Abusers, Narcissists, Controllers, and Love

One of my favorite bloggers/advice writers is Captain Awkward. She’s wry, she’s smart, she’s right on point, and she actually writes you back even if she doesn’t publish your letter. I wish I’d have read this some years ago, it would have saved me a lot of second-guessing and time.

I’m going to post this without comment, because wherever it finds a person when they need it, it is the right time and place.

Help with De-Escalating Arguments when Dr. Jekyll Turns into Mr. ‘Abandonment/Control Issues’ Hyde

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Lessons in Geography

I’m not going to spend the whole post complaining about Columbus but let’s just say that the differences in behavior between Chicago and it are, well, mountainous.

OhioThe first problem we noticed, were the drivers. If you see a car swerving, driving erratically or too slow for the road, I will bet you my pets that the driver is on his or her phone, looking at his or her phone, or even Facetiming, I’ve seen it all. I regularly see motorcyclists try to beat red lights and turn against arrows in busy traffic. I see cars cross the center line only to be horned back into position by the opposing car, daily. Add to this the lack of continuous sidewalks and lacking public transit, and you have a recipe. Every time I see a pedestrian walking along a shoulder, I cringe.

There is no public campaign to go hands-free or phoneless by threat of ticket. Cops are a rare sight indeed and I can’t say I’ve ever seen a police car just parked on a side street waiting to nab a scofflaw. Drivers ed I’m told, is but a faint whisper in the school system, and the terrible drivers are a known factor of living here. The locals joke about it.

And so, on Friday, after 15 months of residency, I was finally rear-ended. I don’t know if he was on his phone at the time but when we pulled into the nearest parking lot, he apologized immediately and said he wasn’t paying attention. Ok sir, I’ll take that as an admission of guilt (aside from the failure to stop in time and perhaps following too closely). It was a very low speed collision in bumper-to-bumper construction traffic, and because the kid with the Slow/Stop sign turned it too quickly for the person in front of me to make it through, they jammed on their brakes, I jammed on my breaks, and the guy behind me did not. It’s a miracle I didn’t hit the person in front of me, to be honest. I was within an inch. Like, parallel parking level where you pat yourself on the back when you get out of the car to admire your work, close.

I’ve tried to be open-minded. Chicago is an enormous city with diversity and hustle, everyone’s going somewhere and rushing, and our Habitrails are well-worn and ingrained. The drivers are only part of that, but what I’ve come to really realize is that the beauty of a large city, even if it seems people are terminally disengaged, is that they are keenly aware of what’s going on around them.

That car is probably going to hit me if I cross the street right now.
He’s about to change lanes into mine, I better slow down.
That guy is going to try to get around me with his cart, I should move to the side.
That woman is going to stop and ask me for money if I sit next to the open seat.

It’s a city of constantly darting eyeballs, full of anticipation and decision-making. And I miss that more than I ever could have known. Now, even the act of driving through a parking lot means stopping while people walk slowly, four across in the middle of the drive lane, blissfully unaware there is a car right behind them that can’t get by. That, on a grander scale, has been our experience in Columbus. There is little urgency for task completion if not outright obliviousness of expectation. Returned calls from professionals or physicians can take days, if not weeks. Paperwork is routinely lost and re-submitted. And I can’t put my finger on any of it because it’s not crowded or over-populated here. No one is that busy. Ever.

We don’t miss Chicago. I mean, we miss the food and some friends and family, but we don’t miss living thereWe’re going back tomorrow for several days for D’s business trip and that will scratch the itch for a while. We found a sushi restaurant where the language barrier results in delightfully curt interactions with staff which locals probably think is rude, but we love it. In fact, every time we have borderline unfriendly, to-the-point service, we let out a charmed, “awww” after the person walks away.

desert

My backyard someday.

We talk about the desert still, it’s been a constant conversation, but work in the city we’d plan on can be hard to find and because I’m a specialist within a specialty, particularly difficult for me. There are a few things in the works with regards to that which may wind up saving the day, but there are a lot of “ifs” about it as of today. The larger question is, is there anywhere we can go that won’t be as frustrating as Columbus has been? Hard to say. Mitigating factors are comparable cost of living and better weather, which means from now on, we only move south/southwest.

I’m grateful for eight months left on our lease though, and I’m grateful we don’t have to make any decisions today. The adventure continues. But I might be staring down the barrel at my eighth move in seven years.

