Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What A Diff'rence A Day Makes!

"The future is whatever you make it - so make it a good one!"
--Doc Brown, Back To The Future, Part III

It also helps to have other people looking out for you.

The story so far:

August 16th: First Magnus Financial Corp, formerly known in this blog as Unnamed Largish Company, lays off about 5,000 people across the country (about 90% of its staff, about 550 of them in Tucson). I'm one of the people laid off. I check in with two temp-to-hire agencies before even going home from my former job.

August 24th: after talks with three recruiters, Pima Country One Stop and three job interviews, I accept a temporary position with Anonymous Regional Retailer (ARR!), hoping to be hired on permanently in a few weeks.

September 14th: I've worked hard, learned a lot, gotten on well with my co-workers, had two good interviews with ARR!'s owners, and even caught up on my work after a day and a half of jury duty. But do I have the job? No answer yet, but I know there are other qualified applicants being considered.

September 17th: my boss very nicely breaks the news that the owners hired someone else, and that my job ends either at the end of the week or early the following week, depending on available work and my own plans. I'm bummed, but I thank him for four weeks of a job that I loved. I update and upload my resume before bedtime.

September 18th: one of my recruiters calls to arrange a job interview for late afternoon this Thursday! Apparently one of the employers that was still in the pipeline when I accepted the ARR! job is still very interested in me. Hooray!

The rest of this week is gonna be a little tricky. In addition to some ongoing tasks, I'm working on accomplishing one lasting thing before I go, which involves my writing and editing skills as well as what I've learned of ARR!'s procedures. I'm also trying to work a full forty hour week, something I have not managed to date due to Labor Day and jury duty. On Thursday I'm dropping Tuffy off at the vet for surgery (I'll explain in a minute), and then have to leave work at 3:30 PM for my interview. I'll try to work extra time tomorrow and Friday to make up for it.

I mentioned months ago that Tuffy has two benign epidural tumors (I forget exactly what they're called). One is on top of her head, the other on her side. She does not seem to suffer any from them (doesn't even scratch at them), so John has been reluctant to spend the $1,000 for elective surgery on an 11-year-old dog. However, he finally broke down and scheduled the surgery for this Thursday. This was before we got the bad news about my job, which makes our financial situation a bit precarious. Nevertheless, I think I've talked him into going ahead with it anyway.

Let me try to make my point about all this before I wrap up this entry and head off to bed. It's a cliche, I know, but there are things you can control and things you can't. For example, I could not have saved First Magnus. But a lot of the stuff you can't control is nevertheless affected by the choices you make, in both predictable and unforseeable ways. I choose to continue to be as pleasant, upbeat and helpful as possible at ARR! while I'm there. I had a few hours of politely-expressed disappointment, but I also made it clear I was blaming no one and was still grateful to the company. Despite the negative result on the actual job, I've made a good impression, and will continue in the same vein. The recruiter has heard back nothing but good things about me, and I've said nothing but good things about ARR! After all, I've been working for three weeks at a good company full of good people, doing interesting work in a slightly different area of accounting from previous jobs. I've made money, explored downtown a little bit, added to my knowledge of accounting software, and helped the company and the recruiters to develop a well-deserved positive impression of each other.

Now, if I'd griped at people, moped around and slacked off on my tasks, I would have wasted everyone's positive opinions of me, and annoyed people, making for a less happy workplace for myself as well as others. The recruiter would have heard back that I'm not as professional and emotionally mature (ha!) as previously thought, and the recruiter would hesitate to place me with valued employer-clients. Fortunately, grumping and slacking aren't my style, anyway. It's all good. Being pleasant and industrious is the easiest way for me to finish out this week, the stance that will make me the happiest. And chances are excellent that in some small way, it will help to make my future "a good one."


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