Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Never Say Never

Here’s what I couldn’t publicize earlier this week. On February 6, my birthday, something is happening to make me remember this one in particular. I signed an offer letter for a new job. Actually, I signed it a few days ago, but post-dated it for this day. I wanted to have something to significantly make this birthday memorable in a good way. I told my current boss on (today) Thursday. It was a difficult thing to do. My career trajectory has usually been one of trying to escape a shitty situation. My job search mode has usually been precipitated by vocational misery or termination/downsizing (a human resources euphemism for “you’re fucked” or “we don’t like fags, but you could sue us for that”). I’m not accustomed to leaving a situation that I like.
I really like my (soon to be ex) boss and job. I was not in a job search mode. When I came to my current job about two and half years ago, I thought I was making my final employer move. I even went as far as to say, “I’m going to either die or retire here.” I expected the former, as I don’t think I’ll ever see retirement. But, shit happens, and in this instance, I’m not saying this in a pejorative nor sarcastic manner. Never say never.
A professional colleague, whom I know from our professional associations/organizations was talking with me last fall after a conference we were both in attendance in Baltimore. He’s also in Chicago. He began telling me of a position in his company that was open and he was looking to fill. At the time I said, nothing.
A month went by with me continuously thinking about this. I finally called him. I needed to speak to him on another issue with the board we are both on. And, in this conversation, I asked, “Have you filled the position yet? Let’s talk about it—informally.” I’m the type of person who never (or rarely) shuts a door when it’s been cracked open. I want to at least peak inside. So, we talked informally. I told him I wasn’t “actively looking” to make a move. The informal conversation led to a round of formal interviews with some of the senior management team. Then, to a second round with the rest of senior management team, of which I will be a part. With each round, I was more impressed with the company, the work they’re doing, and the people. This is an organization with a strong core of leaders who lead, listen and communicate. The level and manner of communication is impressive—and certainly not my usual experience in corporate America. Some of the management team, and the EVP were at the same conference I was at in San Francisco last week. When my plane landed at SFO, I turned on my phone, and there was a text message from my colleague that said, “Can you meet with me and EVP tomorrow night in the hotel lobby at 6:45?” Now, I can be very obtuse at times, but I figured, they wouldn’t be double teaming me to say, “we’re going with someone else.”
I was correct. They handed me an offer letter. I took it to my room, the next day we talked, negotiated some details, a new letter was issued, and I signed and dated it for a week later.
The machinations and bureaucracy of academia (and state government on top of that) move slowly. That has been one of my frustrations in the current situation. The new place will allow me to do some of the cutting edge and innovative projects and work that I thought would be more accessible in academia. Red tape is a great prophylactic to progress.
In addition to telling my boss, the other difficult one to tell was employee. I’ve watched him grow in his skills and abilities, and I like to think I played some role in facilitating and mentoring that. I know he did not get that from my predecessor. I also went to tell the chairman of my CME Committee. I wanted to tell him face to face before I made an announcement on our Committee Conference call today. He’s a man not always known for his tact and grace. But he said some very gracious and kind things to me. Everyone did. In the midst of their disappointment about my news for the organization, they were genuinely happy for the opportunity this means for me. This makes it all the more bittersweet.
As always, my major life events necessitate an excerpt from a Stephen Sondheim musical. For this, I choose, “Something’s Coming”, from West Side Story (his first broadway show-for which he was lyracist:
… Come on, something, come on in, don't be shy, Meet a guy, Pull up a chair! The air is humming, And something great is coming! Who knows? It's only just out of reach, Down the block, on a beach, Maybe tonight . . .
Only, no longer out of reach—I just have to work on the ‘meet a guy’ part.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Really, I don't...

...I don’t blog drunk, that is. I actually don’t drink much at all. (I’m on antibiotics so often, that this and of itself serves its tetotalling purpose). But, I occasionally blog tired, which I did last Monday, and after just reading my post –WTF was I thinking. Obviously, I wasn’t. I generally write in word, so at least it does spell check. I did not do that for the previous post. It had so many incomplete thoughts and/or thoughts that picked up in the next paragraph -- or not. Anyway, I’ve done a rough edit and some corrections.
It’s no Hemmingway, but a bit less non sense-ical than it was—I hope.


