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Lila:     Oh, how was Toolman’s on Friday interview?

Beatrice:     He had 3 interviews last week, all with different companies. One was in CO, but the other two out-of-state. The one in Colorado is no good. There will probably be an offer but Toolman has no interest. He went to the interview up in Ft. Collins and the guy showed up 15 minutes late and was wearing shorts and cutoff sleeved shirt. He was very unprofessional and went on about how he was brought in from San Diego a couple of years ago to turn the company around, which is a red flag. They are a smaller firm, but do big business. Toolman said his gut said to stay away. He is really interested in the other two companies and basically would land his dream job if offered either of the two. Fingers are crossed.

Later that night….

Toolman received a job offer today from the place in Ft. Collins and doesn’t know what to do since he is hoping for the other two to come through. It is a pay increase and we would still be in CO. He did some calling around to find out about the reputation of this firm and has heard nothing but stellar reviews, so I think he should take it and still position himself to see if the other ones offer him something he can’t refuse. The guy wants him to start this week. Can you believe it? 8 weeks without a job and he didn’t thoroughly enjoy it. Now he is having to go back to work. Well that is if he accepts the offer. I will be a little upset if he doesn’t. The guy wanted to know his answer by tonight and is worried Toolman will take something else, so he knows he has the ball in his court and can renegotiate. Good day!

L:     Well that is awesome news!!! He should definitely renegotiate and bring up the fact that he will have to make that awfully long commute. I think that is a valid point. They need to increase the salary or give him a company car. I thought he had a bad feeling about this company? Congratulations to Toolman!!

B:     He did have a bad feeling, but what is funny is the comments came after he spoke to several guys he use to work with. However immediately after the interview, he told me all kinds of good things, so I don’t know if he was influenced by his ex-co-workers. What is funny is after he got the offer, he immediately called several people who are entrepreneurs that he has known for years in around Ft. Collins and all of them had nothing but great things to say about this firm. All general contracting firms get rated too, and the ratings are top of the line, so I think he has reconsidered. He still wants to keep looking at all his options with the San Antonio and Virginia outfit, so time will tell. His severance hasn’t run out yet and he feels great!

L:     But it sounds like these people want an answer soon. I would definitely negotiate for a higher salary and stall. I am still a little confused but at least it is a great sign he has an offer on the table.

B:     He is negotiating his salary and knows that this operations manager expects it. I told him to take it and to keep his search going to see if that dream job comes about. The idea of moving to another state was rather intriguing, but who knows. It still may happen. The guy wants an answer tomorrow, but Toolman is going to tell him he wants the offer in writing and a breakdown of his benefits and to give him 24 hours to think it over. He is going to tell him he can’t start until Monday as we are taking the kids camping. Everything will work out, just may not be as quickly as he likes. “He” being Toolman.

L:     Sounds great for you guys. See, everything will work out. If you are looking to move, what would you do in the mean time?

B:     Take it as it comes. Opportunity knocks and looking forward to the adventure of where we end up.

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Beatrice:     Last night I had the run of the mill of bad dreams. I think yesterday really messed with my mind, with regards to the guy who sits near me and him being so badly beaten. I had dreams that my children were in danger and that we attended a funeral for a child. I kept waking up and trying to get it out of my head, but would go right back to sleep with another bad dream. I think, too, because I was talking to Toolman about the incident and then about how he is sick of not having a job . So all these bad thoughts right before bedtime is not a good thing. I was also thinking about how I need to spend more quality time with the kids vs. what I am doing now. Ugg, I wonder if all dreams have a meaning or if it is your deep thoughts of fear at work.

Lila:     I think dreams are a summary of your day and it helps you process through the thoughts and events. It is important to dream because it is an avenue to get your feelings and frustrations out.

I think you had a horrible day. Seeing that guy who was severely injured in a fight was too much for you. I, also, think you are going through a rough patch. Sucks, but I know everything will be alright because I can feel that a good change is coming. I got a lot of good, settling news yesterday and today will be a great day. Just tell yourself that.

B:     I do tell myself that everyday, but then today I was on the bus sitting in front of two men, who I heard talk the Thursday before this week about jobs and the openings they have. Crazy enough they work in Toolman’s industry. I went home that week and told Toolman about the conversation and he said he would not want to work at this company in question. I don’t blame him because the guys were really negative and spewed a bunch of crap at the same time. So today they are on the bus talking about the amount of resumes they have received for various positions. Two of the positions they were talking about Toolman does not do nor want to do, however they were  also talking about one position that he is qualified for. They stated that they received 150 applications.which made me feel discouraged, but won’t be telling Toolman about this. He hasn’t done too much this week with regards to looking for a job, and last night was feeling guilty about it.

