Sunday, February 21, 2010


This might be a super-duper long one so settle in with a nice adult beverage and get comfy. Last week ended with me hating my boss, my job and therefore, my life. The weekend was smooth enough. It was a much needed break for me. I went to the wedding Friday with my roomie. That was pretty uneventful. Saturday I had class and then went to hang with my sister and her wife. I can't seem to keep my eyes open past 9pm lately so as is my new MO, I fell asleep on their couch around 9. I woke up at 11 and drove home. Sunday was Valentine's Day. Even when I am in a relationship I feel like this is a really stupid holiday. Anytime you are scrambling to answer the question, "what do I get for this occasion", you should not be buying gifts. I had a singles outing planned with my friend Nicole and my gay boyfriend, Aaron. The weather in the Lou did not cooperate, however. It was snowing and icing by 3pm when I picked Aaron up. The roads got bad really quick so we decided to go somewhere close to Nicole's house which is really far from where we would normally hang out. Long story short, Nicole got a hole in her tire which forced us home early. Not a bad thing with the roads like they were. We ate, drank and were merry at her house instead. Monday I was off for Presidents Day. I scheduled a dentist appointment weeks ago, not realizing it was on a day I was off work. I almost canceled but then thought better of it since I was preparing myself for a job change and at least a small amount of time without insurance. 2 hours and a partial crown later, I left the dentist with a very numb mouth. I went home that night to chill. I woke up around midnight and I was violently ill. It had to have been some sort of weird flu bug. I had the cold sweats and bile out both ends (sorry for the TMI). It was a horrible night of no sleep so Tuesday I called in sick to work and spent the day on the couch.

Here is where the fun begins. Wednesday is my late day at work. My hours are 10-6. I went in at 10 and my boss was not there. He was away on City business that keeps him from doing his job and growing his business. I digress. So he strolls in around 11 and asks to talk to me. Nothing out of the ordinary, as his idea of organizing his thoughts is rambling on for hours. He starts off talking about all of the things that we have tried in this down market that have not worked. Union employees don't want to attend seminars on pre-retirement when the recent market lows will keep them years from their projected retirement date. Even if I get licensed, it will be months before I could be on the phone making calls. Basically nothing we are doing seems to be working right now. Well, ummmmm, duuuuuuuuh! This is what I have been saying for months! So then he just sits there. I am thinking he has a new idea. He is good for a few hair brained schemes a year and I was sure one was coming. Still he sat. Here is how our conversation went after he listed all of the things we have tried but are not working.

Him: So there just isn't enough work.

Me: Ok. What can we do?

Him: Well, we just don't have the contacts.

Me: Ok. What can I do?

Him: Well, you know it just isn't enough for a 3 person team.

Me: What is it you are trying to say?

Him: Well.......(loooooong pause) I am going to have to let you go.

Me: You are firing me?

Him: I am letting you go, due to lack of work.

Me: (Shock settling in) so all of this talk about 'please don't go find another job'. 'We will work something out'. 'We are good until summer'. What was all of that?

Him: I'm sorry

Me: I told you months ago we needed a new strategy and you wanted to concentrate on your city business as an alderman. I said then that I was low man on the poll and I didn't want to be out of a job. That is why I have been pushing to make something happen. You are the one that said we were fine.

Him: I'm sorry

At this point I walked out of his office. I was going to start talking about interracial dating sites, porn at work and his utter lack of drive and motivation. But then, I felt relieved. I hated him. I even blogged my hate. I don't think he found my blog but I also really don't care. He was king of the douche bags and I despised him. The rejection was the worst of it. He has always told me what a great job that I do so it was just a surprise. I mean, we clearly have not been seeing eye-to-eye lately but business-wise this was a really stupid move on his part for many reasons. The fact of the matter is that I was bored. This job was not a challenge to me in any way. It served the purpose that I needed which was a paycheck for the past year and a half but there was no room for growth, nothing to learn and he was such a tightwad that I was never going to make decent money so it was truly a blessing in disguise.

In a lot of ways I could liken it to a bad relationship and in that, there is a lesson for me. I was not happy but I kept trying; just like I did with CL. Is it that I don't like to fail at things? I don't like to be the one to throw in the towel? I mean, I have been looking for work but I would not have just quit. Why do I stay and try when I know it is in my best interest to cut loose and move on? This is something that I really need to work on for myself.