Monday, February 2, 2009

San Francisco, Synchronicity, other Miscellanea, and a Proclamation.

San Francisco, Synchronicity, Other Miscellaanea & a Proclamation

I have not posted for awhile. These are some very quick RANDom Thoughts, in buckshot dispersion method. I’m trying to get caught up from the last round of being sick, and I just got back from (almost) a week in San Francisco, where it was sunny, and the weekend that I had free after the conference, the temperature was in the 60s and 70s. It was 11° F when I left Chicago last Tuesday.
The Conference was good. I think the presentation I was a part of went well, and did I mention it was over 70° when I was there, in the Castro? I HEART San Francisco! This Friday (February 6) is my birthday, so the extra days there, post conference was my birthday gift to myself. Good things happened, while at the conference. I have more to write about, and an announcement to make, but not until Friday.
Given my recent bouts of sickness, I geeked up and wore the surgical mask while in the airports and on the plane. When I got back to Chicago, I was waiting for my bag at the carousel and a woman came up to me and said, “I wear masks when I fly too. I have an immune deficiency.”
I replied, “I have CVID.”
“Me too! I knew there was a reason I had to come up and talk to you!” She introduced herself—we did ‘air hand shakes’. Bonnie is her name.
“People tend to avoid me when I mask up”, I replied.
We chatted a few minutes waiting for our bags. She told me about a doc/specialist she went to in NYC, and she has just gone off of the monthly IVIG. We exchanged cards, to discuss further. She was concerned that most all the others’ bags had come. I’m used to being one of the last to get my bag. She then realized she was at the wrong carousel. Synchronicity! You know I’m not a believer in a god. And I have written before about my appreciating for Jungian psychology and his theory or Synchronicity —meaningful coincidences. I love it when shit like this happens. It was the perfect way to end this very interesting trip. My bag comes by finally. Bonnie asks, “Are you coming from NY also?
No, I’m returning home from San Francisco.” Bonnie had gone to the wrong carousel, found me, and we started talking. TOTAL SYNCHRONICITY, with meaningful mistakes. She should not have been waiting for her bags where I was.
I’m making a proclamation that 2009 is going to be the year that does NOT SUCK SHIT! After a bumpy start with the URI, some events have occurred which are going have great impact on me and my future. This I will write about the end of the week for my birthday post on Friday. Please feel free to send lavish gifts.
For those of you wishing to acknowledge the date, to help counteract the universe for me being born on he same day as ronald reagan, (that festering boil on the ass of this nation's history, which ahs now been taken over by the blighted cancer of w & cheney w ho are to true cancers of this nation's history). But I digress Getting gifts and new cloths would easy my pain of sharing a bd with rr,,l rather than Abe Lincoln, my hero.

I did my portion to help the economy of SF by making some clothing purchases. But, My favorite store, “All American Boy” closed down! I was SO bumbed! I arrive last Tuesday at the Marriott, check, and head out the door, to catch the F street car down to the Castro. I have to eat, so hit the little diner I've eaten at before on Castro, just off Market. Receiving my shopper's sustenance, I head a across the street, pass by a dark, empty store with some signage of All American Boy Remaining. I am crestfallen. This is where I bought my ‘Castro 2004, 2003, 2001” annual shirts from when I visite in past years. I must get my “Castro 2009” shirt! I find it back across the street at a new store IN JEAN IOUS. It’s not AAB, but I walk out with some bargains.

Saturday night, on the recommnedation of one of the guys at Parker Guest House B&B, I go to Chow Restaurant at 215 Church st, just off Market. In the Castro, SOMA (South of Market). I ate at this restaurant 3 times in less than 24 hours. If I were doing Dr. Mark’s little survey I’s have a restaurant to add. CHOW is great. Organic food, good, food, and you can tell these people enjoy working there. I like going to a restaurant saying, “I can decide between such and such, and s/he proceeds to tell you details about the dishes you asked about in great detail with the things they like about the particular dish.
I will have more to tell about SF. But I must wait until later in the week for reasons that will become obvious. For now I’m back, tired (but healthy—say something to the Buddha so I stay healthy. More later when I’m vaguegly cogent. ©wtf4/rle