L:     The truth is we may be out of a recession, but things will not change until the market gets a lot better. Confidence will be up. People will want to buy big-ticket items. For now, everyone is feeling discouraged. You are not alone. What about the idea of starting his own company? Do some consulting work until something more permanent comes along.

B:     He has thought of all those, it is just a matter of doing it. He has now been off 7 weeks, and has lots of good leads, a few interviews, but still waiting to get something. He just needs to be more aggressive. The good thing that has come out of this is the amount of time he has spent with the kids. You can see they enjoy him being home and they tend to ask him things more than they use to. I told him last night to enjoy it while he can, since he will never get this time back. 🙂

The work neighbor came back to work today, and the swelling has gone done a lot, but still really messed up. He told me he is more angry than anything and that he would like to find out who did it. I was a little baffled at this and he said he should have never been out that late. He was up to something.

L:     What? If he is angry, why didn’t he report it? Now they will never be able to catch the culprits.

B:     He supposedly contacted the police yesterday, who told him they could do nothing about it since he didn’t have a description. I find this hard to believe.

L:     Lies, lies, lies.

B:     Wish I was a fly on the wall during this episode.

Beatrice:     So Toolman has this so-called friend, Steve, who he met at his former employer. You know the one that he was laid off from. Steve is the ultimate “yes man”, will bend over for ya if it would get him further up the food chain of corporate world. He calls Toolman around 3-4 times a day, and for whatever reason Toolman puts up with him. I told him years ago this guy is weird. Anyway, he calls up Toolman today to say that he, being Steve, went into the main office of his company and struck up a conversation with the head honcho regarding getting more work so that they can bring Toolman back. Apparently, head honcho tells Steve that they would never bring Toolman back and the position he posted for in Houston would not even be a consideration as they have cut all ties with Toolman. Then Toolman starts going down the road of all the things he would have done differently. I totally went ape shit on him because I told him that the former employer is over with and he wasn’t fired, he was laid off. And Steve is not your friend. A friend doesn’t give that sort of news to someone, as it is a bunch of shit. Steve is on our Facebook too, and he posts pictures of himself chumming it up with the very man who was responsible for putting Toolman’s name on the list of layoffs. This Steve guy is bad company, and I wish Toolman could see it.

Lila:     I can’t believe a manager would be that candid with another employee. Don’t you think that is weird as well? When Lori was my manager and we were going out as friends as well, we kept everything separate. She would never share anything that was private with me. When she was frustrated with the performance of another teammate, she would never tell me. It’s just not professional.

B:     I find it all very weird, and my sister-in-law who is a HR manager for a major corporation told me that this type of comment can blow up in his former employers face if he felt the need to bring it to light. She said it can be deemed slander and he can sue for wrongful termination. Of course I am so ready to go there, but Toolman would never.

L:     I know you would not go down that path, but I just find the interaction between Steve and the manager weird. I don’t know what is going on with Steve to say anything is personally weird with him. I am sure you are right though. You are agreat judge of character.

B:     I have always felt this guy is a bit off on relationships. He has a common-law wife, and 5 poodles. I have watched him in action at company functions, and he is all chummy with the big wigs, and will throw anyone he can under the bus. I told my husband today that I am not comfortable with that guy and especially him telling Steve anything about his job search or what nots. Totally pissed me off that he would go to a guy who has lost his job and then tell him something that would make him second guess his past 9 years and make him feel horrible. Although, Toolman isn’t upset he is just feeling more motivated. I just know that it would make me upset. I guess guys are different in that way.

L:     I would feel motivated myself. I am not going to let a sycophant keep me down. I refuse to play their big company games and I am sure your husband feels the same way.

B:     He does, but I am pissed on his behalf. Ha!

Beatrice:      With Toolman being off work and taking the kids to and from all of their events, he is starting to see that there are a lot of men out of work. He called me after the kid’s swim classes to say he met two fathers who were open about being laid off. Brody’s soccer coach was laid off on Monday too, and I guess when everyone showed up to the practice, the coach’s son announced to everyone that his dad was let go from his job the day before.

We chose not to tell the kids that daddy was laid off from his work, only because of this very thing and so that they would not have any worries. My mom keeps asking me if we have told Brody and acts like it is a big deal to tell them. I actually kind of got into it with her yesterday about not telling the kids. So stupid. Toolman was a product of uncertainty and it affected him so much that he internalized it. Our kids are happy that they are spending so much time with their dad, and really don’t question it, and why would we try to explain this to a 3 and 5-year-old.

Lila:     That is a decision that only you and your husband can make. You decide what is best for your family. Not your mom. Not your dad. Not anyone else. There are reasons for doing what you are doing.

I know you are not feeling yourself these days and I am not sure if there is anything I can say to make you feel better. I’m just here to hear you out. Times are tough. I don’t blame it on any one group. I definitely don’t blame it on President Obama. I know there are a lot of people who have been laid off a long time. They make it work. Uncertainty is horrible for people who make plans and I know, you are a planner.

B:     Yes the planner part of me is what is making me hate the uncertainty. My gut and heart knows there is a reason for it all and that he will find something great soon, and to relax, but then it is hard. I just do not want to worry our children. They don’t seem to know a thing is going on, and that is how we want it.

L:     You know they can tell when you are worried. Kids are really observant and deserve more credit than what is given to them.

I think when I was laid-off, it was different. I did not have a child to worry about. I just had my dog. Not to mention I was offered a job pretty quickly. I did not want the job, but I thought maybe I need to take a step back in order to get ahead. It worked out fo me. Has Toolman thought about that?

B:      Oh yeah, we had a heart to heart again and I told him this is the time he get the little nagging projects at home done. To ask my parents if they have anything he can do and then at his mom’s house, all which will keep him busy and will help out others. He use to do habitat for humanity and build homes, so I suggested he get back into the to volunteer and make use of his time, not to mention it is a good deed and potential networking can come from it. We definitely talk about all of this around the kids, and they haven’t missed a beat, and we haven’t changed anything in our day-to-day doings with them. Brody told daddy today that he likes him home, and hopes he can take more time off.

On a lighter note, we are picking up our couch today, so that will give our home a new update and I can hardly wait!

L:     Oh that’s awesome. You need to focus on the positives. I know it is hard, but just channel your frustrations and fears on other things.

B:      That is what I have told Toolman, that we need to stay busy and positive and enjoy this time while we have it. He woke up today feeling renewed and rejuvenated!

Beatrice:     So this week has been hard for me to focus. This layoff thing with Toolman has really been a rollercoaster of emotions. One day I am totally excited for all of the new opportunities, and the next day I am freaking out that he may not land any of those opportunities. Of course I keep this thought process to myself. He has already had lots of leads, three interviews and nothing has come from it yet. I know it has only been 2.5 weeks but we are now in a state of waiting to hear.

Lila:     You have to be patient. Companies are taking their time because they can and you just have to wait along with them. At least he has had three interviews. Most people can’t even get an interview. Another thing is Toolman has a specialized job. It takes time. Just enjoy the time. You said it yourself, you guys are good for at least a year on one income. Do you want him to take any job or take the right job?

B:     I am not worried about money and then I am. I don’t want to eat up all our savings. I guess the bigger thing too is that I have run across so many articles that are discouraging, or people who have been out of work for more than a year and nothing. Toolman said he would start-up his own company before he got to that route. Just a mixture of emotions and it is crazy.

L:     I think any type of uncertainty will feel like a rollercoaster. That is the appeal of a rollercoaster. Money can be so stressful and this is a horrible time. You’ll be okay. Something will come along. Starting a new company is a lot of risk. I am not sure I have the cojones to do that. Good for Toolman.

B:     He keeps saying that this experience was a huge eye opener and is hungry to get back into the right place. He is also picky as he wants to only work for the big General Contractors but will work with a smaller one if it means work for now. He is ready to look out of state too. All of this is so back and forth and he says one thing and does another. I guess he is just as uncertain. He is not meant to take it easy, it is not in his DNA so it makes me anxious.

L:     Well no wonder you are all worked up. Toolman is nervous, which makes you nervous, which then makes him even more nervous. He will find a job. I think what you are doing now is the right thing. Have a plan and definitely a back up plan. It’s not time to freak out yet.

B:      I know, but I am the type that needs to know what is going to happen. Part of that not knowing is kind of exciting, but some days I feel conflicted.

L:     Must be a conflicted day. I remember I was a little nervous around three weeks when I was laid-off. I was worried about not getting a job ever again, which is ridiculous. And then after that week I realized how fun it was to not have responsibilities like that. Maybe you and Toolman will feel the same way.

B:     Yes, the thought of him never getting a job again has crossed my mind. He is having an off day today, so I think it makes me feel weird.

L:     You are allowed to have moments. Rollercoaster is right. The problem is the ride can be a long one. But just like the real thing, the first drop is the most unexpected and everything else is a bump.

Beatrice:     So today I was talking to a client on the phone and at the end of the conversation he said “I hope you have a wonderful life and do all it is you inspire yourself to do.” I was totally taken back by this and actually got a little emotional. He is an 84-year-old man, but something about the exchange told me it was a message from above. Sounds wacky, but it is the 3rd time this type of thing happened to me in the past two weeks. I told Toolman that God comes to you in very special ways, and you can not ignore His messages. I am not a very religious person, although was raised with a Reverend for a father, and have learned to take in those moments with a lot of reflection. Really made my day.

Lila:     That is a good way to start your morning. You should alway heed the signs, especially if they are consistent. I believe in signs. I really do.

As for me, I started this morning a little differently. I looked over when I was at a stoplight and saw a homeless guy pushing a cart, and he was wearing a PIG SNOUT on his nose. Obviously someone saw a different sign. Lol!!!

B:     I saw the same guy at the same corner and wondered what in the world he was thinking. I guess you must have fun begging for money.

This week should be a good one. Tax season is over and more project work to be done. No more overtime so I can actually spend more quality time at home with Toolman and the kiddos. We may actually hear some news on offers for Toolman.

L:     I wonder if he gets more help for being funny. I wish I had taken a picture of him to share. It got my attention. Do you ever wonder how they got there to begin with? Didn’t they see the signs to get help?

Since this recession, I have seen some crazy homeless signs. One guy wrote, “Need money for a hooker. Not drugs and alcohol.” Sometimes I don’t even think they are homeless. My tell-tale sign is if their shoes are clean. They are just trying to get tax-free money. I never give them money, but I am sure they get enough to keep doing it everyday.

Good for you guys. Sounds like Toolman will have to get back to work soon.

B:     I think the majority of true homeless people have mental issues, and I believe this has been founded over and over. Most are living with schizophrenia or other mental disorders. I think their “signs” are totally skewed. I do think their a very small percentage that would beg for money who have other means of getting it like work, however they have maybe drug issues. I am guilty of giving homeless people money. Although, when I was a teller at a bank in college life, there was a guy who we would see on 16th street mall begging for money and every day he would come in and deposit it into his account. He had two accounts with us and both had over $100K a piece. I do not think this is the norm.

L:     I do think there are a large percentage of homeless people who have a mental illness or a drug habit, but there is growing population of people who do it just for regular income. I have seen reports where they can make $300/day and that is after tax money. Let’s do the math. If they make just $100/day, 365 days a year, that’s $36,500. If you think about it before taxes, that’s $50,000. That’s a lot of money. I am just saying the guy with the pig nose may be a real sick homeless guy, but the guy with the clean shoes and jacket has a business plan.

B:     Oh I know it is true for a small bunch. I know that there is a lady who gets dropped off every morning in downtown by her husband who asks for money. Her husband is very well put together and drives a nice car, while she goes out asking for money. She is the one who whispers right in your ear and claims she needs money for a bus. I saw her in Boulder a month or so ago doing the same thing. I wonder how much she makes, because she is still doing it and obviously it is working for her.

L:     That’s why I don’t give them money. I give it to the organizations that take care of them, when they are ready to get the help. No need to keep enabling them because they’ll never learn that way.

B:     I am a sucker for both. I use to be the college kid walking through campus that would get all types stopping me to sell things, ask for money, you name it.

Beatrice:      So, Toolman met with the Sprouts owner who flew out here from Phoenix to discuss brining Toolman on as an Owner’s Rep, which would mean moving to Arizona. If the price is right he will consider it. He was offered a job by them last year, and they really like him so it may be a great opportunity. Then they gave him four other companies and the owners for which they will make something happen for him if he is not really game on moving. He is going to put in all the resumes today and contact these people and see what the best fit would be. I am really excited for him. I wouldn’t even mind moving there, because there is an office in AZ and if we can make it work I may be able to transfer there. We talked about it briefly on my way to work where he can go out there first for a few months to see if it is the right fit, before uprooting us all. I really feel like good stuff is in the horizon.

Lila:     Arizona? I don’t want you to move. I understand you guys will do what you have to do, but Arizona? We’ll never see each other. I am just reacting for my own selfish needs.

B:     Trust me, it would be hard, but it may only be a year or two. This is so early on in the game to really say what will happen, and you never know they may keep him out there for a short while until he gets his feet wet. We shall see what they come back with for an offer. I am just thrilled that he has options and I am sure has lifted his spirits.

L:     He knew he had other opportunities. I mean Sprouts pulled out the moment they heard he was no longer with the company. He is totally in the driver’s seat.
What if the offer is so good that you don’t have to work, what would you do then?

B:     We would take it and I would find something fun to transition to. I don’t think this will be the case. Toolman told me he is glad I am excited but to not get all worked up until it is official. He doesn’t get that I am just thrilled that his hard work and good work ethic is being noticed. It hasn’t even been a week since he was laid off and he may already have found the job offer he can’t refuse.

L:     He should definitely use the momentum for his own benefit. When we got laid off, we have a new job within a month and then took the time off to do things like travel. It was so ideal because our relationship was just budding and we had each other to keep company. That time was priceless.
I see you working at some garden center.

B:     I would love to work at the garden place, but don’t know a thing about Arizona vegetation.

L:     It will be like a new career for you.


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