Turns Out, My Dog is Not Sick

Update from this post, written almost a year ago. Thanks to the stranger who liked the previous post, I wouldn’t have thought to update it without the notification.

Before we moved from our previous city, Fred was

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 9.41.00 AM

Handsome Fred

diagnosed with insulinoma, a particularly aggressive and always fatal pancreatic cancer rarely if ever, seen in small dogs. In our new city, our new vet concurred based on blood work and symptoms, and prescribed a daily dose of prednisone as a bit of a hail Mary to control the growth of the tumor. She recommended we do another round of x-rays six months after beginning the medication.

Pancreatic cancer spreads like mold, and that is what makes it so very dangerous and fast. Not only is it in the endocrine system which travels through our whole bodies, but it grows via thin filaments of cells that infect everything around the site and beyond, and we felt it was only a matter of time before it manifested elsewhere. We kept a close ear on his lungs and eating habits, and watched for other signs that it might have metastasized. In the meantime, we moved house in the spring of this year and set out to find a vet closer to our new place. Enter: The Best Vet on Earth. But let me back up and add the other crucial element to this puzzle.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 9.39.51 AM

Puppy Ramona

This is Ramona, born to a mama she looks just like along with three sisters, in August of 2017. We had no intentions for a puppy, we planned to adopt via a Shih Tzu rescue that does a lot of work in Ohio. We wanted to find an older lady friend to keep Fred company in his twilight years and hopefully give him someone to snuggle with. The more we talked about an older rescue, and Fred who doesn’t love to share space (or me) all that much, began to talk about a puppy instead. We knew that aside from plants, we’d likely not raise a living thing from infancy and that’s a valuable experience in marriage and life. Plus, in what remaining time Fred had with us, he could mentor and shape a puppy to be mellow and sleepy like him, and help it realize how to be a great dog before he left his fuzzy mortal coil.

We introduced the prednisone to Fred’s routine around August, found Ramona shortly after, and by October, she was home with us. We spread Fred’s feedings out to four small ones a day and medicated him in hopes of keeping his blood sugar problems under control. We bought a glucose monitor on our previous vet’s recommendation, who showed us where on his paw to take the sample when he had his next low blood sugar fit, and we sat back and waited for it while we got Ramona used to her new home.

But that fit never came. The prednisone dosage was slowly lowered over those six months and shortly before we moved to a bigger place in a neighboring town, we had the second round of films done. Nothing. They showed nothing. No visible cancer, no spread, and a healthy heart, lungs, and liver. Fred was cranky because of the prednisone and new puppy, but they had no visual on an actual illness. They believed he was still sick however, in spite of whatever it was that looked like a tumor the year prior simply appearing gone. We were stunned. And confused. Hopeful, but not confident, we needed a second opinion.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 10.09.31 AM

We found a new vet in our new neighborhood and took Fred in for a checkup, to see if we could take him off the prednisone altogether and if they viewed the films differently. They agreed, but took it a step further. Not only does he not have insulinoma, but he’s in remarkably good health for his age and knowing absolutely nothing about his history prior to when he came to us almost three years ago. They felt his glucose was on the low end of healthy, but could be managed with regular feedings and a slower lifestyle (he can’t get much slower, really). He came off the prednisone and his personality has slowly returned. He hadn’t given his tiny kiss-licks in months but there they were, carefully doled out and never too much or often, Fred was his selectively affectionate self again! Ramona piles into his space and knocks him out of the way regularly in acts we refer to as “puppy rude”, he growls and corrects her and sometimes she even backs off. She insists on snuggling with him, whether he likes it or not, and he’s slowly allowing it.

So here’s Fred, 10 years strong and three years part of our family, healthy and as happy as he can be, in it for (hopefully) the long haul.

I Nuked* My Facebook Account

*Mostly. I know, I know, but wait. Lemme splain.

When the Cambridge Analytica stuff surfaced, it seemed like it was the final nail in a coffin that I’d been slowly building over the course of three years, in which to ultimately lay to rest my Facebook life. For too long I’d read the same memes posted by friends all across the country ad nauseam, I’d been privy to pointless and irritating beefs between people I both cared for and did not care for, endless MLMs from girlfriends I otherwise loved, that stupid dress debate, righteous as well as flawed soapboxes, unchecked-against-Snopes dire warnings, and a family member who never spoke to me unless he decided to fight me or one of my friends regarding a discussion being had on my wall (which is a lot like walking onto someone’s patio after not seeing them for a year and poking one of their guests, a stranger, in the chest).

