Help… Wanted

Oh, how I love a good Valentine yarn.

My post, “Wanted,” apparently generated some excitement among thousands hundreds dozens tens several of you. I confess, I had a great time writing it. Now here’s the version I wrote before I sexed it all up.


I was sitting there at work, minding my own business, typing furiously with nine fingers and coming down from a brief work-related rage… and my desk phone rang. It was my old boss, David. We worked together for about six weeks back in 2001, just before I left Ohio to work in my current city of residence. I hadn’t talked to him since, and I had heard he’d gotten out of our business entirely. I remember when I left, he tried to talk me out of it. He told me it was a lateral move. He was, by the way, completely wrong.

David was cold-calling me out of nowhere to tell me that he’s heading up a unit in Central Pennsylvania and he needs a #2 man. Or woman. Someone who can be very hands-on and work with the staff of 70 people to shape and develop them professionally while churning out consistent, competitive and compelling product every day.

I happen to know he’s been looking for a while. I didn’t realize he was the #1 guy when I had seen the #2 position posted in a job search email I regularly get. That was months ago. I had briefly entertained the notion of applying. Now here it was, Valentine’s Day, and poor David was desperate for a partner.

He said a lot of very nice things about me and my work, that he had liked me, thought I was solid, wanted to keep me around. He had already sent me a LinkedIn request. And then he called. So apparently he’s really digging the idea of me being his #2.

And of course, as he’s talking to me and understanding that I can’t really say much in response, since I’m at work, I’m thinking one thing: could I really stomach this?

I’ve been trying to get out of our business for three years. But I’ve actually thought recently that, in order to get more marketable management experience on my resume’, I might summon the strength to do a year or two in a position like this. It would leapfrog me up in my professional stature by a couple of ranks (and really stick it to the douche nuggets who have smacked me down for the last few years). Problem was, I wasn’t willing to move. Turns out, the PA job is the same commute in the opposite direction. And no one there hates me yet.


But there’s still this nearby university job on the table. My interview is the 20th. It would keep my commute short and already gets me out of the business I’ve been in for nearly 16 years and moves me on to the new career I want. I wouldn’t have to deal with the craptastic 24/7 drama that is running a program like David wants me to. Though we all know I like being bossy.

No, I have no idea what this PA job would pay. That might be a huge mitigating factor. But I’ve said it before… I learned when I took my current job that it’s not a good idea to take a job that makes you money if it means giving up what makes you happy.

The flip side, of course, being the fact that I’d be in charge. Hehe. And aside from the obvious bonuses inherent therein, there’s one that I think I could really use: the return of my Stella-like groove. Though I would very likely be completely overwhelmed by everything I would need to do and learn, I would also have a chance to overcome all the insecurities my current job and bosses have hammered into my soul for the last 4.5 years. Get out of the business owning it. With serious management cred. I am happier when I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something.

And then there’s Rick. Rick works for the university where I’m up for a job. He’s surprisingly excited about the possibility of my coming to work there as well. And I like the idea of a regular 9-5 Monday through Friday job because it frees up my social life, which the position in PA would challenge. But of course, I can’t make a decision in any way based on the hope for something that is only one month old. Plus, it was Valentine’s Day at 5pm and I hadn’t even heard from Rick. Which I was 80% sure was because he was schmoozing lawmakers (he did tell me days ago that the second half of this week would be crazy)… 10% sure was because he’s gotten freaked out… 5% sure was because he was waiting for me to make the first V-Day move, 3% sure was because he’d lost his phone and 2% sure was Other.

Cut to me looking forward to a martini and hoovering an entire restaurant-portioned platter of chicken Alfredo into my face.

And I started this day so stable…

I did hear from Rick, of course. About ten minutes after I’d finished my huge and carbolicious meal. He was working from home, still not feeling well and commanded to stay away from the office. But he asked me to be his Valentine.

What is this, this working for people who don’t want you to come to the office when you’re feeling a little under the weather? Does not compute.

Another argument in favor of the university job.

8 thoughts on “Help… Wanted

    • Thanks! That is one of the things I tend to do. But I think in the end, it will have to be a leap of faith either way. Or it’s entirely possible that the jobs will make the decision easy by virtue of one “nevermind” and one “come work here.” Or by both saying “nevermind,” thereby completely shattering me. Haha. Welcome to the subscriber list!

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