New Opportunities – or, how I lost a job and came out better for it

Antigua 207  It’s been quite a while since my last blog post, due in part earlier because I had nothing of any importance to say, and lately because I’ve been too darn busy.  So, on this rare quiet weekend afternoon, I thought I’d touch base again.

About a year ago I had decided to look for another job.  My job as a DBA with a life insurance company wasn’t going anywhere, and I thought I had done just about all I could do for them.  After a few interviews at various places, I found a local utility company that was interested in me.   The interview process with them took a long time; I think I started the process in May 2012 and didn’t actually get hired as a contract employee until August.  The plan was to work contract for three to six months, and then be hired as a permanent employee.  There were two other contractors there with me, and eventually we’d all become permanent employees.

I should have seen the warning signs during the drawn-out interview process.  This company moves painfully slow on everything.    I mean, they’re still not using SSIS because their Security department hasn’t determined if it’s “safe” yet.  It became clear to me early on that what I was doing was not what was promised.  The DBAs were essentially relegated to pushing development code into production.  We sat there for days not doing anything, because 1) there was nothing to do, and 2) the department heads wouldn’t let us implement any of our ideas for improving the various environments.

Still, in mid December, they wanted to interview me again for a permanent position.  I was told it was just a formality.  So, I sat with HR again.  Same interviewer, same questions.  I’m not sure I answered them the same, but that didn’t matter.  I was told I’d hear something by the end of the week, certainly before Christmas.  Well, Christmas and the new year came and went, and I had heard nothing.  Niether had my two co-workers.  I inquired as to the status, and they said there’s just a lot of “process” to go through.  Then, on Tuesday, January 22nd, I received an email from HR asking for my references.  Now, the three DBAs, myself and my two co-workers, were continually being praised by our superiors (why, I don’t know, we didn’t do anything) and the developers.  We did manage to improve the promotion time of the developer code, and for that they were very grateful.

I waited a day to respond, and then I replied with my references, but I also stated that I thought they were unecessary since everyone had seen our work for almost a half a year now.  That was Wednesday, January 23rd.  On Friday, January 25th, after work, I got a call from my recruiter.  He informed me that my contract had been cancelled, and that he’d go in Monday to clean out my desk.  I was floored.  Apparently you can’t argue with HR.  Anyway, even though it came as a surprise, I wasn’t terribly disappointed.  I didn’t like it there.  I was a little worried though, since I still supply the health insurance for my daughter, and I wasn’t looking forward to paying the COBRA rates while collecting unemployment.

So, that Friday night I went on Twitter and announced that I was an unemployed DBA looking for work.  Jes Borland (blog | twitter) saw my tweet and re-tweeted it.  Chris Cammers (blog | twitter) saw the re-tweet and sent me a message to check out his company, as they were looking for an ETL developer.  I checked it out, and sent them a resume.  This was Sunday, January 27th.

Monday morning I got a call from one of the managing partners of Resource Management Professionals.  Would I be available that evening for a phone interview?  I said of course.  So, that evening I talked with the two managing partners for over an hour.  Larry Overstreet (twitter), one of the partners, asked if he could meet me for coffee Tuesday morning.   Again, I said of course.  So, we met for coffee and talked for another hour.  Larry then told me that he was going to be traveling the rest of the day and it may be a few days before they got back to me.  I said that was fine.  At 9:30 Larry called me and said that David Fields (the other partner) may want to talk to me sooner than a few days.  I thought, OK, I can do another interview.  These guys seemed knowledgeable, nice, and we seemed to get along OK during the talks.  At 12:30 that day (Tuesday January 29th) David called me and offered me a position as a Business Intelligence Consultant, and oh, by the way, how soon can you get to Arkansas, because that’s where your client is.

By now my head was spinning.  I talked to David for quite a while, and it didn’t take much arm twisting for me to accept.  The next Monday I was on an airplane to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I spent a week down there learning about my client, and the job that they’ve entrusted me with.  Needless to say this is a massive project, one that will keep me busy for at least the rest of the year.

RMP is basically a business intelligence company, using SQL Server, .NET, and Qlikview.  I specialize in SSIS and writing stored procedures to move massive amounts of data from an old dBase system to SQL Server 2008 R2.  I let others worry about the .NET and Qlikview stuff.  And, because I am a DBA at heart, they’re thinking about adding DBA consulting to their list of services.  I meet with another client next week for a little database tuning.

The upside?  The pay is good, I love doing what I do, I work with a great group of people, the benefits are good, and, aside from going into the Milwaukee office a few times a month, I get to work from home.  That has been the biggest adjustment, not getting distracted with all the “home” stuff and put in a good days work.  I just head to my little home office, and the dogs think I’ve left for the day and they sleep until I come up for lunch.

The downside?  Sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether to wear the gray slippers or the blue slippers to work.  🙂

To sum up, if I can wrap this up in one main idea, it’s that the SQL Server community on Twitter is second to none.  I love you guys.  I get to read and learn from some great bloggers, and I get to chat with so many of you whom I consider my friends.  Plus, without you, all of you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Thank you.


About Gill Rowley

I live in a Madison, WI suburb, working as Owner/President of White Knight Data Solutions. I like hunting, fishing, working out, my boat, my motorcycle, playing with my rescued bull terrier Lola, and gourmet cooking. Oh, yeah, and I play men's fastpitch softball, and chess. Let that sink in. :-)
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3 Responses to New Opportunities – or, how I lost a job and came out better for it

  1. Matt Velic says:

    Nice, congratulations on finding a job that’s interesting and can pay the bills!

  2. Jagannath says:

    Thanks for sharing…..

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