I watched Zuckerberg sweat and robot his way through that hearing and the deep knowledge that the user is the product sat next to me and shook its head at what a sucker I’d been all those years. It was time, I was finally ready.

I composed a short but explanatory post why it was time (minus the family member call-out), that we as a society got by just fine without Facebook and could again, and asked people to get hold of me if they wanted to keep in touch through other channels like email or phone. I left the post up for 24 hours, collected some info and said some goodbyes (I wasn’t dying people, geez), then downloaded my data, deleted the app from my phone and tablet, and clicked “delete my account”. Naturally, it takes two weeks for Facebook to actually delete an account wherein the user has plenty of time to deeply regret their decision, wonder what they’re missing, and if everyone is somewhere without them having fun, and ultimately restart it.

About a week passed before I finally shook the urge to check the feed. I didn’t reach for the app first thing in the morning after waking nor did I browse the site before bed. I was blissfully unaware of the latest internet argument and I was very happy about that. Then, a few days later, I realized that I had conversations in Messenger that I didn’t want to let go (but I don’t use that app and the app I do use to check those messages requires a Facebook login), and that I was about to lose 90% contact with my in-laws, nieces, and nephews. I did some digging and found a Chrome plugin that would let me nuke as much of my wall, feed, info, photos, details, etc. en masse that I wanted to. I ran it for two days straight.

Then, after about a week and a half, I decided rather than get off Facebook completely, I would finish running the plugin then delete a huge portion of my friends list, change my name to something unfamiliar to anyone, remove all public information and photos, then pause my account for a week or so. Once I fired it back up again, my friends list would be mostly only those who I actually wanted to hear from and since I’d “unliked” so many pages, the ads in my feed would slow to a crawl and anything I wasn’t interested in seeing, would be very easy to unsubscribe from or delete. I took my friends list down from 565 to 160, and of those I really only see the same 25 people in my feed.

To say that I lost connection to the world would be an understatement. When we moved to our new state, we left almost everyone behind. We have two friends here, a couple I’ve known since high school, but that is it. It has become very clear that the majority of people in our lives were depending on our Facebook posts to keep them informed. The catch-up emails haven’t increased, the texts have remained basically the same, and the phone calls were never much to begin with.

Now, presuming the people we’re friends with and related to aren’t terrible, how does this happen? Does Facebook truly make people so lazy for connection that it becomes the sole means and without it, people not on the site are in fact out of sight and out of mind? My experience would say that yes, that is accurate. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it doesn’t sting (but it does help affirm the choice not to have kids, they’d be as isolated as we are and that’s not fair to them). When I lived alone, there were days when I wouldn’t see or speak to anyone and I’d realize that entire weekends would go by where I wouldn’t hear the sound of my own voice. I could have choked on a donut and died, and no one would have known until the stink became unavoidable for the neighbors. Living with someone legally bound to me takes that concern out of the equation, but not by a lot. We as a couple can go weeks without seeing the only friends we have here (I do not count my coworkers but it does help to have them), though I do talk frequently to the wife part of them. Now that I’m on Facebook very casually, it’s like keeping a toe in the pool at the very most and that toe isn’t enough to get me caught up in the soul-crushing fray it can be. It reminds me that some friends are more enjoyable in person than they are online. Being off of it calms my spirit, which is the best thing about the downgrade.

Leaving Facebook has inspired me to check in far more frequently with friends and loved ones who perhaps don’t check in with me as much as I’d hope. We’re all responsible to reach out to each other and keep in touch. In the effort of being the change I’d like to see in the world, I’m reminding myself that connection is never on just one person, and feeling cranky that someone isn’t speaking to me a lot is when I realize that maybe I need to speak to them first. If they don’t return the volley, then I guess Facebook is the weakest Band Aid that most of us rely on these days to be our tie that binds, and sometimes it’s good to step back.

