Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mid September News

Not much is going on but I like when my stats skyrocket when I post an entry. There is no better ego boost than knowing a bank is reading your blog to see if you slag them. Nice.  For you other non-bank related readers, all like ... two of you, I figure an update is due.  So here it goes.

Summer camp at the cooking school was ten weeks of joyous head exploding chaos. Some weeks were better than others. Jess said that if the last week of camp was the first week of camp she would have quit. Some kids were amazing and sweet, other kids were hell on wheels on fire rolling down the road.

Everyone survived.

I had fun taking photographs, and updating the social networking and other shenanigans across the boards. I enjoyed all of the fun and the employees and the people and most of all being with Jo every day. There are stories, and as Frank Turner says "And we’re definitely going to hell, but we’ll have all the best stories to tell." Oh yes we do.

But ... summer comes to an end and I'm not needed all day every day at the cooking school... so I started looking for another job, preferably a part time job. And I found one. In our school district. At least seven people sent the listing to me, so I knew that there were a lot of people in the school district who knew me well enough to know it was my job.

The job was written as teaching teachers how to use technology. 19 hours a week. And my dream job. My freaking DREAM job. I wrote my cover letter, got the letters of reference, wrote up the teaching plan that we use for the class I teach every summer with professor CM at the local college. They called me immediately for an interview.

But it turns out that the job wasn't what was on paper. This was a tech support job, part time, across the district, where I'd basically be schlepping computers and printers, fixing problems, firefighting, and to be honest, I can do that.

I can do the hell out of that.

But I don't want to.

That is me 1999, working at the College, only then I was in charge. I was managing a staff of 7 students and 2 professional staff members.

I turned it down when they offered it to me, and I could hear the disappointment in the hiring manager's voice. It kind of broke my heart to do it. I hate disappointing others, and the fact they liked me enough even though I have not actually done tech support in like 16 years... and honestly, I'm not above it... I could do it. But it wasn't what I want, and when you take a job that on paper says one thing, and in reality is something totally different, it is much better to know in advance so you can make an educated choice.

Combine that with the fact I had a back up plan.

My friend Beth is a principle in a small software company with no central office. Everyone in the company works from home or works in each others' homes. Her assistant lives in Germany. The CEO of the company is somewhere in Pennsylvania, his assistant is over an hour away. She asked me at the beginning of the summer if I'd work for her, and wanted me full time starting immediately.

I didn't want to take full time starting immediately... because I wanted to work at the cooking school, and I was looking forward to that with all my heart.

But I didn't turn her down. We talked at the time I interviewed for the tech support job, and her position was the same money, and even though she wanted me full time I wanted to try it on for size, so I said yes... and a trial run through the end of the year as a part time employee.

I started last week, and so far I can't see how she thinks there is full time work for me to do yet, because really... I don't know what I'm doing. It is piecemeal right now.

An example of what I've been up to ... For the last few days I've been taking some sales and marketing collateral, doing print screens from one of the customers' online order programs, and putting them all together in an overview.

There were 7 documents, totaling about 20 mb because the graphics are not sized right. I've gotten half of the content pulled together with fresh new screenshots, great mark ups, no toolbars and browser headers because I am cropping them all out ... the images are nice and uniform. And it is under 2mb.

So far, I think I've earned my pay.

I now have to write a script for a demo, that the director of sales is going to do with me playing the part of a perspective customer. We'll record the session through but it has to be scripted so he stays "on message" and all the pertinent questions that anyone would ever want to know will be available for people to watch online.

I love working with Beth, she's incredibly intense but also very thoughtful. I have sat in on several conference calls with customers for everything from tech support to weekly check ins to demos. She is careful when answering questions. She is very kind. And... she has chickens in her yard and they are fun to visit with when I need a break.

There is other stuff to talk about, adventures with Boy Scouts, Geoff and football and school... but I'm kind of super tired and am waiting for jess' train to come home so I'll watch some football with my husband and enjoy.

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