At work, they moved my cubicle from the fun IT guys over to a room of sales and marketing. It was loud and not as much fun. There were two inside sales people who's job was to cold call potential customers. One was male and one was female. And they were both amazing at their job. It was mesmerizing to listen to their silver tongues just go none stop all day long with the same energy and enthusiasm from morning to evening. I was so impressed every day at the skill that they had. I can be articulate but that's like asking Michael Phelps if he wants to race a lap or two. Dust eating me.
On the other hand, particularly the woman, when she wasn't on the phone was one of the most annoying people on the face of the earth. She was a big reality show watcher and discussed it loudly between every call. It made me turn my desk into a hostile workplace.
Finally, they laid me off in February of 2004. My manager was not happy with me and I was not happy there. Washington is an At Will work state meaning, among other things that they could fire me without consequence at any time. But I've always felt like the lay off was a gentle firing. I was fine either way. It was nice to get out of the robot calling business.
I hunted around for work and, again, it really took me no time to land a gig as a Microsoft Vendor. I did not work for Microsoft but Microsoft paid my boss for my services on a vendor basis. This is all very convoluted because of tax and labor laws. Microsoft was being sued for using contractors illegally. Technically, and legally, I was not a contractor so I got more money and was able to stay out of the fray.
My work was on a section of the Microsoft website and the trick to it was figuring out the convoluted home grown tools and systems they had in place at the time. It was not fascinating but it wasn't horrible either. It was a job. And that was fine by me.
My dad had died in 1999 and Mom was on her own. She lived in a wonderful retirement community in Charleston, SC and did fine but needed me to help with things. She loved her computer and her broadband connection so we were in constant touch. She is why I got a webcam in the first place.
Every morning, I'd take the bus into Microsoft. It would drop me off about a half mile from my office and I'd spend that half mile chatting with Mom. It was really a very special and wonderful time.
To Be Continued