Here are my tips a peaceful coexistence with Facebook:

  • If you find it’s affecting your life in unhealthy ways, scale back. Check it rarely, contribute even less. This fends off targeted ads and cuts down on vapid interactions (and arguments). Remember that you met people and had relationships outside of Facebook once upon a time, and you will again.
  • When you see in the reminders it’s someone’s birthday, text or call them your wishes instead of putting it on their wall
  • When you realize you haven’t seen or heard from someone who you know is on Facebook, email, text, or call them to check in. Don’t post to their wall or message them in the app.
  • If someone posts that they’re having a hard time, reach out in a way that doesn’t use the app. Make sure they know you’re thinking about them and that you care. 59 “hang in there!” posts on a wall don’t equal a direct text or call. That goes for any news be it weight loss or the death of a pet. Nothing equals direct contact.
  • Keep track of birthdays and important dates in your preferred calendar, don’t rely on the app to tell you what’s coming up.
  • Educate yourself about things happening in the world from difference sources, don’t use the Facebook bubble to find out what’s happening out there. If you don’t already get daily emails from news sources in your email, sign up. If you don’t know who to trust, consult this handy chart:Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 4.45.59 PM

Facebook is not the devil. It’s a useful tool for contact and communication, but that’s only realistically, about 10% of its intent. I truly believe that in order to use it the way at least I think of it, as a way to keep in touch with far flung friends and family, the less personal information and companies or products “liked”, the better. I don’t believe there is a hack for the site, I think if you’re on it, they’ve got you tracked and numbered.

There are better ways to be human and connected to one another though, and putting electronics between each other isn’t it.

Covering Bases, Looking Out

Last we spoke, I had just accepted a job for which I felt highly unqualified. They still wanted me for some reason though and against all logic, I accepted. That was in January. I was hired along with a more experienced counterpart and together, we took on the task of rebuilding some external sites for a national retailer and its five brands, simultaneously. It was a tall order and we are frequently frustrated, to tell you the truth. We battle old ways of thinking, fear of change, and lack of true leadership that will lay the hammer down on problem children. I am not yet at the point of throwing my hands up and allowing the frustration to color all my days, I’m still learning and being part of a solution is why they brought us on. But sometimes, you have to look beyond your immediate situation at whatever might be coming at you from the side, front, behind, or beneath. Cover your tush, girl.

“I’m sure these are growing pains”, or “I’m sure this will get better”, are mantras we repeat daily, sometimes hourly, when things seem like they’re going in circles or not at all. At some point, that mantra can shift to a darker, more cynical, “This place sucks”, or “…Typical”, depending on how far you go.

My counterpart, let’s call him A, is more experienced than I am in the mighty ways of UX Architecture, this much has been clear from the beginning. He has the lingo down pat, he seems to know exactly what the next steps are in any situation and moreover, knows precisely how everyone is failing at success and he is not shy to point it out. Being somewhat new in this branch of UX, I cannot help but be impacted by the verbal shrapnel his criticisms fling in all directions. I began to see the company we work for as confused, floundering, barely run effectively, and full of idiots. Except for us, of course.

I did not like feeling this way and began to resent going to the office every day and seeing him sitting there, apparently just waiting for me to show up so he had someone to complain to. I found myself wondering why he’d stay, we’re contractors after all and it’s not like the people who put us in our jobs want someone who is miserable, to stay there. It reflects poorly on their choices of candidates and hinders their abilities to place more people in the future. They’d rather work with the unhappy worker and find them something new than allow them to stay on, potentially poisoning a well.

A month ago or so, after I found myself nodding through gritted teeth at yet another gripe session, I pitched the idea to our boss that we split up and work independently. Not only would it keep stakeholders happy to see us working on their projects at twice the pace, but in theory it would give me a break from this constant complainer, who was beginning to deeply affect how I felt about the employer too. I wasn’t ready to be bitter and resigned, I needed something to work for and take joy in.

My boss agreed and split us up to do work on a project or two each at the same time, and while that worked well for a month or so, it wasn’t long before we were back at the same desks or offices together, every day, complaints flying. Eventually I looked at A and asked if he was job seeking elsewhere. He seemed momentarily startled and glanced over his shoulder to see who might have overheard the question (no one, I made sure before asking).

The floodgates opened. Yes, he said, he had been looking but it turned out that “no one can afford” him and the cost of living in our city, he felt, was too high (it is not, I assured him, I just moved from a city with disproportionate COL:income), so a pay cut isn’t an option.

