Caffeine-addled ramblings, rants, and random thoughts about my life in pursuit of utter awesomeness and general kickassery.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Travel Log Week One

The travel season for my job has begun (No, I don't have a job offer yet, but one way or another this will be my last year here). Because I'm now looking at myself as a short-timer, I had to bite my tongue to not tell Darth Skippy and the rest of the executives to take my itinerary, fold it neatly to fit into a #3 business envelope, and shove it into the orifice of their choosing.

But Daddy needs to pay the bills and keep Murphy fed, so I gotta go.

Normally I look forward to the first few trips. The last few months I had been working 70-80 hours a week staring at numbers and graphs on a computer screen, then putting those numbers into a different part of the screen had started to take its toll. I think my eyes started to bleed at some point.

But this year our fearless leader decided to reassign accounts across the board and do the travel schedule himself.

I believe he does copious amounts of hallucinogens. This is the only thing I can think of to explain his logic. But if this is true, then he is undoubtedly the dullest drug user in existence. So in hindsight, I'll go with mental illness.

Texas is a big place. You have to have traveled through here to garner the scope. I live in Austin, which is for all intensive purposes the state's center.

Useless Texas Fact #1: There are at least eight cities or towns that claim to be the center of Texas.Austin isn't one of them.Bold claim, considering the Texas Highway department put a plaque on highway 377 pointing the direction to the ACTUAL center, 5 miles away (the true center is on public property). Closest town to it is Brady, TX.

After calling all of my clients and rearranging the accounts ourselves, a couple of coworkers and I set out for the long trek.

As I said, I normally look forward to the first few trips. It gets me out of the office and lets me get away on the company's dime.


The first trip was regrettably out to West Texas. I at least arranged the accounts to get all my West Texas ones out of the way in one go. First up to Lubbock, then down to Midland, then San Angelo on the way back. I decided to drive it. Not in my own vehicle of course. I trust my truck implicitly. It's a workhorse, and for all intensive purposes should have fallen apart by now. But it still cruises right along. But knowing my luck it'd decide to call it quits midway, and West Texas is known for having a lot of nothing between towns, including cell service. So I decided to rent. A smarter man would have flown to Lubbock and driven down, but I'm not a smarter man.

Here's the basic route:

To put the scope of scale into perspective, this round trip is
the equivalent of driving from Atlanta, GA... To Manhattan.

Luck smiled upon me again.

I reserved a "standard" by the rental company's definition, and they pulled up to my office in a Metro hatchback. I looked up the definition on their website and they said "Pontiac G6 or similar." Last time I actually did get a G6, and that was a fun little car. But a Metro? I'm 6'3", weigh 250. Getting into the passenger seat took a couple of seconds and a minor concussion.

Anyway, I mentioned on the ride to the rental office that I was going to be spending the next 4 days in the middle of nowhere. He looked at his inventory and decided to upgrade me for free, to a Chrysler 300. He says it was to give me a satellite radio, but I know it was because he didn't want to have to clean out the copious amounts of Astroglide needed to get me in and out of the Metro.

The trip was pretty much uneventful. Ok, I'm lying, but this story has already bypassed the "tl;dr" status. So I'll just mention Day 2. Driving from east of Lubbock to Midland, my new fancy-schmancy GPS put me on a road running parallel to the main highway. Since I have it set to "fastest route available," I couldn't understand why it didn't put me crossing over.

And then I decided to trust it.

I normally drive like a grandpa, at most 3-4 miles over the speed limit. But this road, I realized as I crested the top of the first hill, was a piece of driving heaven. Exciting little curves, long fast straightaways, well maintained, entirely deserted. Where if by some chance there were a cop, you could literally see him two miles away. With the exception of while driving through Post, TX I literally did not see another car. It cleaned out my cobwebs. This guy, Tenacious B, who hasn't driven above 80 in years, was precariously close to hitting 3 digits. I know I should've taken a pic, but my GPS listed my top speed for that leg as 98.3mph. And I loved it.

I finally connected with Hwy 20 in Big Spring with a huge smile on my face. Stupid to say, but that was the best I felt in weeks.

P.S. It's Hwy 669. Head south from Crosbyton towards Big Spring. You're welcome.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Holy Crap!

The Friday before the Memorial Day weekend I was having a rough day (See here). Since the office had officially shut down at one and most of the company was at the lake, I headed home at around 3 to ponder life, liberty, and whether or not I would look good in a hairnet for my next job.

Then the doorbell rang. I know this because Murphy barks loud enough to make certain everyone in the tri-state area knows that the doorbell rang. I have tried on numerous occasions to explain to him that yes, I can hear it as well. But he insists on barking as loud as he possibly can in my ear to let me know that the doorbell is, in fact. ringing. Even if it's on tv.

I walk out to the gate and notice the telltale signs of a couple of Mormons. Shortsleeve white shirts, black tie, face like an extra from Happy Days. I guess they parked their bikes around the corner.

A smile creeps onto my face.

I like debating, especially religion. I never have made any qualms about the fact that I'm agnostic, but I don't ever bring it up. It's too sensitive a subject for most people, and I respect that everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to believe.


When it gets brought to my house, I say have fun with it.

