It’s almost as bad as hearing your wife/girlfriend/s.o. say: “We need to talk.”

The dreaded: “The boss wants a 1×1 meeting with you tomorrow before the staff meeting.”

That’s it. Not a word on what the meeting is supposed to be about or anything and my attempt to find out by sending back a “just out of curiosity, can you fill me in on what this is about” went unanswered. I hate that. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It doesn’t help that the company you just hired back in with is in the middle of trying to unload 38,000+ employees via buyouts and early retirements and, eventually, just outright layoffs.

As Han would say, I have a bad feeling about this.

The curse of the blue ink stain!

Somehow something blue got into the laundry the other day and made a bit of a mess, much to Mrs. SEB’s consternation, and she ended up having to rewash quite a few items to try and remove the resulting stains. We have no idea what it was or how it got in there, but for the most part she was successful in cleaning up the damage done.

Yesterday I pulled out my tan slacks and got dressed for work without really thinking about it because it was 6AM and I wasn’t awake. On the way into work I happened to notice that there was a bit of a blue stain on back of the cuff of the right pant leg. Not a big deal and hardly worth turning around to go home and change. I got to work and made it through most of the morning before I had to visit the men’s room to get rid of the coffee I had consumed earlier to try and wake up. Finishing up I turned around to walk to the sink and wash my hands. It was then that I noticed it.

A small dark spot in the lower right of my crotch that made it look like I didn’t “shake the dew off the lilly” suffeciently before stuffing said lilly back into my pants, always a danger when you’re wearing light colored pants. As most men are wont to do when confronted with the panic inducing possibility that they’ve slightly pissed themselves, I reached for my crotch to check for dampness and was surprised when my pants turned out to be quite dry. Closer examination of my crotch revealed that the dark spot was yet another of the mystery stains that was just light enough that it didn’t look so much “blue” as much as “wet tan-colored fabric” that was perfectly positioned for maximum bad impressions in others. Great.

When you really do slightly piss yourself you can at least count on it drying fairly quickly and nobody being the wiser, but when it’s really a light blue stain that suspiciously looks like wet fabric it ain’t gonna go away anytime soon. Needless to say I was very self-concious about how I walked around the building for most of the day. I think I made it through without anyone thinking I was in need of “Depends” or something similar, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Acclimation to the new job continues.

I’m actually sitting in the building I’ll be supporting for the first time. It’s pretty nice, one of the nicer buildings the company has, with a full blown cafeteria with all manner of goodies. I’m told there’s around 1,900 people total in the building and that’s a big step up from what I’m used to so I’m a tad nervous, but overall this is looking to be a good assignment. It turns out the Site Manager I’ll be with is someone that I worked somewhat closely with the last time I was at this company when they made me a planner—he was also a planner back then and we shared many a moment whining about how we didn’t want to be planners—so that’s a bonus as we had a good working relationship (misery loves company).

Expect light blogging this week as well as I’m still in training on the new job, but things should be getting back to normal soon. Gotta run. Off to meet the first level support team.

First day at the new job open thread.

Today was my first day at the new job which was a lot like the old job I got laid off from in the sense that I saw a lot of people I know who were surprised and happy to hear of my return to the company. Didn’t get a lot done today other than catching up with once-former-now-once-more coworkers as they didn’t have my badge ready or a computer setup for me as of yet. Hell, I’ve not even seen the building I’ll be supporting yet as I’m spending this week shadowing Rob as he shows me the ropes in the new department. It really felt familiar, though, because Rob is one of my best friends and the guy I used to work this job with in the past.

Needless to say I didn’t get any blogging in as I usually do on Mondays and this evening isn’t looking good either as Anne and I are going to Courtney’s high school “meet the teachers” thing they’re doing tonight. So consider this an open thread to talk about whatever you want to talk about. Hopefully I’ll be able to return to regular blogging soon.

Wrapping up the last day at my current job.

Today is my last day before making the switch to a full-time on-site employee on Monday. It’s kind of weird as I’m not really leaving the company I work for, just moving to a different location and role, but it’s still got that “last day” vibe to it. Folks are stopping by the desk to say goodbye and wish me luck, the boss is taking the team out for a going away lunch, and I’m cleaning up my cubicle and job queues. It’s bittersweet as I’ve enjoyed working here and would love to come back someday if they ever have a full time position to offer, but I’m excited about moving up to a new position in an environment I’m already somewhat familiar with working with people I used to work with in the past. Already former coworkers (who will soon once more be current coworkers) are calling me up and asking if I’m ready to start going to lunch together again (one of them, JethricOne, reads SEB regularly).

So it’s going to be a bit strange today. It’s the last day except it’s not.

I have managed to land a new job. Normalcy is near.

So let’s start things off with a bit of good news. I mentioned last month that my current position would be coming to an end within a month or two as the company I work for was gearing up to launch the co-op program which I was currently filling in for. My boss, being the cool boss that he is, has been doing his best to hold onto me for as long as he could to give me every chance to land a new position elsewhere and it has paid off as I just got an offer on Friday and confirmation of my start date this morning. I’ll still be working for my current company as I’ll once again become one of their contract workers just like I did in the past and, ironically enough, I’m headed back to The Automotive Company that laid me off over a year and a half ago.

