Friday, July 10, 2015

Good Done (not so) Great

My apologies for neglecting you, Followers. As most of you have probably learned by now, any time there is a big lag in between posts, it's usually because lots of stuff is going on. Of course, that's usually the case around here more often than not.

As many of you know, I started a new job back in March with a small tech start-up here in Charleston called Good Done Great. I thought I had finally found "my place" in this budding tech town - I was brought on board to help build this company with my talent, skills and experience in project management. I was going to "get in early" and ride it all the way to the top. And with stock options waiting in the wings, it was only going to be a matter of time until my big payday arrived. Well, that dream fell disastrously short of everything I had hoped for.

It was Thursday, June 4th. The following Tuesday, June 9th, Mommy B and I were scheduled to fly to Aruba for 5 days sans kids. We were going to meet our good friends from college there, sans their kids as well. I get on a video conference with my interim manager (my direct manager who hired me quit a few weeks previous - which should have been a sign) and I thought we were just going to discuss how my onboarding had gone and how I was ready to take on the new projects they said were going to close for months. Well, another screen popped up and it was the president of the company. I knew right away that this conversation was either going to be really good... or really bad. Unfortunately it was the latter. The president told me that the Sales team hadn't been able to close the deals in the time frame they had anticipated when they hired me. This meant that there was no "new business" for me to be assigned to, which basically meant they were paying me to not do my job. He said that they could no longer justify keeping me on without having a client for me to bill my time towards. While I reassured them that I'd been keeping busy documenting their processes (which they didn't have before I got there), I also asked if there was any other role there I could assume until the deals closed. They both said that unfortunately there just wasn't the work coming down the pipe and there was nothing anyone could do to speed up the process. That afternoon was to be my last day at Good Done Great. In turn, they reassured me that this was not a reflection on my performance or anything personal, and that they would both act as references in my job search moving forward. I was to turn in my laptop by the end of the day and not to bother coming back in on Friday. I thanked them for the opportunity to work at such a "cool" place and wished them the best of luck in the future.

I've lived in this town long enough to know that there are just sometimes you have to take your lumps and keep your class, because making a scene or getting all upset would damage my reputation to the point that getting another job would be very difficult. So, I swallowed the lump in my throat, ignored the pit in my stomach and took the remaining hour of the day to collect my belongings and say my goodbyes to everyone. Needless to say, they were all stunned at the news. They had no idea that the company was in that bad of shape financially that they couldn't afford to keep me on a little while longer until some deals came through. Well, come to find out, they let another person go the next day... so it sounds like they were hurting for our paychecks back all along. I don't hold any resentment or ill will towards the company - I realize it's a numbers game and often times the last one hired is the first one fired. All that being said, I certainly got my first lesson in joining tech start-ups - you never know what can happen!

I came home that night and told Mommy B the news. She actually was more upset about the situation than I was. After putting the kiddos to bed that night, we talked about what to do about our vacation the following week. I promised that I would send out as many applications as I could while we were still in town and given how slow people are to respond here in the South, we might as well skip town and enjoy ourselves. I figured that there would be little to no response that week anyway, and there was no point in me sitting around staring at the computer (and my phone) waiting for something to happen. Plus, I didn't want to disappoint our friends who had been looking forward to this trip just as much (if not more) than we were. So we decided to hell with it, let's go to Aruba and get drunk on the beach all day. I'll try to post about that trip soon.

But here I sit - out of work for over a month. The job search and application process has been nothing short of disheartening. I applied for unemployment the week we got back and just received my first check yesterday - so stupid. I've sent out over 15 applications/resumes to various technology companies in town, and have barely gotten a sniff. Maybe my resume needs polishing, or maybe this town is so small that you really just need to know someone to get in. Personally I think it's the latter. I just don't understand how after reading the job description and requirements, you think it's a great fit and send in your application, all you get is... crickets. Nothing. NO RESPONSE AT ALL. Don't companies realize that by ignoring people completely, you end up really pissing them off? And they forget how small a town it is too - their reputation is upheld by word-of-mouth opinions. There was one company I applied to and they reached out to me in less than 12 hours... so why do other companies take weeks or just never write back at all?

Did I mention how frustrating this process was?

In the meantime, I've been trying to take advantage of spending more time with the kids. It is summer time after all, so that just means more time at the pool! Alli is taking private swim lessons (thanks, Tatsy!) nearby, so she doesn't wear any floaties any more. Aiden has gone a couple times, but I think next summer will really be his time to shine. We've spent some time out on my parent's boat and have been to the beach a couple times. Uncle Tom is coming to town tomorrow for the week, so that'll be a great time for them to ditch daycare and hang out with he and I instead.

The job front finally started looking less bleak this past week, as I finally got some nibbles for a couple applications. First interviews (aka the idiot test) are in the books, and I'm looking to get some more scheduled next week. Stay tuned for more as the saga continues.

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