Jean used to laugh at me because of this. She told me I'm the only one that could make a Jehovah's Witness look at their watch and say, "Gosh, lookitthetime. I gotta go." One time I was bored when a JW came by, so I invited them in and proceeded to give a 40 minute presentation on the benefits of becoming an Amway representative.

It's fun in my world.

I didn't feel like dealing with the dog during any discussion, so I let them go ahead and read their script outside on my patio. Then they started in with the open ended questions...

/cracks knuckles

I decided to play it straight. I discussed religions, god, and the possibility of error in man. I spoke of choices, morality, and compassion. I quoted from their own books plus the Bible and a few other religious tomes, and asked them questions they weren't able to answer. And no, I did not ask them about their holy underwear (fuh real. Check it out). I was respectful, and thoughtful, and cheerful.

I saw the younger one (they both looked about 16, but the one that actually spoke identified himself as an elder, so I mean the other one) listening intently, and you could almost see the point in which I started to make sense to him. To the point where I think he started not only having doubts about CJCLDS, but about religion in general.

The "elder" probably saw this happening, and suggested they come back at another time, probably to prepare. I invited them back, and they said they would be back at 7 on Monday (Memorial Day).

They didn't come back.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dancing Kim

Wow. Just wow.


Dancing Kim is rad. Totally.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Go Sooners? Part V: A New Beginning

Last Friday morning at 8:06 I received an email from D.

To: Tenacious B From: D Subject: Need to talk to you I was not sure the proper way to call you without causing issue. If you get a minute today, or over the weekend please give me a call. The best number to reach me after hours is 405-xxx-xxxx. That is my BB. Thanks, D


I had tried to call D several times in the next few hours, but he was out of the office and for some reason he hadn't set up the voicemail on his new phone. So I'm stuck calling him randomly and hoping that he picks up. Which he doesn't.

Because of the holiday, everyone headed down to the lake for lunch. I didn't want to be put in the situation of getting that call when I'm surrounded by coworkers, so I made a lame excuse and ran home. And of course I'm in the bathroom when I get the call.

Yay 405 area code.

It's D of course. And he gives me the news.

The position didn't get approved.

I suppose in some respects I was prepared for this, knowing "The Luck." Of course I asked the fateful question, "Seriously, D. Was I the issue with the position not being cleared through the Senior management?" "Oh, hell no," he shot back. He tells me I really impressed the Director and VP. It was when it got to the Sr VP that it wasn't approved, and said that he was authorized to offer me a different position, but won't because, "you'd be insulted." He didn't have to say any more on that, because I knew it meant that it was A) A different job, B) Doing something I didn't like, and C) for a lot less money.

Ok, B. Breathe a sec.

Then he says something that catches me completely off guard. "Do you have a pen handy?" He then gives me a phone number. It's L's cell phone. The reason he hasn't called when he found out (Wednesday night) was that he immediately called L and set up lunch with him for the following day. He told him the situation, the story, and gave him "a glowing recommendation." L's waiting for my call.

I was feeling a little deflated, but put on my game face again and called L. "I heard all about the journey to OK." Is there anyone D talked to that didn't know about that? But he told me where to find the job posting on the website, and said that as soon as I put it in it'll go across his desk.

It really does suck that I'm having to start over, and now I'll have to go through the normal corporate channels to get this going. But at least the job already exists, so all I have to do is wow them. After I submitted the app, I emailed L with my resume, addendum, cover letter, references, the antidote, locations of all the secret military installations and everything else I could possibly think of, and let him know the app was in and to look out for it.

And the story begins again...

I need a nap.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Go Sooners? Part 0: Tenacious B Origins: Captain Awesome

A long time ago (almost 6 weeks), in an office far, far away...

Remember Part I, when I got hate mail from my boss, Darth Skippy and that very day I received a recruitment call from D?

There's more to the story.

That happened on a Monday. I was feeling rather groovy about myself all week. And then the unthinkable happened. On Friday. [cue ominous John Williams music here]

I got...

wait for it...

ANOTHER recruitment call. Unsolicited. From ANOTHER well-respected company in OKC. I had already been going back and forth with D at this point, and I didn't know how to handle it. Honestly, I didn't know what the rules were. I told him I might, and sent him my resume since I already had one ready. But... If I looked into this other company and D found out, would he view that as trying to get leverage in a bidding war? Would he be disillusioned? Doubt my motives? Should I tell him I got the call? Could I lose out both jobs? Could this be the fall of civilization as we know it?

My mind really does work this way. Ask around.

Turns out the "good" side of my family luck was smiling upon me again.

It's a small world, and an even smaller industry. And OKC is an even smaller city. On the following Monday morning I received the following email from L, the recruiter at the new company:

"I spoke with D (who is a very good friend of mine) this morning. He tells me you contacted him recently about a possible opportunity with Kickass, Inc. Although you are certainly welcome to apply for our position I would prefer to wait and see what happens with any opportunity you may have with him."

So the solution to a delicate situation was taken care for me. It did feel good that my name came up in random conversation.

You like me. You really, really like me!
(Note: Not Tenacious B)

It sucked that now I was down to only one prospect again, however it felt good to know I was in demand. Before all this happened I was completely unaware that I had any kind of reputation in the industry, much less a good one.

SIDE NOTE: During the interview with D, he told me he had lunch again with L and again my name came up, most likely due to my impending interview. Apparently L called him an asshole for stealing me away first.

Yay me.