First day of school, I mean, work

by Bill - 2013-05-20 - in life/money/employment


Feels like the first day back at school after summer vacation, except in this case it's not even summer yet and I'll be starting a new job, not school, today. I hope it lasts longer than the last few jobs! I have had a string of incredible bad luck over the past decade through no fault of my own, I swear. :)

I guess it started with that ladder company job in Smyrna where I was hired as the "network administrator." That was cool. People were nice. Salary was decent. The company actually made something rather than just pushed papers. And I was commuting the opposite way of most traffic. What's not to like? But then they shut that plant down and moved everything to Mexico. Thank you, NAFTA.

Luckily, I had my "fall-back" job of freelance consulting, dba ComputerHelp!, which I did for a couple years, with sub-contract work thrown in here and there to help pay the bills. Then I got a job at that limestone mining company in downtown Nashville (their plants were all out of state, throughout the southeast and Texas) as an "application support specialist" — "ASS" for short. That one lasted over four years until some foreign (Belgian) company swooped in and bought them. Next thing I know (OK, so it was a year later), my "position was eliminated" by a bunch of bean counters in Brussels. That was a tough year.

Then I got a job as a "functional analyst" (func. anal., for short) at an advertising company. Unfortunately, they were almost completely dependent on a government contract. And this year, thanks to the idiots in Washington and the "sequestration," my employer lost that contract (or, more accurately "just" the program that paid my salary). Literally half the company was laid off.

I tried applying for unemployment benefits, but that never quite worked out. I didn't get a single "paycheck" from them. I didn't really want their money, anyway. But now, after spending the past couple of months trying to get my creative writing and "online presence" whipped into shape — and I did manage to publish a couple of novels — I'm off to work for someone else again … because the income is more reliable at the moment.

As I told these guys in the job interview, "If you're wondering where I expect to be in 5-10 years, I'll be making a living as a writer. Until then, I'll be a fantastic 'technical business analyst' for your company!" But they never did ask that question, or any of those typical, stupid, laboratory-derived interview questions.

Maybe this place will work out. The people seemed cool, even though the company itself is a large corporation. We'll see. Here's hoping!


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