And then one day, I got home from work on a hot August evening. I was tired and sweaty and never wanted to get into a car again and there was a message on my answering machine. It was from a recruiter. I'd been called before about this job or that one. I had friends who were recruiters, heck my Dad was one after he retired, so I was always polite and returned their calls or emails to say nicely that I had a job so thanks but no thanks.
This one left a particularly articulate and smart message so I called her back prepared to leave a thanks but no thanks voicemail since it was after 6 and she answered. We chatted and she begged me to come in for an interview. I told her that I had a long commute and no time and really didn't want a new job and she, very nicely, persisted and then looked at the address on my resume (which she had gotten from my website) and said 'oh but we're just across the street! How about I buy you dinner?'
She could have saved herself the price of dinner. She had me at 'we're just across the street.'
So after much consideration and gnashing of teeth and consulting with friends... (John said, if it doesn't work out, you can always go back to Microsoft - and he was right right right), I quit Microsoft and went to work for a company called EC Direct that was, literally, across the street. They were a fledgling start up and they wanted to change their name. They wanted technical communications help for writing white papers and marking communications for changing their name to Vitessa.
Their deal was that they provided the coding and then, later, the inventory for a 'buy' button on your website. It was a tricky business to even explain. The cocktail napkin drawing that the founder made was the only thing that worked and it worked so well, I had a bunch of cocktail napkins imprinted with the drawing.
As the business struggled, I ended up taking on various jobs. At one point I moved the sales force onto what was then a fledgling organizing tool called Sales Force. They've actually become quite the thing in the intervening years :). And I worked as basically a secretary to one guy who was a Muslim and would steal my tangerines the minute night fell during Ramadan and a female lawyer who wore so much perfume, I needed a gas mask to go into her office.
It was a wild time. And fun and the commute could not have been sweeter. And then the calendar turned to 2001.
To be continued