Friday, January 05, 2007
Current mood: excited
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
All right here we go! Orientation is tomorrow morning, then classes on Monday. Next week is going to be hell week for sure. Class from 8-2:30 Monday morning then straight to the airport and on to Houston. Get in to Houston at 1 AM, off to the hotel an hour away from the airport, up and in meetings by 8 AM Tuesday, meetings until 5 Tuesday then skipping dinner and the reception, back to the airport landing in Portland at midnight and back in class 8 AM Wednesday morning! Holy cow...work and school and family...and maybe some time to read in there too...wish me luck!
I should be fine most of the time, just when there is travel in there that it's going to be hard.
That's the mini-post I did right before starting school. Remember in the series I wrote about leaving Advertising and making the decision to go back to school when I talked about telling my main client (Scott Dickinson here on referred to as SD) I was leaving? He offered me a job working part time for him while I was in school and I accepted. Then my current boss (Scott Nowack here on referred to as SN) offered to pay for school if I stayed on at the agency. Well, I had a choice to make at that point, did I leave the agency and forgo the school tuition? Did I tell SD that though I appreciated the opportunity and had already accepted the job I changed my mind, knowing that I would be letting a friend down, not just a client? Or did I do the completely insane thing and decided that I could do it all?
Yeah, I went for the insane thing. School three days a week, in the office at the agency 2 1/2 days a week, working from my kitchen table on agency work and SD projects 7 days a week and studying 7 days a week. And that last line about being fine unless I was traveling? Four out of five terms the first week of term I had out of town meetings, so it would be class, airport, meeting, airport, class, rinse and repeat. And that's not counting the other meetings I had in between and around there. As it worked out that was probably my heaviest travel period of all of them in the agency and with SD. It was truly crazy. And I did it for nine months (yes, I know I keep saying a year, but it has a rounder feel than nine months).
The things I learned during that stretch are wide spread. Of course, I learned about my new career choice. The classes were much harder than I ever expected with a lot more science than I ever imagined. But this is the work series so I will stick with that focus.
Working in the agency it was really just more of the same, I was doing my job just in very compressed time periods and under very odd circumstances. SN did not want people to know I was leaving and so everyone was doing all they could to hide the fact that I wasn't in the office much and at times I was absolutely not available. I wouldn't take calls during class, for instance. Which doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you realize that I once had a client call me on a Sunday afternoon because they were in Portland and needed directions to a restaurant. That is the world of client services. You are ALWAYS available and if for some odd reason you don't answer your phone right away you ALWAYS call back within a few minutes. So it was an adjustment for everyone to sometimes have to wait for a full hour or even two for a call back.
The other tricky part was I wasn't telling anyone I was working for SD at the same time as SN. My non-compete stated that I couldn't do advertising for a client within a few years of working for the agency. Non-compete agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce and since I wasn't doing advertising work for SD but employee training items and random in house projects that just needed a project manager I wasn't overly worried about it, but I still didn't want to call attention to the second job. So I was in a constant shuffle of who knew what and when and why and did you know I was doing this and this or did you only know about this and not that but the other and how many of you know all of the things? And since you are confused just trying to read that last sentence imagine living it for a year.
Working for SD was really very interesting. The projects were never anything too taxing but they were always interesting in their variety. Basically what he needed was just SOMEONE to do them and honestly though he will deny this until his dying day, he didn't need to hire me at all he could have pulled almost anyone from his organization into the office a few days a week to fill in and get them done. He insists that my unique skill set (see all previous work blogs) made me perfect to do them. I understood the restaurant industry from working in the Advertising/Marketing side as well as from working in the restaurants. I understood the employee training pieces because I had employees and had been a trainer in previous jobs. I understood how to get him set up with the new KFCC online system because I could take the time to wade through the poorly written directions and use my contacts in Louisville to help me when I got stuck. Now I say that all of that is true, but anyone could have done the same things, they just might not have been able to do them while holding down another full time job and going to school as well. ;-)
So what did I learn from this job? Jobs? Here you go...I learned that you might think you are busy right now, but when you are REALLY busy you know. You also can handle much more than you realize. There were quite a few times through that year that I thought I was going to collapse under the weight of it all, then a break from school would come and I could just focus on the jobs, or a holiday would hit and everything would stop for a few days and I would be back up and running again. I learned that there could be a job out there that would use all of my random skills and I learned that there are people out there that want the best for you and are willing to make up just that job for you so you can pursue a new path.
And I learned that I never want to be that busy again.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Whew...and yee haw!
Current mood: relieved
Grades came today. Pulled my As for the term...yes I know I was all about accepting a lower grade and how it would be fine...but that's when I thought I wasn't going to be able to pull out an A.
One more week of term break then it's back to school...but this time instead of back to school with a full time job, a part time job and homework I will be down to one job and homework! Yee haw!!