Friday, April 9, 2010

Still Thinking About Up in the Air...part 4

This morning I am definitely not a happy camper.  I am not, nor have I ever been a morning person, but being woken by the sharp, pungent, chemical smell of skunk to such a degree that it almost seems that the little bastard is sleeping at the foot of the bed is not the way to put me in a skipping through the day type of mood.  Couple the headache resulting from said smell with detailed dreams of processing routine tasks from my current job and the subsequent tossing around in bed from both...yeah, not in a good mood.

So, let's take those negative feelings and move on to the follow up employment to the cable advertising company.  Near the end of that job, I had mentioned that I was openly reading "Work From Home" type books and really not buying into the corporate ra-ra office vibe.  Neither was my boss.  When she was there, she was openly combative with one of the heads of marketing and she often commented to anyone how incompetent he was and how he ruined many of the commercials that were being created.  The tension was so bad that the General Manager was forced to make a decision and choose a side; he chose Production.  This threw my boss into a fury and she ended up quitting a few days later.  Gone.  Done.  The GM then absorbed her duties and life continued as it had before and my mood soured further.

One day, most likely while searching the old website, I received a call from my old boss saying that she would like to take me to lunch and that she had something to discuss with me.  I agreed, but had no idea what she could possible wish to talk to me about short of being a character witness in some type of lawsuit against the company.  Free Elephant Bar lunch sounded pretty good too.  She explained that she did not want to show up in front of the main office and that we needed to keep things quiet.  We devised a plan for me to leave the building, and walk down the back driveway to the opposite street where she would be waiting for me.  Actually, it ended up being me waiting for her for about twenty minutes, but then she never made it to work on time and the delay was expected.  She was late for everything.

 Over our meal, she informed me that she had heard that I was dissatisfied with the cable advertising company and that she had really enjoyed working with me and liked my attention to detail and thoroughness.  She then told me that she was starting her own advertising agency and that she wanted me to be her first employee.  I would have the title of Business Manager and would be doing some of the research that I had been doing for the cable advertising company, but so much more.  I was given a salary figure and the date that she would like for me to start.  Ever cautious, I told her that I had to think about it and discuss with my girlfriend, but told her that I was very tempted and that taking her offer was better than my current plan of throwing myself from the second story window in a fleeting hope of escaping the mind numbing tedium back at the office.

After the meal, my boss had a meeting with one of the company's current clients that she intended to have join her new agency and I agreed to walk the distance back to the office.  I was refreshed, renewed and had already made up my mind, but on the walk back, I called my father for some advise on what I should do.  We concluded that the venture was definitely a risk, but coupled with my already low pay and intense hatred of the job the risk might be worth it and I firmed up the decision that I had already made.  I made quick phone call to my old and now new boss accepting her offer, put in my two weeks notice at the cable ad place and gave them the excuse that I was looking to go back to school.  Thus ended the hated cable ad job.

I started immediately after leaving, and my boss told me that she had indeed wooed the advertiser from the cable advertising company over to her agency.  She had also secured a downtown office that was within walking distance from my home, the gym and all of downtown.  I was thrilled.  The office even had a shower in the nonexistent chance that I would ever exercise at lunch and need to shower "back at the office."  We made trips to furniture stores to buy loads of furniture, we had meetings with prospective clients, we set up the bank accounts that I was a signer on and she took me to lunch nearly everyday.  In the matter of a couple of weeks, I had become friends with my boss and knew her better than I had during the entirety of my tenure at the old job.

This also opened up her calling me to discuss things on the phone.  She called.  She called me a lot.  More of that later.

The cable advertising company eventually discovered that she had effectively taken one of their best clients--truthfully, the client was always hers as she had established the relationship when she was working for the company--they were not happy about this.  They were also a bit miffed to discover that not only was I working for her, but that she was still working with a few of their own reps, who were still very loyal to her, to get information and to begin to set up deals to place commercials.  In an incredibly lucky turn of events for her, all of this blew over with no lawsuits involving non-compete clauses, or the taking of company information; she possibly had something on them that she fully intended to us.

We were a new company and we were overjoyed when the first check arrived for services rendered, which effectively only covered my pay.  Startup companies rarely make money the day the doors first open and oftentimes take years before the owner sees a dime and therein lies the beginning of the problems.  My boss had funded everything with credit cards and a loan from her 401K, which she did not realize had to be paid back within a limited amount of time upon quitting the company.  She also had the building lease complete with deposit, company setup fees, my salary, utilities, and all of the meals that she was charging to the company.  All of the furniture and decorations also ended up as charges on her card as did many other charges for random purchases and she was beginning to worry.

Off to breakfast.  Will finish and revise when I have a moment....  Just thought I would post in case anyone cared. :)

1 comment: