The Job Experience, MegaSoftwareCoSupport: Year #11

Job Hunting Again

Before, there was askjeeves.  But he didn't know shit.

Before, there was askjeeves.
But he didn’t know shit.

It’s hard to believe, but fewer than twelve months into the gig with MegaSoftwareCo, I’m already sure I’m going to leave it.  That final conversation with my manager cemented it, unfortunately. My only way out of doing ticket work was apparently to climb into the ranks of management staff, which seemed crazy to me, like trying to cure a fever by drinking boiling water.  My guess was that it’d just make things worse.

It wasn’t my manager’s fault.  It was the job’s fault.  It was the organization’s fault.  It was the fact that I had plenty of money’s fault — it’s harder to suck it up and accept a bad job when you feel like you’re just about FI because a sense of entitlement creeps up on you.  Like:  I don’t have to deal with this any more, so I won’t.

So, Month 16 finds me working through the job-searching process again.  And I’m careful about it.  I adopted the same approach that helped me to land my sweet job at StartupVille.  First, I go through lots of phone interviews.

Then I interviewed in person with three places between month 16 and month 18.  Two of the three were large-company sweatshops.

But the third gig was promising.

My old manager from StartupVille — the one who had been demoted and took a pay cut to work for Mega — had finally left the company a few months prior.

He took a job with another startup company, as the director of engineering.  They were looking for a systems-engineer and operational guy who could occasionally do customer support.

Since I enjoyed my time with StartupVille and I knew I got along with him, I decided to take a chance on the opportunity.

There’s only one thing that makes me nervous:  I wouldn’t be reporting to him directly.  Nope!  I’d be reporting to the CEO himself, and I got the sense that he was a little weird during the interview process.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I thought he was weird but he had this strange energy pouring out of him, projecting outward, and it struck me that maybe this energy was just a little bit unstable, like it contained an radio-isotope that was prone to breaking down.

Still, I wanted to get out of Mega, and it seemed like there was a reasonable chance I’d be happy at the new place.  After all, I’d enjoyed working for the smaller companies more than the bigger ones, overall, and I knew at least one person I’d get along with already.

I talk it over with my wife and it’s decided.  I’m off to the new place, which I will later come to think of as Hell.

Looking back, although I’ll defend my reasoning for taking this particular job, it was, unquestionably, a complete disaster.  Imagine boarding the second Death Star during the construction phase. It’s not even finished — there are large portions of the thing missing.  And yet you’re tasked with getting it to be fully operational so the Emperor can blow up planets.  It ended up being sort of like that, except without the awesomeness of Star Wars.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.  It’ll all come out in the Year 12 post, which is going to read like the hot mess that it is.


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10 Responses to The Job Experience, MegaSoftwareCoSupport: Year #11

  1. Dwayne Hoover says:

    When you were getting towards the end here, did you ever consider the option of simply working PT but extending the journey to FI by a few years?

    • livingafi says:

      Absolutely, I’d much prefer to work part time. Problem is that I don’t think it’s possible on the IT/Engineering Support side of things. Sometimes strict programmers/developers can manage this sort of arrangement, but organizations only have FT positions available for support — my guess is that this is because of rigid availability requirements. I’d love to hear from any readers that think I’m wrong or can share ways to go about making it happen though.

  2. Steph says:

    When I was a wage slave it was in an open plan office, I actually would have loved a soulless cube. I began to really hate some people as I just couldn’t get away from them and I wasn’t allowed headphones to help me concentrate above everybody’s voices. Introverts and open plan offices (4 people to one bank of desks) are not a very good mix. Sometimes I would pretend I needed to make a private phonecall so I could go into an empty office and sit there in peace for a few minutes.
    At one point everyone was offered voluntary redundancy and I took it and ran. It was enough to pay off our mortgage as our house was v modest. The year after I left (I was pregnant by this point) I bought another small house and renovated it and sold on for a nice profit. I haven’t really worked since having my daughter but knowing how to live frugally is very freeing and gives us as a family so many more options. A bit of a rambling comment, sorry.

    • livingafi says:

      That’s really tough. I didn’t get into it in this post but my cube was right next to sales at Mega and those guys were also on the phone constantly, very loud, and frequently talking about very obnoxious non-PC things that really get under your skin. It’s great you were able to responsibly get away from that job and spend more time with your family, very cool. “Voluntary redundancy.” Love that corporate-ese.

  3. Good stuff, sounds like the next update will shed light on what makes FU money so important. Even better if it’s FI money! Real world issues (and vacations) have killed my blogging lately, but I need to get revved back up. Lots of interesting things going on.

    • livingafi says:

      I’ve had some of my own real life things going on as well (mom moved to senior housing last weekend, had to clean out a house of clutter and list it. More than ‘clutter’ actually but that’s another story.) Family’s first, though, much more important than blogging or my day job. I have been looking forward to more details on your lifestyle inflation posts, though. Get em out, please! 🙂 BTW, yeah, if you enjoy reading about incomprehensibly awful jobs and insane people, you’re going to love Year 12 but hate the final entry (Year 13-present), because I found another really nice place to ply my trade.

  4. I eagerly await Cthulu-119, the radioactive isotope of vanilla ‘Thu.

  5. Tom says:

    In retirement, I’m finding those home improvement and maintenance costs creep in more frequently than I would have expected. Little things here and there – and some bigger ones. I try to adhere to a pretty low budget, for now, so those costs tend to upset the cart a little despite primarily doing the work myself. Not sure these will ever go away completely – it’s always something.

    When I first had an opportunity to occasionally work from home back in the mid-90’s I had a very difficult time getting much work done, due mostly to lack of motivation (and probably because the technology for working remotely wasn’t what it is today). Funny aside – I was making a long distance call one day from home and dialed 9, then 1, for an outside line (as if in the office) out of habit and accidentally hit 1 a second time. Imagine my surprise when the cops showed up at my door and insisted on walking thru my apartment to make sure no one was being held against their will. Wonder if this has happened to others. Years later I found myself to be much more productive working from home and actually liked it (mostly) despite living alone. Yes – I have loner tendencies so it was easier for me to tolerate. I loved waking up early and getting right to work. I was paid by the hour so it was perfect for someone trying to build a stash. I was never paid 1.5x for OT – that would have been sweet.

    I worked on an extended project that required driving 6.5 hours Sundays and Fridays (I hate flying) and living onsite during the week. Most all of my communications with various teams was done thru phone and IM. 95% of folks I worked with daily were in far flung cities. Even folks in the same office used IM – even if they were in the next cubicle. Weird to have that kind of culture where people got irritated if you stopped by their desk to talk instead of using IM. So it was sort of ludicrous to have the company pay my expenses when I could work just as easily from home. Luckily we convinced management of that fact after the first year. On the plus side of IM – we would attach cool little emoticons and I had an awesome collection before I left that job. It was always pretty awesome when someone sent you a new one. (Sadly, this was one of the few positives on my own personal job from hell.)

    • livingafi says:

      Thanks for the stories — the accidental 911 call sounds like it spiced your day up pretty good.. Here’s hoping you’ve moved on from your own job-hell experience by now!

  6. A W S says:

    Interesting observation in regard to working at home. Especially today. Some of us are working like that from March 2020. Never been better whilst climbing the corporate rotten ladder. No office politics and empty smiles. Tons of money saved commute but more important to this is the most valuable commodity- time that is saved. Goodbye commute. Good luck ya all.

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