Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 14 October, 2004 at

A little back story…..

Two years ago this coming November, I was laid off by my previous company. If you were around at the time, you’ll remember the .com bust and how it effected all Technology companies. I was a minor casualty of the turn in the economy.

In February of 2003, I began working for the company I am currently at. It is a small startup with a niche product. Last October, my fucktard coworker was let go and I have been doing 100% of the support since then. After he was fired, our marketing guy was let go around May and a developer soon bailed out. Two months ago another developer took a leave and a few weeks later my direct boss left as well.

At current count, my present company is 12 people strong. This is including our off-site development crew and business applications guy. In the office are 9 of the employees. And there is too much work for all of us to do. So much so, that when I left for war, I felt bad about sticking my new boss with my work load, since I knew she would have a tough time with it just based on the volume alone.

Things have been tough recently, and I find myself only re-acting to issues rather than pro-actively creating solutions to address the calls before they come. I am hard pressed to find time to actually -create- any content for the knowledge base I manage, or to really dig into the KB application that hosts my FAQs to determine how I could better manage the data for my users.

That has me a bit down since I am back to only doing front line support because that is all I have time for.

Which is why, when arriving at war on Wednesday night last week, I was not immediately put off by my previous boss from the company that laid me off indicating he had a position for me. in fact his words were something like: Chris is leaving, and that opens a position for you if you are interested… just give me a number.

His words had resonance the entire weekend. It was on my mind quite a bit. I tossed it around so much that come Monday morning when I just wanted to go home, I realized I had failed to chat with him at all.
Tuesday came and went, and I returned back to werk this past Wednesday. Halfway through that day, I receive an IM from my previous boss from my current company asking me for my non-work e-mail address. I, of course, happily obliged since I really enjoyed working for her. It seems that ever since leaving, she has been watching the open positions in her department to find the right fit for me. And apparently she did.

So I looked over the job description she e-mailed to me and become a bit intrigued. Its not the PERFECT job,but rather one that will meet my skill set and provide challenges to help me grow. After reviewing the description a bit, I send off an e-mail indicating that I am indeed interested. We chat a bit more and set up a time this after noon to discuss it in further detail. If I hadn’t been excited before, I was after I left that chat.

We had met at the Starbucks on my way home from work and quite close to her office and chatted it up for about an hour. We discussed the position and all the different projects it entails. We also discussed why she left my current company. What it boiled down to was the need for change, to get away from stagnation, and a need for stability. remember when I said we were just a startup. Well take that for exactly what it is: minimal stability. we are more driven by the bottom line than any other company, simply because we have been running in the red since day one 3 years ago. With the release of v7, we bought more time, but no one except the execs seem to know exactly how much time, and they ain’t talkin.

Needless to say, I am seriously considering her offer. So much so that I will be following this process through until I get an offer letter.

Driving away from our meeting, I was riding a high. I decided to ring my old boss from my company previous. He actually answered and I asked if he had anything going on at the time and if he minded if I swung by on my way home (the office is literally on my way home, which was nice). He told me to come on by so I headed on over as fast as I could. And damn if that chat didn’t leave me even higher than an hour earlier.

It appears that he has me at the top of his list, consisting of two people. The other is a friend that I worked with both at this company as well as a company prior to that and I respect her immensely. So I am at least in good company. Turns out he as also pinged the rest of the group he manages (all of which are people I worked with when I was there previously) and they unanimously agreed that they would love to have me back on the team. My previous boss has even been taking to his boss and HR about getting me back.

After our chat today he is really going to be working it for me, as I am seriously considering going back, to the point of receiving an offer letter.

For now, I will be interviewing and chatting it up. When those letters come, I will be a basket case. Because damnit, this is going to be a tough decision. Not only do I love working with the people I am currently employed by, I have a fabulous opportunity with a new company working under a manager I love working for, AND I have an opportunity to go back to my old team which I hated leaving in the first place.

The Kinks had it right: Should I stay, or Should I go? And then to which one? Truly this is comparing apples, oranges and kiwi fruit. I have the current known, though unstable. I have the complete unknown sans one person I would be working for. And I have the previously known and loved, though the company screwed me once already… do I dare go back and run a risk of them doing it again?

I will wage a guess that this weekend will be full of me being inside my own head trying to figure crap out about where I need to be and want to be and where my best opportunity lies. Can we say FUN? I knew you could…..

Oh, and I need to do more thinking and talking about my other friend’s offer as it relates to the SCA and how I play the game. I need to discuss and decide how involved I really want to be and if I want to play the game at the level he is offering to help me attain. For most of you, this may seem trivial, but to me it is a big choice which can have very real consequences depending on what we decide to do.

Yes, I realize I am being cryptic. But I haven’t yet spoken with John or Mary on it yet, nor have I discussed anything with or other friend about it. Until then, I do not really want to say too much for fear of it sliding around out of control. It is a decision which I do not wish to be influenced by any parties who know all involved. I will deal with that when the time comes.

Damn, I need a beer.

2 Responses to “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K”

  1. It’s always nice to have your abilities validated by others – you are obviously very knowledgeable in your field. I hope you got your beer!

  2. Thank you! And I did get my beer. Much happier now (or, well last night at least).

    Believe it or not, this is the first time in my life that I have been actively recruited by anyone, be it a head hunter or previous employer.

    Validation is the perfect word to use. I never really knew how much my previous bosses appreciated my work until now. I figure if I am the first person they are coming to, I must have done something right.

    I will, however disagree with you on one point. I am not very knowledgeable in my field. In fact, I am kind of a jack of all trades and master of none. I can do a lot, but not at a level that many others can do it at. I am a geek, but nowhere near the UberGeek that I could be if I actually focused on one thing.

    Instead of being knowledgeable, I am simply good at what I do; which is technical support. Honestly, I am better at the support part than the technical part.

    Now I just have to make sure that all the praise I have received yesterday doesn’t go to my head 🙂


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