Wednesday, February 11, 2009

OK… The Interview

Let’s see, where to start.

The interview trip was an add on trip to my twice a year committee meeting thing in KC (Kansas City). I bought the KC airline ticket about 2 months in advance. Then the CT (Connecticut) trip was added. That is, they wanted me there that Monday (the 26th) because of various schedules of people at the company. Interview would start with breakfast at the hotel with the CEO at 8 am.

No problem. Cancel the existing ticket buy a new 3 stop that jumps me all around, no problem.
Heh, right.
The first ticket was ‘non refundable’. Yea, they’ll cancel it and give me a credit for the purchase amount… BUT… to use the credit there is a fee and a processing fee and a convenience fee and a screw you fee and a fee fee. You get the idea. I was money ahead to just buy a second ticket that went from KC to CT and back to Indy and let the other one go, not using the KC to Indy leg.

Fine, whatever. Money hungry bastard airlines. Just FINE!

No issues in KC, meetings went well. The lighting geek in me has so missed the technical side of things. *sigh* it was good for my soul to be yucking it up with those people.

Fast forward to Sunday, the day I left KC headed for CT. Get to the KC airport, get my boarding pass, heading to Minneapolis. Get off in Minneapolis and the gate attendant asks me where is my connecting flight headed… as I say “Conne…” while looking at my boarding pass, I realize that I’m checked into the Indianapolis flight.
I explain what has happened to the gate lady and she directs me to one of the ticket counters where I can get a new boarding pass and all should be good. Luckily both flights laid over in Minneapolis.

I get my new boarding pass and hesitantly ask about my checked bag. “It is less than an hour before the flight leaves, there is nothing I can do with your bag”, she snaps. FUCK ME!

Why the colorful language, you may ask… Let us take inventory of the situation shall we; I’ve got a briefcase with some reading material in it. I’m wearing jeans, underwear, a t-shirt, socks and tennis shoes… that’s it. I have nothing else. No more clothes, little lone a suit. No razor and I didn’t shave Sunday morning so the beard is like sand paper. No deodorant. Nada, nothing.

OK – deep breath, CT is a thriving area and Hartford and New Haven are thriving metropolis’, right? There has to be a 24 hour something-or-other where I can buy the stuff I need.

Landed in Hartford CT at about 10 pm. Head down to the baggage area to find the unclaimed baggage office to see with is up with my bag. “yep, it is in Indianapolis” the baggage lady tells me in some eastern block accent that is so think I have to strain to pick out the English in what she is saying. It takes the next hour to get her to understand and communicate to the Indy office that I will be there Tuesday and they should hold it for me. She kept insisting they could have it 'here' for me Tuesday morning. Grrr, but I fly back to Indianapolis Tuesday.
Another half hour to get to and out of the rental car lot. 11:30 pm, I’m finally on the road for what Google tells me is an hour drive. Oh, and I haven’t had dinner yet. Good thing there weren’t any deer on the side of the road, I would have had fresh venison. And yes, raw.

Actually found a 24 hour Wal-Mart, thanks to an attendant at a gas station along the way. I get inside and I’m scanning the overhead signs as I walk… pants, black. Shirt, white. Socks, black. Underwear… Cool, I’m outta here. Almost to the check out and, DAMN “white tennis shoes will not go with this”, and head back to the back of the store for shoes, size 9. (Side bar – I always wear a 9. Have for years. These were too small. I nearly broke my finger trying to wedge them onto my foot. I think I know how you ladies feel cramming your feet into shoes. Let me tell you it felt good to get those bastards off at the end of the day. – End side bar) Done, good… SHIT, razor *sigh*, it’s going to be a long night. Grab a 4 pack of disposables, figure I’ll just use hotel bar soap to shave with… and you guessed it. Back into the store for contact solution and a contact case. Back again for deodorant. The whole demented shopping trip took over an hour. (Side bar – I also bought a duffel bag so I could get all of my new travel junk home. Being the thrifty guy that I am I bought a 4 pack of razors and a 12 oz bottle of contact solution. You might have done the same, after all, the bulk stuff is ultimately cheaper, right? Well… razors are not allowed on the plane in a non checked bag, trash’em. And 12 oz of saline at 8 bucks a bottle exceeds the FAA’s “4 ounces max of fluids in carry on bags”… trash it! Damn terrorists. - End side bar)

I finally roll into New Haven at about 1:00 am.
New Haven is a college town and has grown up around its founding father short sightedness. Alas, there are many, maybe nothing but, one way streets in New Haven. The hotel in on one, and I missed it. There is no sign or street address on the building. Fine, down to the next street turn left. I figure I’ll just do the four lefts thing and circle back and try again. Hahaha!! Whatthefuckever. The next two streets are one way the wrong way, yes two in a row going the same (WRONG) direction. On the third, I can go left. (Don’t ask me why I didn’t just do the four rights thing. Call it tunnel vision, sleep deprivation, I don’t know, I just didn’t. K?) I tried to keep count, I was about 4 blocks from where I needed to turn to get back to the hotel but there was construction, closing the road, then more one ways going the wrong damn direction again. Would you believe it took me almost 45 minutes to go 'around the block' and get back to the hotel? *big sigh*

I finally get checked in and up to my room. (see picture below). It’s nearly 2 am and I’m exhausted. As I’m about to lie down, I realize that the clothes, being new and in cellophane packaging, are wrinkled. Not like thrown on the floor wrinkled but those square ‘just came from the store’ wrinkles. I stayed up for another half hour and ironed.

Made it down stairs for the breakfast interview with the CEO. Everything went really well, guess I was running on adrenalin most of the day. The worst part was right after lunch. The VP of engineering took me on a ride around town to see the area and what not. There I am in a car, with a full belly on 4 +/- hours of sleep and the sun shining in on me. God as my witness, I was doing the whole 'head nod/jerk myself awake' thing for the last half of the ride. He said he didn’t notice. I talked with the CEO, the VP of sales and the VP of engineering. Also chatted with some of the other employees. They also had me take a 90 minute phyc test. You know;

If an employee after 3 years of flawless service begins coming in 30 minute late every day, do you;
A – fire her
B – talk to her once and fire her if she is late again
C – talk to her at least 3 times then fire her if she is late again
D – Do nothing

Great stuff.
I must have done ok. They have made me an offer. I guess you could call it that. Dollar for dollar it is about 5% less than I was making here. With the 35% increase in cost of living and 45% increase in housing, plus taxes, the ‘offer’ is a lot less. I will be talking to them this week about how far off we are. I doubt they are going to add 30-40% to their offer, so. I guess I’m not moving to CT.

Pending opportunities are in Raleigh, NC; Detroit, MI; Nashville, TN; San Diego and San Jose, CA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Extremely vivid post, as usual... why cant more bloggers, and even "professional writers", be as straightforward and fun to read?

OK, now the rant, so you can delete the post and feel happier.

It amazes me that an experienced professional in your line of work (lighting?), that lives in a state as big as a small european country (Portugal), has to travel hundreds or thousands of miles, spending good money, to find a job.

What the fuck is wrong with your country? You even mentioned California. Its like I had to go to a job interview in Poland. And through all this "crisis", invented by YOUR failed system, they use YOUR taxes to bail out rich bankers.

While you're going through all this, your country is still spending billions, in wars 7000 miles away, for false pretexts. And of course, to get the Bush family and some Saudi sheiks, a lot richer. As well as Israel.