09/24/2005: "best-case scenario"
I finally had my long-awaited meeting with John and Bob today (my dad's business associates for those that are having trouble following along at home). I got an e-mail late in the afternoon on Friday from John confirming that we'd meet up in Windsor on Saturday morning. It felt like a very, very long week waiting for this meeting to be arranged, so it was a big relief when it finally did.
I mentioned to Jannette once I knew when the meeting was scheduled that the best-case scenario I could ever hope for would be to come away from this meeting and be able to give my one week notice to my current contract and start right into my new career under the mentorship, guidance, and financing of John and Bob. Of course, I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that the best-case scenario wouldn't happen, and that I would simply have more meetings to look forward to that would eventually get me closer to starting something.
Boy, am I glad I was wrong.
This meeting absolutely blew my mind. All I really know about John and Bob is what they've told me, and that they are business associates of my dad. From that I deduce that they're in business for themselves, but of course I have no idea to what extent. I now know much better to what extent they're in business, and it's truly staggering. It's almost entoxicating to be around people controlling such vast pools of resources, and having them hand you a high-growth opportunity.
As I'm now privy to some sensitive and private information, I won't be delving into details about what I'm doing, or what all was talked about. What I will say is what I'm now going to be doing.
Apparently the reason I'm not already working with them was the fact that the projects they had in mind for me to work on, namely project management of a recycling technology that they have, and engineering sales relating to the cutting tool industry, is that neither would be able to financially sustain me in the short term. Basically, I needed to survive before I could come and work with them. That has now been taken care of, in the form of some design work that I should easily be able to perform for them. What that will allow them to do is pay me (more on this later) while I concurrently work into the engineer sales. While I'm waiting for the commissions I'll be earning from that, I'll have a steady income that will allow me to ditch the life-sustaining but sour teat of contract work. Yes!
While the details are yet to be worked out (as this was only decided today), they important points to take home from all of this is that I'll have a steady income, and best of all, Bob thought it very important that I have benefits as well. Wow - that totally blindsided me. I haven't had benefits since two weeks after I got laid off in November 2004. Luckily, I've only had to pay out-of-pocket for one dentist visit for Isabelle, but at this point both Isabelle and Jannette have to go back for work, and I am in desperate need of a cleaning. I'm very glad that we haven't needed any medication over the past year, but now that we'll be covered I no longer have to worry.
So at this point I'm looking at a huge change in how I do work, as well as a lot of other changes. First, I'll likely need to get a third car. Well, second, really, as our other car (the VW Cabriolet) isn't in any sort of working order. I'll be doing a LOT of driving soon, so I'll be looking for something economical. My immediate thought would be a smart fortwo, but the possibility of a used VW TDI is another idea (be it a Jetta, Golf, or even New Beetle, which Isabelle would be profoundly enthusiastic about). I'll have to talk to Bob and get a better idea of how my expenses are going to be covered, which will help decide how to approach getting that other vehicle.
I'm also going to need to get a proper cell phone. I have a hand-me-down from our next-door-neighbour that is currently on a (prohibitively expensive) pay-as-you-go system. It worked well for the sporadic use it was seeing over the past year ($10 a month covered all the calling I did, even at $0.33/min), but is proving to be far too expensive when used for any long distance ($0.66/min). So I'm attempting the impossible, trying to figure out what cell plan to get. I should be getting a new phone from our financial advisor (they screwed up changing accounts and had offered a cell phone as an apology, but that was two months ago and I have yet to see this phone) which will be serving this purpose. Now I just need to find someone with a Ph.D. in cell plans and I'll be OK.
What's even more, I'll likely be commuting to Windsor on a regular basis for a while. The engineering design work I have to do could be done at home, but to begin with I'll need some help and guidance getting my head around exactly what's to be done. I'm figuring that I'll spend one night per week in Windsor, providing two working days there, with the remainder of the time based at home, and either traveling or making phone calls to do my engineering sales. Likely all the plans that I have in my head will be turned on their ear, but at least I have an initial plan coming into it all.
So, this is my cusp week. I'll be finishing off my contract, and very much looking forward to what's to come, while at the same time trying to figure out exactly how everything will work, and what I'll need to do, get, and set up in order for that to happen. This is going to be a long, interesting, intense learning process, but I have no doubt that my career will be much better off for it within a year or so.
Goodness, there's a lot going on. Stay tuned.