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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Issue: People: Horsepower


A short time ago tested for one of the old guard companies. My hair was usually either a low fade or 1" buzz. I am not sure what people referred to me as there, because after a long time of working you start to filter out everything not having to do with getting paid or when you can go home.

I  landed at the old guard company after reaching the end of my time at another job along with the rest of the people working there. The end at the other job came one day midweek when the owners called in all the contract employees to a room to tell us we were fired. 

When we went back upstairs to collect our belongings the full time employes consoled and exchanged contact information with us before they were called into the same room and fired. So I went on vacation for a while, collecting unemployment, sending out resumes, playing games, this part of the life was always harder on Lyly than it was for me, at this point she had seen this process repeated exponentially and was worried about me. 

I calmed her down by promising her that the next testing gig I got would be my last one, it's the same line I feed her every time this happens, but she is always nice enough to play along. My bosses boss at the old guard place was a get it done lady who plucked me out of tester gen pop after seeing some bugs I wrote.

She called me into her office across the road in an area of the complex I had never been to before. I found my way there and knocked on her door. She waved me toward a couch, so I went and sat on the couch. We had a staring contest for a couple beats, her in her business casual suit, me in my sagging pants, windbreaker, and hat on tilt. 

She broke the silence by saying, "So you are the kid writing all the web bugs?" I said, yeah. Then she started bombing on me, I'm talking TRC questions, network functionality, "What would you do if." Shit was crazy, I held my ground ok here and there but for the most part I was stumblin' and fumblin'. I walked out of that office knowing I had screwed the pooch, and feeling like the dumbest human being on earth.  

I started work for her about a week later, It was tough at the start but got easier. After a while my bosses boss got promoted, and it was time to meet her replacement. She rode a motorcycle, smiled when she found something funny, and mostly wore her hair in a ponytail. She introduced herself and gave a speech about changes and revenue streams and whatnot. I rolled my eyes, it was all deja vu for me. 

A while later almost everybody except her and I reached the end of their time at the old guard company. The end came one day midweek when the owners called everyone to a parking lot to tell them they were fired. I assumed I was fired as well so I went back upstairs to collect my stuff, only to have my new bosses boss tell me I wasn't. I started yelling and carrying on at her, "Why am I not fired too?! How could you do this to people?! Stuff like that.

She just stared quietly and let me finish. I could see the tears in her eyes but I was just done, a lot of things came to a head that I had to get out, and she knew that so she just listened until they stopped coming out. 

A while later we were both called into a meeting with every bodies boss to have him explain what just happened to us, and she knew I would holler on him the second I saw him, so she stood right next to me the whole time ready to deal with whatever I was getting ready to do, lightly nudging me, and getting me to look at her instead whenever I got antsy. But there was really no reason for me to say anything in the meeting, as he looked broken up over it as well.

A while later it was time for me to move on to do my own thing by way of quitting, which was a new feeling for me. I expected a battle over being able to leave, as I was one of the few people still in the building able to do what I did there. But instead her and her boss sat me down in her office, thanked me for everything, and wished me luck. He shook my hand, she gave me a hug, and told me she was proud of me. It is now by far the best raise I ever received.

 

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