Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Work and rambling

So, now that it's over, I can tell the story.

In the middle of March, my employer let me go. They were kind enough to include a generous severance package (for those of you who don't know, Indiana is an at-will state, meaning people are employed at the will of their employers and can be let go for pretty much no reason at all), including a little COBRA help and an arrangement with an outplacement company. Outplacement people aren't like recruiters: their job is to give you tools and advice to help you land a job, but they don't actually contact for you.

So I wasn't too worried, not at first. I had severance coming, plus a cushion, so I'd be all right for a while, and I had various contingency plans just in case. Besides, I had solid ColdFusion experience, so I'd be fine ...

except that there aren't a lot of ColdFusion jobs available around here. (I own a house, so I can't relocate.) But that was okay, because recruiters were calling me from the first week I was on Monster ...

except many of them simply wanted to read me jobs posted online, or call me about the same jobs. Of the ones that actually wanted to match me to a job and called me in for an interview, most of them were looking at Java positions, which wouldn't be a problem ...

except that it turned out companies looking for senior Java developers didn't want me because I didn't have enough Java experience, and companies looking for entry- to mid-level Java developers didn't want me because I didn't have enough of it.

So finally, I get a call from a recruiter on the 18th of June. We've got a position we think is a good match for you, why don't you come in. Sure, no problem. We set up an interview on Friday, the 20th.

This guy's a good one. First, we talk about me, about what I want, what I'm looking for. Then we talk about the position. ColdFusion, bits of .NET and SQL Server, but mostly CF. Sounds good. A bit of a pay cut, but that's to be expected. So I say sure, let's pursue it. We talk some more and I leave.

Later that afternoon, he calls me back. We got you an interview, how does Wednesday sound? Sure, I say, let's do this. We set up interview prep with them first, then the interview at their office right after.

The prep stuff was great (especially because it started with the Wonderlic test, yes, that one ...). They do the same thing with the interviewer, so I think we were both ready for it. It went really well. It was set from 2:30 to 3:30, but at 4:15, when we were still talking, the senior recruiter popped in to make sure we were all right.

So the next step is for them to interview some more people, then do second interviews the week of the 30th, and maybe hire by the end of that week. Yeah, that's fast. They had projects piling up, in part because the last guy who was placed there (by another recruiter) didn't work out at all.

Thursday, I get a call, or maybe Friday. Second interview Monday at their place with the CFO, followed by lunch with the team (it's a small team, four people including the manager), and then a brainstorming session about one of the projects with the manager (the position reports directly to him). Sounds good. I scout out the place on Saturday and am ready to go.

Monday the 30th, interview time. Everything goes well: turns out the CFO used to work with a couple of people at my old place. Lunch is good, although no one else can go (the help desk person is too busy and the on-site hardware guy had to fix issues from a power failure on Sunday). The brainstorming session goes well. I talk to the recruiter afterward and give them the OK to accept an offer if one is made.

Monday evening, they say guess what, you can celebrate a new job. You start Tuesday morning. (I said I could start right away ...) So, to recap: on the 18th, they contact me. On the "31st", I start work. (It's easier to figure out if I write it that way.)

Pretty nice, huh? Guess I should have been adjusting my sleep schedule faster. (One of my good friends warned me not to let it slip too far. oops.)

It's working out pretty well so far. We'll see how I feel about the job in a year. I tell you what, I feel a lot better about this one than I did about my last one over the last two or three years.

Other random thoughts:
  • They are finally paving 37. Thank goodness. Of course, they do it at night, so I get caught from time to time, but it's sure worth it.
  • The new fireworks law sucks. Now, instead of a few illegally loud noises, you get all kinds of crap late at night before the 4th. Of course, you can't legislate common sense or courtesy. too bad.
  • My iPhone forgot for a bit this evening that I do not work on GMT. That's GMT-5, my friend. Maybe it was jealous of the new 3G iPhones. (Can't get one. Termination cost is too much and I am not so fond of this one.) It should be jealous of the Crackberries they have at work. I may end up with one of those anyway ...
  • On 126th near 37, there's a railroad crossing that has new signs beneath the stop sign. A complete stop is now required and a rolling stop will get you a $115 fine. It may seem steep, but at a crossing that has no lights and no gate, you might do well to keep in mind that the lesson you'd learn about stopping from the courts is much easier on you than the lesson you might otherwise learn about momentum and trains.

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