Bring your own fork

November 30, 2006 - Thursday

 Well, That Was Fun

I quit my new job today. I had my doubts about it on the first day, they grew stronger on the second day, and by the third day I knew this was the wrong job for me, so on the fourth day I quit.

I quit because the job I had bore almost no resemblance to the job I interviewed for. They basically lied to me, bait-and-switched me into taking it. Why, I have no idea. I made it very clear in my interviews that I was a trainer looking for a training position, that I was not at all interested in doing sales, and I specifically told them I wanted no more than 25% travel. And they reassured me that oh no, I’d be training, not selling, and that I’d only be on the road “a little bit,” mostly at trade shows, and that “other people” (they were really vague about who) would be scheduling the training sessions.

Well. I’m reminded of The Princess Bride, where Inigo Montoya says to Vizzini, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” For these people, through the miracles of hair-splitting and double-speak, “training” means product demo and “not selling” means selling and “scheduling training” means cold-calling customers. Oh, and the “other people” scheduling the “training” meant me. Inconceivable!

Their vision of the job: The people I’d be “training” were potential customers I had cold-called on the phone and coerced into letting me bring my big box o’ products over so I could show them off and train demonstrate their usage and hopefully induce the students customers to buy want said products. Sort of like a door-to-door vacuum salesman “teaching” you how to use his product by showing how well it picks up cat hair. Only with appointments. That I made. And it was “not selling” because I wouldn’t be actually taking orders, but rather referring them to one of the salespeople so they could close the deal and earn the commission. And they wanted me to do this nationwide, so there was going to be a lot of travel if I did as much “training” as you’d expect someone who’s “not selling” full time to do.

I know: it was a sweet deal. I’m a fool to pass it up. But, um… No. I don’t do sales, no matter what you call it. I don’t like it and I’m not good at it. And I especially don’t do sales for people who lie to me about it. I have a specific skill set that has nothing to do with sales — or product demonstration or customer education or whatever you want to call it — and I can get paid a lot more and be a lot happier if I stick with that.

So… I’m out of a job again and I have a new flurry of resumes out in the wind. Great. Because, you know, the holidays are the best time of year to be looking for work.

All I want for Christmas, Santa, is a new job.


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November 27, 2006 - Monday

 Back on the Job

I started a new job today. Whew. I was only out of work for about a month this time, which is an improvement over my usual months-long stretch. Too bad the stress of being out of work prevents you from enjoying not having to go to work.

Interestingly (or not), I went for my first interview for this job the day after I got laid off. I left my suddenly not-my-job anymore at noon, came home and did a search on dice.com, found a job with a description that sounded as if it was written about me, emailed a resume, and got called back about an hour later. I was crossing my fingers then for the perfect symmetry of getting a new job the very next day after I lost the old job, but I’ll take 30 days later. It beats unemployment.

But as relieved as I am to have a new job … I’m not 100% sure about it. It’s product training rather than software training and while it’s not a sales job it will have elements of sales to it. So it’s nice that it’s different … but I’m still in wait-and-see mode about if it’s going to work for me. I have kind of a weird feeling about the company itself and the people there, too. It’s quiet there, too quiet, and the people are nice and all … but there’s an odd quality to it that I can’t quite put my finger on. Beth said it best when I was trying to describe it to her when she went all Christmas on me and suggested the Island of Misfit Toys.

I hope things work out there, because I’m sick to death of looking for a job every year or so. I could stand to be the Charlie-In-The-Box.


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November 12, 2006 - Sunday

 Love Ride 23

Zoe and I went on the Love Ride today. This was her second, my… fifth, I think. We didn’t go last year — partly out of inertia, partly because BB King was the musical draw and I wasn’t interested — but she went the year before that when ZZ Top was the concert, and how cool is that, that she can say ZZ Top was her first concert? This year was the Black Crowes, another worthy addition to her Concerts I’ve Been To file.

Here’s a picture of us parked in the middle of San Fernando Blvd just up the street from Glendale Harley-Davidson as we wait for the bikes to start rolling for the ride up to Lake Castaic.

Zoe & Me at Love Ride 23


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