Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Well, the second offer came in. And it is a good one.

I feel badly for the folks who made the first offer. They worked hard, and it was a good offer. But the move thing just wasn't setting well. The new offer involves working from home. No commute, other than about 14 steps from my bed to my desk.

I'm really looking forward to this. It's a new chapter (see....finally used a cliche) and it's a lot of responsibility. I like to think I'm a risk taker, but I guess in reality, I'm a calculated risk taker. I pretty much take the gamble only if I have a reasonably good chance of winning. No longshots.

Now if I could only apply that theory to the blackjack tables, I'd be set....

Monday, November 04, 2002

Got the first real offer today. It's not a killer offer, but it's decent. Trouble is, it'll likely require a move. Again.

Life has an interesting way of making sure you learn a lesson. Today's lesson "Never - No such thing!"

When we moved to Boston, we were so happy with New England, with our friends there, with the job, etc., that when people asked us if we'd ever move back, we said - "Never".

So when I got that phenomenal job offer, the one with the six figure salary, guess where it was...Back in California. So much for never. But did I learn? Nope.

When we decided we were going to be in California for an indefinite period, we decided to settle down and buy a house. We looked for the house we could call our own for a long time. Why? We would "Never" be moving. So we put in a pool, and landscaping, and started building custom furniture in the nursery. After all, we were "Never" going to move.


Life beats me over the head with the proverbial 2x4 and lets me know that "Never" doesn't exist. I lose the big-salary job, and have to start looking. The best offer so far will require a move. (Saw it coming, didn't ya?)

So, will I learn the lesson this time? Hmm.. not sure. Probably not. I'm still a relatively incurable optimist about general life issues, and I still want to fell like something will have some security and stability.

Did I just hear a *THUD*?

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Two weeks later, I'm still looking for a job. But I've got some good prospects.

I've gotten into couponing. I know, it sounds pathetic. But after reading post after post on from people who are buying $120 worth of groceries for less than $10, I had to try it. While I haven't gotten the 90%+ savings like some of those folks, I've done pretty well.

So why do we look down on this? People at the store give you this annoyed look when you whip out your clipped paper slips. Do we naturally assume that people who use coupons are some of life's losers? Why?

My next job probably won't pay what my last one did. But I'll make plenty of green. Even so, I'll likely keep using the coupons. If it saves me money now, it will later too. And with a daughter on the way, saving money ain't a bad thing.

Still, why the stigma? Why is it that we make a connection between saving money (and taking advantage of a $275 billion industry - that's the value of coupons that are printed each year), and a lower level of human.

Well, let me be the first to proudly state "Hi, my name is Leo, and I use coupons". Because it's smart, it saves me money, it gets me grocery items for darn near free.

And they let me use sharp scissors.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

So I was blathering on about trust. Must have been a premonition. Not 14 hours later, I get a call in my office from my boss. He wants me to head downstairs to the board room for a meeting.

There wasn't one on the schedule.

As I exit my office, two of my colleagues are coming out of theirs. They've been called too. By the folks attending, this must be a meeting with the Engineering staff.

My boss and the CEO walk-in, and close the door behind them. This does not bode well.

"We didn't hit our targets for the last two months, and we have to let the three of you go."

At first, I thought it was a bad joke. Then I realized they were lining us up firing-squad style and picking us off all at once. No one-on-one, "sorry this happened". Just cut the cords and let 'em go, three at a time.

Then they walked us into the HR office, again, all together. From there, upstairs to our offices, to clean them out immediately. We had the HR supervisor and the IS manager stand over us like wardens, looking embarrassed all the while.

But anazingly, I didn't get mad. I was more concerned that I would now have to go home, 3 hours earlier than I usually do, on a Thursday, and explain to my 7-month-pregnant wife that the income for the roof over our heads just disappeared.

I trusted these people. I moved from Boston because they assured me of the solvency of the company, the upward momentum, the possibilities. Yup, duped again.

But I can't regret it. The job got me the house I'm now trying to save. And from what I hear, they may not be able to make payroll next pay period. Becasue of vaction time owed to me, I'm already paid through mid-November. Better than walking ujp to the office door and finding it locked.

But they violated my trust. They made poor decisions, and I'm paying for it. Get the impression trust is an issue for me?

Thursday, October 10, 2002

I'm too much of an optimist. Really. It's a trust thing. I tend to trust everyone implicitly until they prove me wrong. Problem is, the fall from trust happens WAY too often.

You'd think I'd learn. But no, I go on trusting, in the naive belief that hard work, good deeds, and "living right" will be their own reward in the end. Yeah, sure.

Then I look over at one of our cats, curled up between my wife and I, content to sit there with the TV on Leno and listening to me clack away on the keyboard. He trusts he'll get food, a clean box, and his daily scratchy-scratch. If he doesn't, he makes sure we know about it. Pretty honest.

Yeah, I know, cats don't really trust. They learn that certain actions elicit certain responses. They are trained to act in a specific way to get what they want, and we in turn are trained to respond to their actions. But I like to believe they trust us.

So if they, the no-forehead, lay-around-in-the-sunny-spot-on-the-carpet beasts can trust, surely I can keep on trusting. So, cynics be damned, I'll keep trusting. Maybe I'll find a sunny spot.