The last time we checked in with our intrepid hero, he was whining about something!

But since then much time has passed, and not much has been done. I’ve been looking for work and had many interviews. Some on the phone, some in person, and for the most part it was fruitless.

I should just point out how much I don’t enjoy looking for work. It’s a lot of effort and anticipation and usually ends up not going anywhere. But, as I am not independently wealthy, my quest has to continue. All the way into the new year.

The process would go something like this(for those that are sorta new to looking for work):

  1. Submit resume
  2. Get a call/email about an interview
  3. Have an interview over the phone with someone that’s not qualified to hire you
  4. Have another interview, on the phone or in person with someone that is qualified to hire you
  5. Wait
  6. Wait
  7. Wait
  8. Get some update stating a good thing or a bad thing(usually bad)
  9. GOTO 1.

But sometimes step 8 doesn’t happen, and you’re left in some kind of limbo. This can happen after step 3 as well. If step 8 happens, and it’s not good news, then there’s an excuse as to pay, fit or something else (like age, but they don’t admit that). But it’s those that never respond that annoy me the most.

Actually, the only thing worse about people not responding to you about interview results are the ones that dangle hope in front of you, like some kind of cheesecake. Not sure why you would want to dangle cheesecake, but I think I just want cheesecake. Anyway.

It’s happened to me. The hiring manager said all was a go…. then there was a hiring freeze. Then that freeze was over, then they didn’t know how to hire me(result of a corporate buy out) but said they still want me and are coming up with a plan. They didn’t, but called later to tell me that they still wanted me. Then called later still to say that they couldn’t possibly do anything until the end of January, but still wanted me.

Any guesses that they called near the end of January? Yea, no. Oh, and it all started at the end of October….

So I went back to step 1.

As I was doing this, I had a guy over at a recruitment company looking for me as well. In fact, most of the interviews I got were from him. The advantage there is that I tend to skip the phone interview and go straight to an in person one. So that’s what happened with MEC.

Before I go on I have to be honest and say that if it wasn’t for the recruiter guy showing me this job, I never would have considered MEC, or any other retail chain for that matter. It never really entered my mind that they would need IT support help. So there’s your thought of the day, everyone needs IT support.

The first interview was with a hiring manager, not the manager, but one of them(the actual manager was on vacation). That went well, we had a lovely chat about all sorts of things, all the while being bounced from one meeting room to another as she didn’t feel like going up to the fourth floor. We ended up in the lobby to finish. And at the end she wanted me to meet with the other manager. This is always good.

And the next week I did. And we chatted, but stayed in the same meeting room. I should also point out that not a lot of technical stuff was discussed, mostly process and attitude.

Then I get a call saying they want a third interview. By this time I can make the drive without GPS. I meet with a manager and someone from the team. Again, not a lot of technical discussion. This was the shortest of the three.

I drive home in time to pick Liam up from school. On the way back I get a call stating I have the job! Now to do some paperwork (had to get a business license again).

It’s starting out as a three month contract, but from the getgo they stated the wanted someone full time. I suspect that this is their way of doing probation. Likely easier to not renew a contract than to fire someone. And that’s ok with me.

So I’m working at MEC headquarters in Vancouver. Something I never thought I’d say. And it’s great. I can’t stress that enough. From the first day I felt really welcomed, and even after nearly two weeks I still feel that way. The people are friendly, helpful and always thanking each other(and me) for the work that is being done. I honestly think that I’ve gotten more positive feedback now than I have over the last 8 years at IBM.

Oh, this is a thing you should know. The people at MEC headquarters pronounce it like M.E.C, like you would IBM. Not MEC like mech(or eyebim). Although they are starting to accept the other way.

The building is beautiful, all wood and glass. 4 floors and coffee on every level(espresso on 2 and 4). Not a lot in terms of free things, like snacks or other food, but I’m good with that. Other places seem to push that a little too much. Probably subitly suggesting how long you’re expected to stay each night. MEC really seems to push the work/life balance thing. I don’t see any late night emails(and I can even check that, if I wanted) or even a lot of protocol for working remotely. There is a department laptop in case of travel (I guess) but that’s it. I have a desktop again, and not even full admin access(which I kinda miss).

The commute is also something I’m getting used too. No more rolling out of bed and into the kitchen to work.  I actually have to travel. By SkyTrain at that. And that’s working as well as the train almost takes me to the front door. Only about 5 minutes of walking. Tara picks me up after work and is starting to drop me off in the morning, and then about 45 minutes of travel in between.

So all in all I’m very excited to start this new chapter in my life. It’ll take some getting used to, but I think I can make a good home here and provide well for my family.

No news on discounts yet, I’ll ask about that in three months 😉

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