Saturday, January 20, 2007

Starting New (Again)

I'm nervous, what can I say. I have so many things to worry about, I end up sitting up at night creating lists in my head.

I scored an interview at a community hospital located 40 minutes or so outside of town (which means a long drive through town - and then out). I did a phone interview with HR, which apparently went so well that they would like to interview me this coming week. I will first have an in-person interview with the HR person. He indicated on the phone that he will be explaining the health benefits. Next, I will be interviewed by the four other members of the department. Then, I will face the director of the hospital. All in one action packed afternoon. I have to assume they are serious about hiring me, and they will probably want me to start very soon.

If all goes well, and I am offered a good paying job there, it would mean relocating. From home, it would be an hour and a half drive to and from work every day. Add an accident here and there, and it just became a two hour drive. My single car situation does not work well with those driving arrangements and my family. But would I really mind moving? Not really. I like my house, and I wouldn't mind staying here. But seeing how I haven't been making many mortgage payments the past six months - I think the mortgage company would probably be happy to see me get out of their house.

I could get a small home, minutes from the hospital for anything from $60,000 to $100,000. Being that it's a small town, the property values are extremely low (and affordable). I would be taking a job for 10k to 15k more a year, and taking a house payment of 1/3rd what I pay now.

Last week was a great week for headhunters. I have them breathing down my neck. They are anxious to interview my boss, and they don't seem to understand why I don't want them calling him. Working in a small place, I dread the day I have to give them my "notice". It would mean extra work for everyone else until I was replaced. Knowing that, I will not have many friends in my last few weeks of employment. Aside from that, I am sick of head hunters calling me for jobs I am nowhere near qualified for. I could find these jobs on my own. I *have* found these jobs on my own. There's a reason I'm not all ready working there - they aren't interested in me. I got an offer the other day for a security management position in Lansing MI. I had all ready decided it wasn't worth pursuing, but I had to ask anyway. "Any ball-park on the salary?". He responds back, "probably something in the low nineties". I laugh, and remind myself that very few people are actually worth $90,000. I am humble enough to know that I am not one of those people.

A week and a half ago I went in for what I thought was a job interview with what I thought was an IT firm. I was very early. When I showed up I was told to have a seat in the "waiting room". I looked around the room, and I was surrounded by 40-somethings. They were reading news papers ... primping their suits and business-skirts ... and filling out various pieces of paperwork (no doubt applying for other positions). I knew then, that I had "been had". This was just some shitty staffing firm. They had no interest in me. They just wanted to sign me on with them, and move me onto some shitty "job". I don't want another one of those. Soon into the "Q&A" (it's hard to call this engagement an interview) I started getting questions such as "how low can we go on salary before you're not interested?". With questions like that, I was wondering why I went out and blew $15 the previous night on a new ironing board, and $25 on a new suit. Don't get me wrong, the suit is awesome (albeit a little gamey smelling) and the price could have been worse (had it not come from a thrift store). But here I was all ready to give them my all, and it wasn't even really necessary. They were all ready looking at their watch, and getting ready to move into the next tiny little "conference room" to talk to some other poor looser.

As our session was wrapping up, the interviewer turned around and grabbed one oh his cards from a small desk in the corner. There, they had a big plastic display which held the business cards of all the recruiters. The whole interview room seemed like a fast food experience. "I would like to test you on a few things", he says, "is that all right?". I wasn't really expecting a quiz, but I have taken so many in my life - I agreed. After all, acing a test in my last interview helped land me my current job. "Windows 2003 ... and RedHat ... sound good?". He had all ready marked me down. I nodded. "Okay, so fill out these forms, give them to the receptionist up front, and I will see you afterward". Twenty minutes later, I was pushed into a cramped "testing room" and I was being asked questions such as "Can distribution groups be used for permission assignment in Windows 2003?". And I was left wondering, did they take functionality levels into consideration for this test? Flip a coin I guess. It was clear that this was an exam written by exam writers, not product users. Didn't I leave the training industry for stupid shit like this?

In other news, my old boss from many years ago called me up. "John is leaving the department, and there will be a job opening". She works for the local University. Many years ago she offered me a job there, which I didn't feel I had much of a chance in getting. But I went to the interview, I took a look around, and then they asked "so ... do you want the job?". That was was. Next was salary negotiation. My old boss tells me "shoot for the stars". At the time I was making a cool 27k a year. So I shot for 50k. They agreed. I nearly shit myself.

I would later go back to my present employer and tell him, "I have someone offering me a job ... that I would be a fool to pass up". To which he replied, "don't leave ... I will match what they offer you". It was a taught decision. While I was considering my options, the person who had left the department just asked for his old job back. That made my mind up for me. Still I always wondered if I should have taken that job.

Now I have another shot, at a different position, at the same place. A University job would mean free school. I could use that. It would also mean State health care benefits. Many argue that "State benefit packages are not what they used to be". I would say the same of all health care plans. In my current plan, I still pay quite a bit out of pocket, and my cost is roughly $150 per week. The State health insurance plans are $150 - a *month*.

To take this job, I would have to come up with some management skills. Do I even have management skills? I would like to think that there are some buried deep within me. But I have never considered myself much of a leader. I am far too passive, and kind, to really lead people around and make them do things that they don't want to. But this is a management position. That will be a tough sell on my part. Hey, wait a minute. Do I even want a management position? I'll think about that.

Oh, there are so many other great things to talk about. Like, that my wife and I started taking Karate classes! Oh, and that I was served with a foreclosure notice just hours ago! Another blogging, perhaps.

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