I began to notice a pattern with A. He talked a very, very good game but mostly, I realized, he’s full of crap. I figure that he has everyone snowed, convinced that he is deeply needed, very important in the UX scene, and knows more than anyone in the room (or anyone he works for). I took a step back and looked at the work he was doing, his bad relationships with our stakeholders, and then saw something I had been too intimidated by his touted experience to see previously: I can do the work he’s doing just as well, if not better, and people like working with me.

This revelation brought about two things. One, a new sense of confidence that I was no longer phoning it in or secretly faking it until I made it, because I was making it, and two, the company doesn’t actually need two people to do this job. We could do it with one UX Architect to work with the stakeholders in discovery and ideation sessions, and one dedicated UI designer to handle the wireframes and prototypes. With that team, maybe we could finally embrace an Agile system instead of waterfall, where we currently hope and pray things fall into place as we go.

On day last week I had lunch with a friend who works at our office and who also happened to work previously with A. I explained to him my frustrations working with A and his constant negativity, and told my friend about an idea I was rolling around: If A left the position like he’s been threatening to do, and they took it down to one Architect, it would save the company money while also eliminating a presence that is becoming increasingly cancerous to the process.

My friend encouraged me to speak to my boss. I told him it felt underhanded and a little sabotage-y but he replied that A is not shy about how unhappy he is, the problems he sees with the company as being unfixable, he comes in late daily, and expresses frequently his frustration with stakeholders through passive aggressive comments and eye rolls. The writing is on the wall for those willing to see it. So after lunch, I went to my boss’s office and said that if, and I don’t know anything for sure or have any concrete evidence, but if A would not renew his contract when it expires in July, that I feel the UX Architecture part of our team could be handled by me and a dedicated UI designer. I explained that having a designer would free me up to work with the stakeholders, which is all they really want, and would push Agile into a potential reality. That’s it. He didn’t ask for more information or proof, he nodded, looked intrigued, and left me with… I would describe it as… an optimistic “alright”.

Was it the right thing to do? Was I throwing my hat into a non-existent ring? Would they take my idea seriously and let me do it myself or would they get a more seasoned Architect in there to co-work? I have no idea. I can say that the company does not excel at stellar financial decision-making and they tend to think spending money is a failsafe against failure. But I know that I have my boss’s support in most anything that I do, and in spite of my own misgivings about the company’s future as a whole, I know that I can do the job and do it well. I will rise to the challenges and forge ahead with the solid and promising stakeholder relationships that I’m building.

I do keep my eye on the job boards, for my contract also expires in July and it would be unwise to presume anything about anything, but it feels better having made what some might consider a “power play” than simply waiting to see what might be around the corner. If nothing else, it has set me apart from my coworker, who only ever seems to be about the complaints where as I want to be part of a solution.

One Door Closes, A Yacht Pulls Up

Grab some coffee, this is a long one.

As some of you may know, I’ve been in UX for a little over two years but had been a team of one except for the three-month contracted gig that just ended. I paused the search for the Christmas/New Years break then applied for UX positions with two international retail brand companies and went on interviews for both. I was contacted by two different recruiters and worked with them through the process.

Company A interviewed me for a straight across the board UX Designer role on an established team, with processes in place and systems to follow. The interview went well and my recruiter thought I’d have an offer that day or early the next day.

Company B interviewed me for what I thought was the same role but after speaking to the Sr., he passed me to his boss, the VP of Digital, and head data analyst. Suddenly, they were speaking to me about a position that didn’t closely resemble what I thought I was there to discuss and when I asked for clarification, they said there were two positions and wondered if I was interested in the other (more of a strategist/architect role, less hands on design). I left confused since it was so far from what I thought I was there for, and called my recruiter immediately to get more information. He was also confused.

It turned out that they felt so strongly about my personality, portfolio offerings, and demeanor, that they began to push hard that I be considered for the strategist/architect role instead, a role they hadn’t made public or informed the recruiters about. No one had ever mentioned such a career track to me previously, I didn’t think it was worth considering given my lack of head down, team-based UX design time, and thought surely company B was delusional and, frankly, wrong. My portfolio is full of wireframes and user flows, which I’ve now come to find out are far less common than finished work featuring mostly UI (particularly user flows, which have always been a strong suit of mine).

