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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blane asked me to prom!

I have been unhappy at my job for a while and lackadaisically searching for a new one. I had worked with a friend on creating a better resume and had started on a list of job leads but hadn't done much else. I knew I had to work harder and in a more organized fashion to get a new job, but the rest of my life kept getting in the way and it didn't happen.
I was even dressed for the prom when I got the news

Then at April's SVTC Happy Hour, I ran into a friend who got excited that I was on the market and had me send him my resume. This led to a phone screen by his boss and then an in-person interview, which I was pretty sure would lead to a job offer (sometimes you can just tell).

Two business days later, I went to work and was told my contract wouldn't be renewed past the end of this month. I said "Oh." My supervisor looked at me funny, but what I was thinking to myself was, "Good thing I went on that job interview."

I was surprised by the lack of contract renewal, but I guess I should have expected it. I have been there 18 months (as of today!) and the IRS gets annoyed with companies that have long-term contractors because they say they are just employees without benefits. (The IRS is not wrong on this in many situations.) There had also been people disappearing with no notice and rumors. Lots of rumors. 

On the other hand, there had been promises of conversion to full-time employment at one point and some other talk that led me to believe that I'd be one of those people they made an exception for. So I guess I had mistakenly thought that I'd be safe from the carnage.

Even though I had good feelings about my interview and was excited about this job, feelings aren't job offers. So I kicked my job search into high gear like I should have months ago. I filled out a profile to join a Developer Auction. I started looking at the job offerings on LinkedIn and even applied for some of them. I started making lists of places I wanted to work and looking for people I knew who worked there. I LinkedIn to everyone at work who I had been lazy about connecting to before. 

Finally, I put my updated resume on Dice, which I had been putting off because I knew I'd be swamped with recruiters contacting me (but not necessarily with quality jobs) as soon as I did.

And, as soon as that new resume went up, my Gmail Inbox and Google Voice box started filling up just as predicted.

A lot of it was crap, of course. It always is. But this time there were a ton of good jobs too. It appears that, at least for my kind of work, the market is finally hot again.

Anything that was remotely appropriate, I did a phone screen and that led to a couple more in-person interviews. With one place, I did a phone screen on Monday and an in-person interview on Tues. and they were going to give me a verbal offer on Wed. Wow, that was fast! Maybe too fast?

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the verbal offer and official offer both happened on Thurs. instead. I went on another in-person interview that same day on my way to the airport to go to Vegas with a third company. In the meantime, the first job had progressed to the "asking for references and what compensation are you looking for" stage and I have never had that happen and not gotten the job. 

But again, I didn't have an actual offer.

In the meantime, I felt weird about going on an interview when I had a job offer that I was actually prepared to accept (because it was a pretty decent job if only I hadn't had my head turned by Job #1). But I went anyway as one hour before an interview is just too little notice to cancel. 

As soon as the interview was over, I called the recruiter, told her how it went (60% chance of a 3rd offer I was figuring), told her to tell them I wasn't interested, and went to the airport.

At this point I was getting pressure from Job #2 about giving them an answer even though I had only gotten their offer a few hours before. I told them I was waiting on Job #1 and I would get back to them on Monday. 

Because I was in the job interview for the third job most of Thurs. during business hours and then traveling with spotty internet, it was hard to figure out what was going on with Job #1. So Friday morning I sent them an email, told them I was checking in and to say I needed to give Job #2 an answer by EOD Monday and was that going to be a problem? They said, "No problem" and even used the word "offer" (for the first time) so I wrote to Job #2 and told them I would definitely have an answer by Monday. 

Now, I thought this timeframe was completely reasonable. They offered the job on Thurs. and would get an answer on Monday giving me the weekend to think it over. That's basically 48 hours of business days. Plus I had given them a concrete timeline. Yet, the pressure from job #2 continued. 

I even got an email from the recruiter on Sat. saying that the reason I probably hadn't heard from Job #1 was that I was the back-up candidate. I was PISSED. Because clearly they were trying to mess with my mind and get me to sign with them before I heard from #1 by making me doubt I would ever hear from #1.

This is when I decided that job hunting is a lot like dating. And this particular situation was like High School dating. In other words, the worst kind of dating.

I felt like the girl who had two guys who wanted to take her to the prom -- I was Molly Ringwald in "Pretty in Pink!" Job #2 was Ducky -- a nice guy and cool and well worth dating -- but I wanted to be asked to the prom by Blane. (Except I kind of think Blane is lame and really wanted to be asked by Jake from 16 Candles, but that's the wrong movie even if it's still Molly Ringwald.) 

At this point, Ducky had asked me and Blane hadn't but Blane's best friend was telling me that Blane liked me and was going to ask me, for sure. While Ducky's best friend was telling me that Blane liked this other girl and he'd heard that he was going to ask her instead.

Anyway...

I decided that I was on vacation and it was the weekend and to ignore them all and have fun. Which I did. I even went zip lining!

Then on Saturday, I was at the Eiffel Tower restaurant with Mr. Mac for an early anniversary dinner when I noticed I had an email.

It was Blane/Jake. He had asked me to the prom! Er, had offered me the job. No formal offer letter but written terms and a hint I could accept right then and there if I wanted to.

In the meantime, Ducky called on Monday morning to find out what was going on and I ended up telling him I wouldn't go to the prom with him. 

I was even more annoyed this time because this time I didn't just feel like they were trying to manipulate me, but that they had succeeded. Plus, I said I'd give them an answer by EOD Monday and 8:15 am is not EOD. But I also felt bad because the recruiter actually sounded like a guy being turned down for a date for the prom! He even had a little catch in his voice.

It all worked out though. I got my offer letter later in the day and I've already signed it and turned it on.

Oh wait, was I supposed to play coy and try to negotiate a better deal? Too late.

Summary: I have a new job. It's awesome. I'm so happy. The rest is details. More cowbell!

P.S. I decided I was getting so much pressure from Job #2 because they had a backup candidate that they wanted to extend an offer to if I declined. I thought of this because that's what they accused Job #1 of doing and often you accuse people of things you are doing yourself like when someone who is cheating is constantly accusing the other person of cheating.

P.P.S. I watched "Pretty in Pink" last night to see if I was remembering all the characters' names and the prom drama correctly. 80s hair. That is all. 
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