Good News!

Hello, dear readers! At long last, I can share with you the good news I’ve been hinting at for the past couple of weeks – I got a new job! Starting March 9 I’ll be moving out of the nonprofit world and into doing tech support at an app company. I could not be more excited.

It’s been a wild ride getting here. Back in October, I was very casually looking at positions online, and I came across a posting for this company that I thought looked really interesting. They were based in New York, but were gearing up to open a Chicago office. I applied, and in December ended up having a couple of great interviews with them. I didn’t get the job, but when they sent the rejection, they told me they wanted to stay in touch.

Now, I didn’t want to read too much into that, but it didn’t seem like quite the standard, “Sorry, you’re not a good fit for us,” email. So when I noticed a new, similar position go up at the end of January, I decided to take a chance. I emailed the HR recruiter I’d been talking to in December, and asked if the hiring manager was the same person, so I could address my cover letter more personally. I didn’t really expect to hear back…and I didn’t, for about a week.

Just as I was about to go ahead and apply, I got a response apologizing for the delay (she’d been on vacation), and letting me know that, yes, it was the same hiring manager. She also said she had a meeting scheduled with that hiring manager later in the week and would be happy to mention to him that I was interested. She encouraged me to apply, so I did.

The very next day, I got a response. They let me know that since I’d interviewed so recently and had already talked with the hiring manager, they were skipping over the initial interview part of the process, and dropping me directly into the next step, which was a trial project (basically using their help materials to answer some sample client questions). I took the afternoon off to go home and work on it (since at that point, I was too excited to focus on existing work very well). I did what I thought was the best job I could do, and sent it in.

About a week later, I heard back that they were impressed by my project and wanted to move me along to the final interview stage. After a last-minute reschedule, I ended up having the final interview last Tuesday. I had great conversations with three people on the team. The hiring manager made a point to let me know that my trial project was the best work he’d seen on that in a long time. I felt like I nailed it. I was told I’d hear back by the end of the week.

Fast-forward…about 24 hours. Wednesday afternoon I got an email from the HR recruiter saying she and the hiring manager wanted to give me an update, and could I spare 15 minutes for a phone call that day? I responded with my availability and sent several, “cross all your appendages for me!” texts to the friends who knew I’d had the interview.

I got an offer. I was expecting, based on the conversations I’d had in December, to be offered a salary that was a bit below what I wanted, and was prepared to argue for more. Instead, the number they offered me was my pie-in-the-sky, I-don’t-think-I’m-allowed-to-ask-for-this, never-gonna-happen number. I said yes.

This all happened in a span of 15 days.

Last Thursday, I turned in my two-weeks’ notice at my current job and informed my teammates. Friday I wrapped up telling the folks I needed to tell privately, and then Friday afternoon my boss sent out the official announcement to the agency. I’m getting a lot of practice in setting emotional boundaries and not trying to manage other people’s emotions (my therapist is going to be so proud). There’s a lot of sadness, and a fair bit of anxiety about what’s next.

And part of me is sad, too. I’ve worked with really great people, and I’m sorry to say goodbye to them. I’ve also learned a lot at this job – when I started, I had zero IT experience. I’m grateful for my time here.

I’m also really, really excited for what’s next. Every person I’ve talked to at this company has gotten me more excited about working there. It’s a great opportunity, and the way things fell into place, it feels like it’s exactly where I’m meant to be right now.

So that’s my big news! Special thanks to everyone who’s reached out in the past couple of weeks to check in and get updates – it’s been great to have your support. I’m a lucky queer.

Taking a Week Off

Hello, lovely readers! I am only posting this week to let you know that, because I am still fighting this cold and am therefore pretty fuzzy-brained right now, I am taking this week off from writing a real blog post. I’ll be back next week! Thanks for your patience.

On Darkness and Inner Demons

It’s been a long, hard, scary week in the world, and it’s only half over. There have been so many awful things happening that, when I sat down to think about this week’s blog, I wasn’t really sure where to begin. But I’m going to try to address two of the big things.

First things first: on Saturday, a black teenager was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, MO. It’s an appalling and altogether horrible situation, and is just one in a long line of similar murders in recent history. I’m still trying to educate myself on the situation (despite the overwhelming urge to bury my head in the sand), but this is the best article I’ve seen on the whole situation so far, and while I had a lot of thoughts similar to this bouncing around my head, I would never have been able to express them so powerfully. When my partner posted this article on Facebook, ze posted it with the comment that, “If you are a white person in America, you need to read this. (Everyone else in America already knows and lives it.)” which sums up the truth of it pretty damn well. Read it. If it’s a choice between reading that article or finishing this blog post, go there, now.

One of the other things that’s been blowing up all over the news this week is the death of Robin Williams, which, it’s thought, was a suicide. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this. The fact that the suicide of a rich white man has gotten more media attention than the murder of a young black man is profound evidence of a number of deeply-rooted issues in our society. And Robin Williams wasn’t a hero. He, like many comedians, sometimes went for the cheap joke at the expense of people who absolutely do not need any more of that from the world (for example, the transmisogyny-perpetuating man-in-a-dress trope of Mrs. Doubtfire). At the same time, he was undeniably talented, and undeniably troubled by inner demons the rest of the world didn’t always see. Suicide, like any loss of human life, is always a tragedy.

These two news items have served as powerful reminders that this world is a dark, scary, overwhelming place a lot of the time. And not just the world around us, but the worlds we inhabit internally. We all have our demons. Darkness seems to be everywhere these days.

I find “it gets better” tropes to be pretty useless. Sometimes, it doesn’t really get better. It definitely won’t get better on its own. Things only change when we make them change. But we don’t always have the resources available to us to make things better for ourselves.

Which is why it’s so important that we, as human beings, take care of each other.

We can take care of each other by listening to one another, whether it’s to educate ourselves about the experiences of people who are different from us, or simply being aware of when the people around us need some extra gentleness. We’re all in this together. At the end of the day, we’re all human. If we could learn to value the humanity in ourselves and to recognize it reflected in others…maybe the world wouldn’t turn out to be such a dark place after all.