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01/06/2005: "it's a tequila day"

If I had a bottle of tequila and all the makings for Margaritas, today is most definitely the kind of day that would call for a tall pitcher of Margaritas, light on the lime and heavy on the cactus juice.

First, the stress that Calgary had embodied evaporated today, after my wife and I independently decided that turning that job down was for the best. Then, to top things off, I got two more pieces of news.

But first to Calgary. There is no doubt that the job in Calgary could have been good. However, there was far too little information about the job and the company, and no enough incentives to go out there for 3 months without my family. When it comes right down to it, I talked to the person that would have been my boss for a total of 30 minutes on the phone, and that was pretty much the extent of my dealings with the company itself. I had a half-dozen questions answered by e-mail, but all told, it was hardly a thorough exchange.

What's more, the way that the recruiter for this position and the company organize an initial contract is to make me an independent contractor, which essentially means that I foot the bill for everything. The wage they were offering was good, but not good enough to cover maintaining my family back home and myself in Calgary for 3 months. Sure, tax write-offs are nice, but that's a rather deferred kind of gratification, and it still doesn't give me the money in-pocket that I need to buy a plane ticket, pay rent, and all that.

All told, the offer would have been fine were it located in Waterloo. But having to fly out, get an apartment, and be away from my family for 3 months for a position that may or may not be for me... thanks, but no. Luckily, this late cancellation on my part hasn't burned any bridges with the local recruiter I've been working with on this. There are lots of recruiters, but you never know which one will have the opportunity of your lifetime.

Next comes news from Tillsonburg. The recruiter and I played an anxious game of phone tag for about half an hour before she finally got in touch with me. Sadly, it wasn't good news. The managing director didn't go for hiring both of us, so somehow a choice was made, and I wasn't it. Tough luck. There were two bright spots that came out of it all, however.

First, if everything goes the way they want, they will be hiring again in 3 to 6 months. At that point, they will not start interviewing again, but will immediately contact me and see if I'm still available and interested. That's a nice endorsement.

The second bright spot is that the recruiter mentioned that now she has a strong file on me, including a full personality profile, and has offered to present me to any companies that I might wish to work for. As much as I'd like to work on my networking skills, if I have a professional offering their skills to me, why should I say no? I'll be giving her a list in the next day or so.

Part of the reason I decided to blow off Calgary was getting a number of calls about other opportunities here in Ontario over the past couple of days. One such call came today from the temp agency that had placed me at a temporary unskilled labour job during my last bout of unemployment. She remembered me, and had some good news - she had something brewing that is actually in my field! Well, a couple hours later she had confirmed an interview for me, and it turns out the company is not only local, but not even 10 minutes from my house. The pay isn't exactly what I would hope for, but for a position that could fill the time until I find something more permanent, this sounds like a much better option than unemployment or fitting tires onto rims again.

It's been a helluva day. My extended family and all our friends are (or will be) quite happy to hear we're not going to Calgary. Of course, I would have liked to double the good news with an offer from Tillsonburg, but I guess that's not going to happen. I'll have to put my recruiter to work for me, and prepare for an interview in Arthur. That's my next target. The person who initially called me is away until the 13th, so here's hoping things pick up next week.

Now if you'll excuse me, I don't have any tequila, so I'm going to polish off the remaining rum and eggnog.

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