Company A’s offer didn’t come same-day and I reached out to the Company B recruiter to ask if I could go back to Company B and further discuss the opportunity, since I truly couldn’t understand why they’d be so interested in me for a created position I didn’t feel at all qualified for. I met with the VP again, got a tour, met some of the team I’d be working with, and we got a chance to have a transparent, honest conversation about my misgivings as well as the other interview I’d had. He was beyond encouraging, said that in speaking with me felt that I was the exact person and personality match they were looking for, and felt they wouldn’t find another person that ticked all the boxes they had in mind for the job. I left that meeting with an unofficial offer, and the official offer came later that day.

My concern is warranted, I’m not blind. I am particularly worried that I’m skipping over potentially years of hands-on experience before walking into a company or two and helping them with theirs. Company B insists I will not be alone, I’ll have all of their support plus a Project Owner counterpart, and since it’s a created position, we can build it as we go.

I accepted the role and let Company A’s recruiter know that if things had been equal, I’d have accepted theirs. There, it would meant real time put in doing the work, solid experience, the safety of tested methods, and after a year or two I’d have likely moved onto another company. I worry that an elevated position such as this, a specialty-within-a-specialty will make it harder to find something comparable when I leave it.

But the hesitation was coming from somewhere beyond the professional voice; it was personal. Not so much impostor syndrome doubts, but more the kind I felt when D pursued me hard and I wondered, “Why me? What does he see in me that is such a big deal?” Followed with a little bit of, “Why do they want someone without all of the experience who would probably do better and not screw things up?” All of the self confidence that I have, I have mustered or worked to see and feel, it does not come naturally to me. When things like this happen, I narrow my eyes and look for the anvil. I’m working through that though, I won’t let it get me.

Ultimately, in spite of my misgivings, I took Company B’s extreme confidence in me into account and chose to take the risk of an unknown quantity (in terms of established processes) rather than go the safe route. An opportunity like this would have taken many more years and a dozen connections in my old city, I felt I couldn’t let it pass. So I have 10 more days of quiet couch, baking, dog, husband, and errand time, then a trip to New Orleans, then I dive into the unknown.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Cake.

It’s my last day doing UX at the bank. My heart actually aches to leave, which is perhaps the strangest sensation I’ve ever experienced at a place of business. Usually it aches to see coworkers still bubbling around restaurants I visit after quitting, or when social media tells me they’re all out together wherever we used to spend time after shifts. In this case though, it’s the sadness of knowing I might never have this same team dynamic, caring director, or encouraging environment again. Me. Missing coworkers in an office. That has never happened, in all my years of working in offices.

I had a phone interview recently that went very well and in spite of a few red flags that popped up as I learned more about the company’s needs, they want me to come in for an on-site interview next week. It is located well east of town, at least a 35 minute drive but likely more in rush hours (which is off-putting, I’ll admit, I’m spoiled with a 15 minute commute now). I have four more resumes out there and no rejections from them yet, so next week may prove to be a busy one for fielding what may come. In spite of red flags, I don’t feel like I can pass up any opportunities. I need all the experience in many fields and ways of working as I can get, after all it’s my lack of experience that’s preventing me from staying at the bank (as far as I know).

If you’re new to UX and are a team of one, my advice to you is to get out and get on a team ASAP. Knowing how to work on a structured team is more important than skills, in a lot of ways.

It’s really an amazing thing, growing up and getting healthy in the head. My work environments have been largely unhealthy. They’ve been either very passive aggressive, non-communicative, had no boundaries and procedure, or had poor leadership. What I’m leaving is the opposite of all of that, and that’s hard to walk away from. I keep thinking about that whole “better to have loved and lost” thing but I’m not so sure. I realize this place is a rarity on all fronts and I just don’t think I’ll find it out there in the world so easily.

That translates also to some of my friendships, now that I have a chance to look at them from a distance. A friend, acquaintance really, was in town last night for a musical gig. I was a maybe for attendance but as I felt the pangs of friendly obligation to support, I also realized that this friend never speaks to me except for the one weekend a year that we see one another. Matching effort for effort, I decided to stay home. I have no idea if that makes me a jerk, but it feels like the right thing to do, in light of how some of my relationships have changed since our move out of state. It’s good to put the best efforts into things that will feed us and that ideal lead me to part ways with the recruiters who found me my first few jobs here in town. Their behavior at times was unprofessional at best and made them liars at worst. The frustration wasn’t worth it and with that in mind, I head back out into the world of job searching with new recruiters and a new list of what to look for, ask, and seek to find.

Wish me luck and happy new year to you.