week while I was on vacation. Allie Apple texted me and let me know who was leaving. But my manager assured me that my position was safe, when we ate together at the Christmas potluck. He that our division was special and that we had a lot of work, so I shouldn’t worry. Obviously, he was wrong!”

“Man, I’m angry! How could they do this to you!” Joe said.

I smiled. Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t be happy that he was angry; but I was. He wasn’t going to walk away from me. He wasn’t going to question whether or not I had a job in the first place. He was going to stand by me, like a true friend.

By the end of the phone call, he agreed to take me out on Friday. He would have liked to have seen me sooner, but he’s a single Dad and he had his son during the week. I liked that about him; I’ve dated guys who have said, “I’ll get a sitter.” But I like it better that he chose to spend time with his son (who is a teenager so he wouldn’t have needed a sitter anyway).

Later that day, he texted, “I called my brother, told him to be on the lookout for you.”

I was surprised. When he had mentioned the firm that his brother worked for, I had made note to look at their job openings. I didn’t expect Joe to put in a good word for me; especially since he doesn’t yet know my last name! I was touched.

The next day, Joe texted, “Hanging in there?”

HOW SWEET! He’s checking up on me, in the nicest way. I texted back, “On top of the world. I have 2 part time jobs and leads on full time work. How many people can say that a day after being laid off?”

True story. I have a great network of friends and colleagues. I feel truly blessed and I thank God for each and every one of them. No less than three old friends heard about my situation and called me, asking me to send them my resume so that they could pass it to their managers. THREE! I would have been happy if one had called me. Other friends called/texted/messaged support, and I appreciate them as well.

Joe answered, “Not many I’m sure! I’ve just been worried about you :/”

OMG OMG he’s worried about me! YAY! That means that he’s been thinking about me, and that he CARES! YAY YAY YAY!

We chatted a bit more, about my upcoming happy hour with friends and where we should go on our date. He ended it with, “You have no idea how much I appreciate you, for you…just being you. I promise, it’s a breath of fresh air, which I have not had in many years : – )”

Wow. I read it over and over again. What a sweet note. Totally un-prompted, completely unexpected. I didn’t want to try to top that, so I simply answered, “I like you too ; – )”

We texted the next day, too. Which was today, BTW.

Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to my date on Friday. He’s taking me out for steak. Yes, we’re Texans who wear cowboy hats and eat steak. He has a shot gun and loves to hunt, too. We draw the line at riding horses. At least, we don’t ride them to dinner. Maybe after dinner.

Cheers!

PS “I got laid” sounds a lot better than “I got laid off.”  I would have much rather had that happen, too!