Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Major Rewrite, part 3

I'm trying to recall that first interview so I can describe it - I even found my neurologist's business card where I scrawled notes as I sat in my car and sipped McDonald's soda and learned about a new business and answered questions as best I could.  I can't bring details to mind.

Yet some mixture of God and my default mode took over and did well enough to rate an interview with the hiring manager, my boss-to-be, later that afternoon. 

"My schedule fell apart," I admitted to the recruiter, "so my afternoon is completely free!  I can talk whenever he can."

I had lunch with a dear colleague that I worried I'd taken down with me - a bright ray of sunshine in an increasingly dark world.  She was mostly fine after also being let go - little bursts of anger around the edges but doing her best to point out all the problems we could release and how much time we'd have and how much better we'd feel.  Such a blessing is this woman - thanks be to God. 

I was preparing for my interview, doing more deliberate research, noting questions I wanted to ask and reviewing my CV for specific examples I'd want to highlight, when the phone rang and I winced. 

"Katie," an accented voice very dear to me said when I answered, and proceeded to explain how shocked and sad and sorry he was.  And I wept because I'd miss him and my feelings were hurt and I was - despite many faults in other areas - a brilliant manager for my people.  Viciously protective, wildly supportive and eagerly encouraging them to learn and fail and be good, kind people and colleagues.  They'd noticed and would cite examples.  And it would never fail to make me cry.

But balancing those voices with a new one who interviewed me - a different accent and sharper humor - was extraordinarily helpful.  Discussing new opportunities, ways I could learn and contribute, decisions I regretted and projects of which I was proud - it gave me the opportunity to reflect positively but also note that it was time to move on. 

I wasn't ready - I'd been clinging to the known with both hands (and arms and legs) - but it was time.  And over that hour-plus interview conversation, that truth became increasingly clear. 

"You should meet with my guys," Boss-to-be noted, indicating my recruiter would set up time for them to speak with me.  I paused, glancing through my page of notes that mixed personal notes, business practices and technical details. 

"What should I read?" I asked.  "What will they expect me to know?"  And I smiled when he gave me tips on winning them over. 

I still didn't sleep well that night, emotions cycling between peace and terror, exhilaration and shame.  I finally tossed aside the stack of pillows that form one wall of my nest and descended the steps to curl on the couch with my notebook and iPad, writing questions, marking examples and reading articles on technology and management. 

The following morning was the worst - I canceled most calls but took a deep breath and answered one. 

"Why," he asked - this first person I hired personally and coached proudly, "would this happen to such a good person?  Katie, I went to my parents and I talked to my wife and I went to church to pray for you.  I prayed so hard that this would change." 

I tried - so mighty was my effort but it was equally futile.  Unable to hold back sobs, I worked to gulp them back and told him that sometimes our plans didn't match God's plans.  That doesn't mean God doesn't love us - it just means we need to switch direction.  That he could absolutely be successful without me - all the talent and dedication was his.  There would be others to cheer him on!  This was a good company with amazing people who did great work.  And while it was a sad time, we would all be fine.  I promised between gasping sobs that we would all be fine. 

It was awful. 

But I reminded myself I've been through worse than this.  I watched Dad suffer and die.  But Mom had just gone in for her 5 year appointment and was healthy!  I was very financially sound - I could probably afford to be out of work for upwards of a year before it became unworkable.  I know God and His love.  And, I reminded myself, I had been unhappy.  And my love for these colleagues would have trapped me in this job so the forced departure was a blessing.  Albeit a painful one.

The interview, in contrast, was brilliant.  I asked a fraction of my questions but answered all of theirs.  I was completely open and honest, wanting to be authentic to the point of risking the job so that I found the right spot - not just a place to make money. 

"This will probably go fast," Boss-to-be had told me the day before and he was right.  "You'll talk to the guys and if they like you as much as I do, we'll have you in and then we'll both decide if we want to work together." 

I ended the third interview call and nodded.  "I really think I want to work with them," I told a sleepy Chienne, curled up in her bed by the fire.  She's lost hearing in one ear and smells like old dog and is has a heart murmur giving the vet increasing concern.  She blinked at me before nuzzling her head back into a pillow to nap and I curled up on my couch to read more about a new role in a new place. 


PhysioProffe said...

Great news! Please let us know what it's like as you start the new job.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I'm so glad that it's coming together for you!

Post a Comment