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Musings and Meanderings

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Been a long time!

That it has. Last entry was way back on Dec 21st.

I'm not going to go too deeply into my mindset of not writing. Most of it is still the extended break from the intensity of the last year or so regarding the political arena. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed in what transpired not only at the Presidential level, which to be honest I was not surprised at, but also in the tilt in Congress as well.

My personal life has also been antithetical to writing. The lack of a "real" job can create a very deep and profound malaise torwards the world in general, hence the lack of social or political commentary. It is also reflected by the personal front, with nothing to really say, I have just not said it.

The Christmas Experience

That being said however we did have a wonderful holiday this year. A quick recap may be in order here so bear with me. About 18 months ago or so, when I heard for certain that my Father and step Mom were finally returning to the US for good, I suggested to sister Laurie that it might be a great idea to get all the kids together for their first Christmas back in the US, i.e. Christmas 2004. So plans were set in motion and quickly we got affirmatives from sister Tracy and her family from MD as well as brother Greg out west. Our European brother Andrew was more problematic, as he has a large family, and air lifting them from France to the US is quite costly. In the end Dad came through and arranged for them to be with us this Christmas. Then the surprise guest was announced, my mom. My parents have long set aside whatever differences they had so this was a very wonderful surprise, with kudo's to my Step Mom Kathy for inviting her.

(A small lineup card may be in order. Though we have dropped the Step prefix, the girls mentioned above are the daughters of my step mom Kathy, and we three boys are from my Dad's first marriage with my mother.)

24 people descended upon beautiful NH arriving between the 22nd and 23rd. We even had two friends of Dad and Kathy's in attendance as well. The traditional Christmas eve dinner was phenomenal, great food and wonderful company. Christmas day was sheer, wonderful, loving chaos, with 9 children running about and their attendant parents and other adults. All in all it was one for the memory books indeed. Brother Greg is a professional photographer and he brought his equipment and captured the weekend for years to come with an incredible family portrait.

The only negative note was that the stomach virus that swept through the North East as well as other parts of the Country hit the clan on Sunday and Monday, in all affecting slightly over 1/3 of the attendees including this author. I won't give details, not pretty, but we all survived.

The Job Front

Frequent readers of this site have also been forced to put up with my meanderings about the job situation. Back on the last day of November I was brought in as a possible candidate for a dream position with a company in the Computer Networking industry. A quick scroll down the blog, or possibly to the "archives" will get you up to speed. Three weeks passed by before I was called back to a second interview, the company having winnowed down a field of 15 to just 3. Expectations were high that word would be given as to the decision before Christmas. In fact I had decided to be a bit sneaky and not to tell my patient wife if I got the job, only if I had not, and to simply put it on a card for Christmas morning. So much for the best laid plans of mice and men.

So Christmas passed and then then New Years and still no word. Various theories have been forwarded by the people I go to for advice about these things, but I feel that the combination of the time of year, and the company's past experience with two other people in the position has made them cautious and in no hurry to make the final decision.

I also spent the Christmas season back in retail! I was able to get a part time job with a local Radio Shack and had a great time believe it or not. Good people to work with and the company has it's act together (mostly) with their employees. But as all seasonal work goes, I got only 8 hours the week after Christmas, and was let go on that Thursday. There was however an attempt to transfer me to another store in reward for my hard work, but at the last minute that transfer was scratched by that store's manager. I am theoretically still an employee of Radio Shack, but with no hours and no place to go.

The surprise call

So with this background in mind, and the deep feeling that this was going to be a much better year than last, the phone rang yesterday and on the other end was the CEO of a company I had interviewed with back in November (same time I had interviewed with the Collection company). He stated that one of the two people he had hired for that position had to leave, and they wanted me to come in for a second interview. This is a company that sells it's own proprietary web based e-commerce services, from web hosting "mom and pop" companies to fully integrated gateway services.

However the 2nd interview today was not a 2nd interview at all, but a job offer. There in lies a huge quandary.

The "dream job" I have been waiting to hear on is a significantly better opportunity for myself and the family. Better pay, a better position, and a future that could include partial ownership of the company.

The company I interviewed with today has some amazingly great people, and in a serendipitous sign from the cosmos that maybe this is the path I should take, both partners are "prog heads" and were musicians in their earlier years. (In fact the one partner sent me home with their two CD's they cut in the mid 90's, a band called Cold Sweat, and it is some pretty good "neo prog" music).

So on my way home I called my headhunter and explained to him that I had till Friday to get an answer or my hand would be forced to go with the company I had interviewed with today. I told him that I couldn't turn down one position, albeit one with less initial pay, for the hope of getting the call on another. One must always plan for the worst and hope for the best, and the worst would of course to turn down the newest offer only to hear in a week or two that I was not chosen for the "dream job".

He suggested at this point I had nothing to loose and to call the "dream job" partner that I had interviewed with the most and lay it all out. So I did just that, to his voice mail. I was polite and very professional but said basically what I have told you just now in regards to not being able to turn one position down, to just hear that I didn't get the job with him either. So we wait. If I don't hear from the "dream job" by Friday at Noon I am accepting the job with the web hosting company I interviewed with today.

In other words, starting in a very few short days, I should be fully employed again, and hopefully on the road to financial recovery. Not a moment too soon.

A sad passing of an old friend.

Finally for today, and if you are still with me I am very impressed, I got a very unexpected e-mail from a total stranger on Monday asking if the Ben Merchant I had mentioned in the blog at some point a while ago was her step brother. Since it is a fairly common name, we did determine through email exchanges that indeed her step brother had been my boss in the days of the late 90's under the guises of Big Sky Home Direct TV etc.

Sadly she had to tell me that Ben had passed away on December 31'st. I was shocked and saddened by this news, though I had not heard from Ben in a few years. Although our relation ship was a rocky one at times, and he was a tough boss, he was always a loyal friend, and the world is missing something with his passing.

Well that is more than enough for this day. Thanks for tuning in. In a few short days I will commence upon a New Year's resolution to write at least every other day. With the caveat that if I write a few days in a row, a one day break is allowable. The few short days till I write again will give the infrequent checkers of this site a chance to tune in to this plan.

Happy New Year to all and wishing all a great 2005!

posted by Mike 11:33 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind