Nothing Special, Really

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Decision Time

Alcohol is known as "truth syrum" or "liquid courage." After last night, I can see why.

My company held it's farewell party last night at the Seattle Convention Center. Decent hors d'oeuvres, a slide show of memories past, and two free alcoholic beverage tickets.

Of course, the resourceful always find a way to score additional drink tickets. One of my coworkers, Ryan, had a pretty solid gameplan:

"Look for the pregnant chicks."

In truthfulness, I was just planning to have my two drinks & call it a night. But when drink tickets are being blatantly offered to me, it would be rude not to oblige, right?


I had a conversation with my boss about the job offer to stay with the company. I've always been very honest with my boss, dating back to two years ago where I was stuck in a training position that was self-motivating & very unstructured. I struggled in that position to the extent that I was almost let go last year when the position was no longer needed. It was made temporary with the intent that I would move into another position elsewhere, but I had effectively slacked my way out of that arrangement, and it was only through luck & good timing that my current position opened up at a time when they couldn't afford to have it vacant.

I told her that I was leaning towards declining the offer for the same reasons I mentioned yesterday. Hypothetically speaking, she started throwing out numbers; $X with $X signing bonus, with the understanding that any bonus required a 2 year commitment. What if they gave me the bonus, with or without offsetting my annual salary? What if they bumped up the salary even more? I told her I really didn't know what number it would take for me to committ, and I think it was that part of the conversation that made it apparent my mind was made up, I just hadn't realized it yet.


A couple of coworkers & I left an hour before the party to go prefunk at Gameworks across the street. We started talking about the job situation with everyone. One of us was staying, the other two were not.

At this point in the evening, I was answering the question of my employment in the manner of "Well, I still don't know, but I'm kind of leaning towards declining the offer" yadda yadda yadda.

We head to the farewell party. I cashed in my two drink tickets pretty quickly. I find my boss and start talking to her. The words came out differently this time:

"So I think I'm pretty sure that I'm not staying."

She tells me that I really didn't convince her earlier in the day that my decision was about the money. In reality, it is, but not in terms of what they could offer me to stay.

It was around this time that I procured an extra three drink tickets. With each ticket, the decision was becoming more definite.

Drink three: "I have an offer to stay, but I'm probably going to take the severance instead. I want that chance to see if the grass is really greener."

Drink four: "I'm probably out of here on May 2nd."

Drink five: "Fuck this I'm gone!"


I realized yesterday what was most important to me. It is about the money. But it's about the money right now. Or it's about the money I don't have right now.

It's about the opportunity to get that lump sum now, find a job soon, and apply that lump sum to reducing my debt. It's about being able to set aside a portion of the severance and put it into a savings account. It's about being able to, for the first time in years, not be living paycheck to paycheck. Even if it means setting my career path back a year or two by taking a position that's not exactly where I want to be at this point in time. I would rather do that then take a promotion at the cost of severance.

This is all just a possibility. It's just as likely that I don't find a job until June, July, maybe even beyond. I have to be prepared for that possibility as well. So I'm not banking on this severance being the cure-all for my financial woes, at least not yet. Just the opportunity that it could be a cure-all.

It may not be the most financially sound decision, and it's probably the risker decision, but last night, when I kept smiling just a little bit more as I moved from "leaning towards declining" to "leaving on May 2nd", I realized that it's the decision that I'm most comfortable with.

Now on to the next life crisis: leaving Vegas with as much of my severance as possible.

No one ever said life was easy.


  • Money is important but job satisfaction and happiness is more important than career growth. I never believe in sacrificing now for joy later for later may never come. Do what makes you happy bro. You might not even be alive in 2 years. 2 year commitment is silly.

    By Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage, At April 23, 2008 at 11:49 AM  

  • I just don't want you blowing any of this severance money on long- nippled Asian strippers when we are in Vegas next month. You could blow through it very fast if you are not careful, if you know what I mean.

    And it's not so much the blowing it that would bother me; just make sure to blow it on a hot stripper and not some long-nippled Asian stripper. That skank was probably breast feeding and stripping to support her 6 kids. Yuck.

    By Anonymous Mark, At April 23, 2008 at 3:09 PM  

  • Successful people get there by taking risks! I'm behind you 100%! :)

    By Blogger wacarra, At April 23, 2008 at 4:21 PM  

  • When are you in Vegas? I will be there 9th-12th of May...

    By Blogger Schaubs, At May 1, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

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