Yes, it does appear that I’m headed back to the company that I spent four years at previously where I sat through two pay cuts and being forced into a planner job despite my objections only to be laid off because I didn’t have a college degree which they require when they want to make you a direct hire. The good news is that I’ll be working for a completely different department doing Second Level PC Support just like I did when I originally hired in and this department is growing when most others are facing yet more layoffs in the not too distant future. My pay will go back up very close to what I was making when I was laid off and I’ll once again be able to afford medical insurance for the family. In short, things are headed back to normal 18 months after I was laid off.

I’m going to miss my current job, despite the lower pay and lack of benefits, because I work with some great people and it’s been a wonderful learning opportunity, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited to get back to the level I was at before I was laid off. The job is actually quite a bit different as things have changed a bit since I was there, but I’ll be once again working with people I’ve enjoyed working with in the past so it evens out. Still it’s a bit odd going back to a company I thought I’d never work for again. Anyway, that’s the good news. I’m still gainfully employed.

It was such a simple plan…

Took yesterday off from work to get the car worked on because they couldn’t fit it into the weekend and it made for a nice three day weekend which I’ve not had in awhile. Not a big deal, right? Then it got complicated really quickly. First there’s one part they need to finish up work on the car that they don’t have in stock so it’s supposed to arrive today. Then it turns out that my daughter’s friend who was staying the night last night needs to go home today earlier than we had expected so a car needs to be available in the afternoon so even if I were to drive into work today I’d need to leave early to be back in time to get her home.

OK, not a huge problem, I’ll just work from home today. So I set my alarm for 7:45AM so I can be logged in by 8AM and I get up and creep downstairs and power on the PC to find that I can’t connect to my work machine. Which is really odd because I was able to connect last night to send out the email saying I’d be working from home before going to bed. Turns out the office had a minor power outage around 6:34 this morning so my PC is off. It’s always embarrassing having to ask your boss to power on your work machine so you can… work.

So it may be Tuesday officially, but it’s feeling a lot like Monday.

Why I will miss my boss…

Me: I’m updating my resume. What’s my official job title here?

Boss: What do you want it to be?

Me: Um…

Boss: Because we can make it whatever you want if you think it’ll help. Usually you’d be referred to as a Systems Engineer.

Me (pondering the possibilities): Well… never mind. Systems Engineer works just fine for me.

Besides, I don’t think anyone would buy the idea that my real job title was “Most Awesomest Employee Ever to Grace the Company Tech Support Wonder Dude.”

Once more into the earnest hunt for a job.

I had a meeting today with my boss and his boss to discuss the status of my temporary position with the company. Turns out the company is about to implement a rotating co-op program that’ll have them bringing in college students on a regular basis to do what I’ve been doing and that program is probably going to be implemented in a month’s time or so and once it starts up my position will come to an end. Unfortunately they don’t have a full-time position to offer me as I had been hoping for. A smaller local branch office is rapidly growing smaller and it probably won’t be long before the full time PC Tech they have there will be moved up here.

I’ve not been pursuing other opportunities seriously in part because I was hoping this one would go full time. I love working here and I’ve learned a great deal in just the six months I’ve been on the job. My boss has been trying to get me in as a full time employee so I’m sure this is as much a disappointment for him as it is me, but I’m grateful to have had the chance to work at all given I was unemployed for 10 months prior to this. I took a bit of a gamble by not searching for something else and it didn’t pay off as I’d hoped. It’s time to polish up the old resume and get serious at looking for other opportunities.

Fortunately the company I work for is run by some decent folks and they’re not just patting me on the back and saying “sorry we couldn’t keep you.” The representatives that handle off-site contract employees are looking to see if they can find me something to do and my boss is contacting a web development team within the company that’s been overwhelmed with the website to see if they could use my skills in that area. Most of the company’s web pages are static and I have an obvious background in dynamic content systems. So there’s always the possibility I might just transition to a new role within the company, but I’m not going to count on it either.

Wish me luck.

News Flash: The world didn’t end in a watery death yesterday.

So the promised meteor fragment that was supposed to be the catalyst behind 200 meter high tsunamis failed to make an appearance yesterday, which isn’t much of a surprise, but we did get some semi-serious thunderstorms in our neck of the woods last night that managed to knock out our power for 4 hours or so. Right as I was in the middle of banning an asshole from visiting the blogs here (that’s a whole other story in itself). We ended up going to bed by 11PM only to have all the lights and the TV in the living room suddenly spring to life at 11:30 or so scaring the hell out of the cats and waking everyone up in the process. Ah, country living. The power in Brighton goes out fairly often compared to when we lived in Canton. Of course at our old address a good portion of the power lines are buried which goes a long way to keeping them intact. Out in the country someone sneezes too close to a power line and it could be days before they’re back up and working.

The job will probably be pretty slow today as it’s the Friday before a three day weekend and a lot of folks here have opted to make it a four day weekend. I’ve got one more PC I need to set up for our new office out near Seattle and then the whole lot can be shipped out today, but beyond that I expect things are going to be pretty quiet. Not that I’m complaining as it means I’ll probably be able to knock off a little early. So that’s what my day is looking like, how about you guys?