I was going to title this article "Greener than the Grinch," but last Friday the seemingly impossible turned into a reality when a Microsoft recruiter called and extended a job offer.
In early May, I had a telephone interview with the hiring manager, which was a complete disaster. Needing a private place to talk, I slipped into the only open room I could find – a small team room next to a research lab at "D." The reception was terrible.
I had forgotten about the phone interview until late May when I received an email asking me to fly to Redmond. At the time, I was in New York. Nine days later, I was on a plane with a notebook full of stuff about the position and Microsoft.
The morning of the interview, the recruiter told me that I’d be initially meeting with three people. If I did well (no pressure), I’d meet with two other people. The first interviewer had a similar role. The next was with another group. The third was the hiring manager. The fourth was a higher level manager within the group and the fifth was the general manager of the group. He asked the most unusual questions.
Giddy from the excitement of the day and starting to feel my internal clock wind down, since it was around 6 p.m. Central Time, I was flippant in my answers. When asked what the warning label on a bottle of medicine would read if I were the medicine, I responded, "Warning, highly explosive."
The words were so volatile that they flamed as they came out of my mouth. There was no catching or cooling them down as they escaped. In another response, I had difficulties recalling a time when I left work and felt regret for what I’d said. No matter how sharp-tongued my responses, I rarely ask forgiveness for speaking my mind. Honesty, even if painful, is better than deceit.
In spite of my less than practiced responses, the general manager seemed amused and when interrupted by his secretary for running overtime explained that he enjoyed our conversation.
After walking back to my car, I called Rich and told him that I thought I’d "nailed" the interview. My confidence faded with each passing day.
Finally, a week later, the recruiter called and said that the hiring manager wanted to interview more candidates. Rich felt it was best, for my mental health, that I write-off the job and move forward with my job search.
After ranting-and-raving for a few days about being unemployable, I heeded his advice and revised and reposted my resume to the Microsoft career site. I also applied for a handful of interesting positions.
On Friday, June 15th, I went to Lake Travis for a group off-site. Having gorged myself on queso (melted cheese with salsa) and chips, fajitas, swam three times, swatted at countless bugs, and joined my co-workers in lamenting the lay-offs at "D," I decided to stop at a gourmet shop to buy some Blackthorn, a sparkling apple cider from England that Rich and I had served at our wedding. If I had to spend my summer in Texas, I might as well slurp one of my favorite beverages.
I then headed to Garden Ridge, the world’s greatest hobby and home decorating store to lose myself in silk flowers, cheap dishes, pretty baskets, linens, and wonderful knick-knacks. After loading up the back of the car with my many finds, I heard my cell phone ring.
Figuring it was Rich, I headed home without bothering to answer. As I drove into the garage, I saw a giant hand-lettered sign, "You Got the Job!"
It took about two hours to reach the recruiter and discover that they intended to pay me more than "D," give an additional week of vacation… stock that vests over five years… benefits up the ying-yang… relocation package that includes 60-days of temporary housing, moving expenses, and much more.
I didn’t have to think about the offer over the weekend. My immediate response was "yes," and "when can I start."
Today, I gave "D" my two-week notice. On Saturday, June 30th, I leave Texas to start my adventure. With the help of Microsoft real estate services, I’m hoping Rich can join me in September after our Texas house sells.
Be sure to watch "Rajalary" for updates of my adventures…