Wednesday, August 4, 2010

About that USU Logo . . .

I have survived.

A whirlwind 24 hours, to use a cliché. I’m glad it’s over, to use another. I’m hoping that something might come out of it in the next two weeks, but I have enveloped myself in a sense of calm pessimism in case nothing happens at all.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m job-hunting. Not that my current job is terrible, see. I love it. It’s just the benefits thing. And the retirement thing. We’re working on both, but the benefits I can afford right now don’t do what we need them to do. And while the roiling economy isn’t helping our retirement much at all, I could certainly do better with an outfit that had such benefits. I know – people are starving worldwide and here I am moaning about benefits. Put in the cosmic perspective, I’m a moron. So nothing has changed.

I would like more of a challenge, though. I say that now; maybe when one comes I’ll regret it. Anyway: On to the meat of the matter.

I had an interview today with the Energy Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, for a proposal/technical writer position. It went better than I could have expected, though the aforementioned pessimism is still held in ample reserve considering the competition I’ve got to deal with. I figure perhaps I’ve got a ten to 15% chance of getting this job, maybe a 20-30% chance of at least getting past the “first round” of interviews.

This was the most intimidating interview I’ve ever had to go through, but still it came out better than I thought it would. I had to put together a ten-minute presentation, selling myself to them as the solution to their proposal/technical writing problems. I didn’t have much to sell on the proposal end; if I get cut, it’s because the other applicants have more proposal experience – and I’m thinking now that’s what’s going to happen. But that’s okay. I will survive. And if I make it past the first round, well, I’ve got something worth fighting for. Nonetheless, I have also applied for a writer/editor job with BEA. They’re looking for someone with journalism background, which I have. But so do a lot of currently unemployed – and thus hungrier – applicants. So we’ll see what happens.

I did tell the interview committee, by the way, about the logo mixup. They thought it was funny and actually said, "That wouldn't have been the first time that happened." Someone who made the same mistake currently works there. So I would not have been doomed. That's good to know, and tells me a lot about the kind of people who work there. People
I could work with.

Yes, the USU logo below does have something to do with my presentation. Last night, as Michelle and I were rolling along in the Pilot, we were talking, we were listening to the radio, and, in the quieter moments, I was ticking over the presentation. Something’s not right, I kept telling myself. Then Michelle noticed a USU sign or motto somewhere: “Be an Aggie. Bleed Blue.” Then it struck me. The “U” I used as a university logo in my presentation was for the University of Utah down in Salt Lake, not USU. I just about drove off the road. So at midnight, in the hotel, after dropping in on Alan, Sarge and John to see if they had a mouse we could borrow, I got it fixed and turned in. What an adventure.

Thanks, by the way, to Alan and Sarge, for their encouragement, and to John, for his encouragement and prodigious memory on recalling all of the people he knows at EDL so I could drop his name. I did what I could during the interview, but will also wave my John Milligan flag in their face via e-mail and hand-written thank-you note as well. Hope it helps.

Working at EDL would be a challenge – lots more work than I’m used to now. But lots more original work, not the more rote stuff I’m doing now. Not, again, that my current job is bad; I’m grateful for it. I’ll stick with it as long as they’ll have me. But I can still look for a something better. I’m hoping EDL is it.

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