I packed up my office with a quickness and was out of there. They paid me for the week and for a few days of vacation so I have almost a full paycheck from them after having just gotten paid on Monday. With unemployment at 10% somehow that didn't feel very secure. I came directly home and filed for unemployment. I have never collected unemployment and I hope to not need it but I filed anyway. After that I started reaching out to any and all friends for leads on jobs. My friend Courtney (former co-worker) came through right away. She works for US Bank in their mortgage department and suggested that I apply months ago. She immediately called some people and got me an e-mail address to send my resume. Within 15 minutes of hitting send I got a phone call for an interview which I promptly set for 11am the next day. My friend Kari (also a former co-worker) knows a hiring manager at a collection agency. I did collections 8 years ago for almost 5 years. I didn't love it but I am not turning down a job in this economy.

Thursday morning I got a call from the collection agency. They wanted me to come in for an interview immediately. The US Bank position hires through a temp agency and my interview with them was at 11. She told me it would be 30 minutes at most so I scheduled the collection interview for 12. The first interview was only 15 minutes. She told me she had no other good candidates to send them and she was super excited when Courtney called her about me. She talked salary, start date and benefits before telling me she would be in touch soon! I had 45 minutes until my next interview which was just down the street (which is why I scheduled them so close in time) so I stopped at McD's for lunch. When I arrived for my interview at 12 they had me do personality tests first. Then I met with a woman who was super sweet. She asked all of the preset stupid interview questions and I could tell she really liked me. From there she had the 2nd in command at the company come in and talk to me. He was long winded and seemed to like to hear himself talk which is not at all uncommon in collections. By the time it was all said and done I was there 2 hours and 50 minutes! I left there at almost 3pm and I was drained. I felt extremely lucky to have not 1 but 2 interviews just one day after being laid off!

Friday morning I got a call from the collection agency first thing. They made an offer for a job. The money is more than I thought they would offer, honestly. Collections are generally base plus commission and they like to make you work for your money so they usually give you a very low base and make you work like hell for bonus. The guy who called with the offer is a friend of my old roommates. He said it is the highest salary he has offered in his history with the company. They proposed a start date of 3/8 which is 2 weeks from tomorrow. It was all so sudden that I told him I would get back to him early this week. The US Bank job pays just a bit more but there is way more room to move up. Plus, even working as a temp for 3-6 months I will get insurance within 30 days with the bank job where as it is 1 year in the collection job before benefits start. I don't want to turn down a job before I have one secured but the collection position is really my last resort. It is a very negative environment filled with alcoholics and drug addicts. With school to keep me going, I could do it but I would not love it. IF I get the US Bank job I would be working very close to home, not to mention just across the hall from Courtney who could once again be my lunch bud!

I called Courtney as soon as I got the offer. She suggested I call the temp agency and let them know I had an offer on the table and see if that motivated them. I did call and I left a message but did not hear back so Court called them herself later in the day. My resume was forwarded to the proper person at US Bank. They gave Court the woman's name and she just so happened to work just a few seats from Courtney. The woman was on vacation Friday so Court said she will talk to her first thing on Monday to find out her course of action. Word around the bank is that they have not seen 1 qualified applicant yet and this feels like it will bode well for me. I have this week to think and interview but I feel like I need to make a decision by week’s end. Hopefully tomorrow I will have more information on this US Bank gig and be able to make a more informed decision.

It is funny that I KNOW that everything happens for a reason but I still tend to freak out. Walking out of my office on Wednesday I didn't know what was in store for me. I was scared, rejected and sad. By that afternoon I was excited for new opportunities. It is true that when one door closes a window opens. I felt the universe pulling me away from that job. My last 2 blog posts were very clear about my preparation to be out of there soon. I wish it had been on my terms but that is part of the learning experience. I was unhappy months ago. I started applying for jobs back in October just before things went south with CL. In fact, you might have read
this blog about my friend and me applying for the same job. THAT was Courtney, the one who is now (hopefully) helping me get on at US Bank. That very scary experience kept me from applying for more jobs. It should not have. Even after all that happened to her Court continued to look and eventually found her current job at the bank. When she told me I should apply I was still gun shy from our joint terrible experience and decided against it. I try to live life without regrets but I can't help but think that I could be a permanent employee of the bank by now. Alas, that is not how this was supposed to work out, I guess. I am still not completely sure what is in store for me but I have a feeling that it is pretty freaking fabulous!


  1. WOW! I think you are absolutely doing the right thing, waiting to see what the bank says. I can't imagine going an entire year without benefits. Plus, you aren't thrilled about going back into collections anyway. Regardless, how lucky are you that you are basically guaranteed a job...and a decent one...either way!? Good things happen to good people!

  2. This just might all work out great for you! Best of luck! And definitely wait for the bank. It might be a much better opportunity.