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12/16/2004: "3.3 days on the lot"

The shortest job I ever had was when I was fourteen years old. Someone - I think it was my dad - decided that corn de-tassling would be a good job for me to do. Thus, I was put on a bus early in the morning, dropped in a cornfield with a bunch of other teens, and put to work. Because it was a hot day, I think we worked only 5 or 6 hours. I never went back for a second day.

Newly ringing in at second place would be my career as an automotive sales and leasing representative. I started on Monday, December 13th. Today I finally managed to get the general manager alone for 5 minutes mid-morning, and gave my two week's notice. He said not to worry about it, and by 10am I was done. My car sales job lasted all of 3.3 days. Come to think of it, the entire experience didn't last a full week. My first interview was at 10:30am last Thursday, and I walked off the lot at 10am today.

The worst part is that I never even got to sell one vehicle. Sure, I got to drive just about every Pontiac, Buick, and GMC truck on the lot, but the closest I ever got to having a customer of my own was helping a gentleman this morning participate in the Hot Button event. He was in for service, and likely would have only purchased a vehicle if he won a fair-sized prize. Oh well.

I will admit that I have some regrets. I regret that I've paid probably close to $2000 out-of-pocket to have done these 3.3 days. Between the course I took, the driving to the course, and the shirts and pants I purchased as a sales wardrobe, it's really money I won't be able to make back. (I do have some really nice dress pants and shirts now, however. My wardrobe is set for a couple years on the wedding, interview, and upper-management-visitation fronts.)

Of course, I'll more than make up for my expenses by having an engineering job that pays around four times as much as my initial dealership salary was, so it's not a total loss. And I don't regret taking the course itself, or having the experience. It's useful stuff from a time-management and personal development standpoint, and will prove to be a good conversation point on my resumé.

So now I have exactly three weeks until I'm due to start out in Calgary. In that time I have to help my wife organize the house so it's manageable without me around, figure out what I'm taking with me, somehow find a place to live, get a bike that's in working order, arrange flights there (and back and there again for visits), and not-so-subtlely hint that certain retired or non-working family members should come and visit my wife for a few days or a couple of weeks sometime in January, February, and March. I don't even want to think about what will have to happen if I keep the job permanently and have to move. (I think part of the house organization my wife will want to do is decluttering and throwing stuff out to make sure we DON'T have to move stuff we don't need to.)

The silliest part in all of this is that even now, nothing is for certain. Nothing's in writing yet - I took a bit of a leap of faith giving my notice at the dealership today. Anything later, and if they wanted my 2 weeks, I'd be in to January. But that's not all... I still have an outstanding lead on a job in Tillsonburg, and two jobs that I'm highly qualified for in Stratford and Arthur, either of which could conceivably call me up for an interview in the next two or three weeks.

A tumbleweed in the wind? No. I feel more like dirt in a bagless upright - spinning around and around at a dizzying speed, going nowhere yet, but with the possibility of shooting off in any direction at any time. It's a horrible analogy, I'll admit... but forgive me, I'm a bit dizzy these days.

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December 2004

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