Monday, June 7, 2010

Days Minus-1,151 & Minus-696 of Double-Barrel Unemployment

Since one of the big differences between my prior stints as an unemployed person and this one is the fact that this job had been for most of its duration beloved, I feel it would behoove me to take a minute and shed some light on why I had so adored it. Long before this latest unemployment story began and even longer before it became "double-barreled," there was a story of employment bliss. I can't really do justice to the coolness of this little software company, my job and my boss, so my natural inclination is just not to try at all. But - wait a minute. Did I actually just use "behoove" in a sentence? Whoa! What is that about? Quick - somebody hire this guy, before he says behoove again!

It's pretty simple, really. The actual work I was doing was just challenging enough to keep me from getting bored, most of the people around me were really cool, the pay was good and the commute short. More importantly, I was blessed with a relatively hands-off, extremely smart and smart-ass little boss lady who had the rare gift of ample common sense. She also happened to be the most upfront and candid boss I've ever known, and within my first few months at the Vortex of Doom she was sharing details about the company, its executives and board and its future plans. She wasn't reckless with information; she decided that she could trust me, and although the Vortex is now long-gone, I won't betray that trust by sharing it all here. I'll only share illustrative examples of our work communications - names changed and all that. By the way - she swore like a sailor, especially once the company's downward spiral was underway, and she made me cuss, too. Before I met her, I never used profanity. What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Anyway, this little company, and Bosslady in particular, relied very heavily on instant messaging to communicate. This came in handy, because she was constantly in meetings and/or off-site. She was the VP-Finance and Controller for the Vortex, and worked with the salesdudes and customers to help structure - and ultimately approve - their deals. She loved the salesdudes, and they worked and partied HARD when they attended trade shows and such, but she was tough and mature enough to still be the bad cop when they tried to push through bad deals. Despite all the promise of this still-growing little company, by the time I joined her (about a year after she had started), she was not only becoming cynical about the Vortex, but had decided she didn't even really like accounting, anymore.

Day Minus-1,151 - Friday, September 30, 2005

bosslady: you there?
joe: nope.
bosslady: sucker! have i taught you nothing? you shouldn't have answered! now i'm gonna ask you questions and annoy you.
joe: DOH!
joe: joe's not here right now, but your IM is important to him. please leave a message about how awesome you think he is, and he will consider whether or not to get back to you. thank you. (BEEP).
bosslady: lol - nice try. how many orders so far?
joe: um... it's only 10:30am, lady. try zero. zero orders. i was about to take a nap.
bosslady: OK, so you're getting used to the whole quarter-end madness. that's good!
bosslady: but i was told there would be like a million in orders from asia and they were supposed to be here by now. it's already like 10:30 at night in tokyo.
joe: ROFLMAO APAC orders! you slay me.
bosslady: now now.
joe: really? you're gonna now now me at 10:30. ooh, it's going to be a long day.
bosslady: i reserve the right to now now anyone at any time. now now is my thing.
joe: you don't own it.
bosslady: yes i do. i own it. it's mine. nah-nah!
joe: by the way - where are you?
bosslady: :)
joe: i won't tell.
bosslady: i'm at starbucks. there was a big accident on the bridge, and i couldn't sit in that traffic for one more minute. deals are being made, left and right.
joe: ugh.
bosslady: don't cry - i'm heading in soon. so where are we in bookings? $6.5ish, right?
joe: roughly. and what are we expecting today? eleventy?
bosslady: lol
joe: :(
bosslady: try eleventy bazillion, but that includes the missing apac orders.
joe: Kill. Me. Now.
bosslady: hey - KMN is kind of my thing, too. you can say it, but i'll never kill you! i need you too much. besides, you know you love this stuff.
joe: eleventy bazillion is an awful lot of beans. you'll have to help CFOman count them. :)
bosslady: hey - there's no reason to throw beans at me this early! besides, can i tell you a secret?
joe: another one? sure!
bosslady: fuck beans!
joe: wow! fuck beans???
bosslady: i HATE the beans. i don't even like accounting. i haven't for a while. shhhh...
joe: huh.
joe: i hear the fax! brb...
bosslady: yay!
bosslady: is it an order?
bosslady: is it for eleventy bazillion dollars?
bosslady: is it a new customer?
bosslady: is it a clean order?
bosslady: whose customer is it?
bosslady: ANSWER ME!!!
joe: i can't help but think that a customer whose PO numbers start with TWELVE (12!) zeros is maybe just a bit too . . .
joe: optimistic.
bosslady: LOL
bosslady: =))
joe: (their accounting manager in a meeting with their accounting software rep...)
bosslady: killing me
joe: "we need more zeros, man! we're going to be doing close to one quadrillion POs."
bosslady: literally crying here. people are staring at me.
joe: sorry. had to get that out. it's a little $30K hardware-only order for BlahBlah.
bosslady: shit. OK, i'm heading in now.

Day Minus-696 - Friday, September 30, 2006

bosslady: the monsoon of orders is coming. you ok out there?
joe: kill me?
bosslady: not a chance.
bosslady: wow - you are an order-scanning MACHINE
joe: i put crack on my corn flakes this morning.
bosslady: lol and you didn't think to share?
joe: i kinda thought everyone else around here had already had more than enough.
bosslady: even me?
joe: no - not you. you're running on pure audit-hell aggravation energy, i assume.
bosslady: ugh. you got that right!
joe: ah, quarter-end. where the fun never . . .
joe: . . . starts.
bosslady: lol - i was going to say begins.
joe: i need drugs.
bosslady: me too!
joe: oh and btw - those little baby valiums = useless.
bosslady: so THAT'S why you've been so complacent today!
joe: lol
joe: well, that, plus my new attitude of whatEVER. and the fact that i haven't really gotten to the hard part of this pile, yet.
bosslady: atta boy! that's why you're my favorite order processing machine! =)
joe: yeah, yeah. don't get too excited, i'm also just pacing myself with my ranting, this time.
bosslady: i know. just keep the rants directed at me. i may be on the same page with you, but others, not so much.
joe: aye-aye, cap'n!

Okay - this is running a little longish. More about the Vortex of Doom later. Much. (Much more - not much later!)

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