By October 30, 2007

Those bastards took my stapler. was supposed to be the part two post of my shotgunning course, but something else came up. After four years of ups and downs, my employer axed me and about half of the group I worked in on Monday. My boss and his right hand man were among the casualties. I can’t say I was surprised at anything other than the timing. I’ve been under-allocated and underfunded for the last two and a half years. I worked on quite a few projects across different parts of the company in that time, but my primary role has been guarding my red Swingline stapler, hoping no one found me in the basement.

It turns out that someone finally paid attention and zapped me. I had a great setup: working from home with sporadic trips to Maryland and San Francisco, California; I was able to work mostly flexible hours and could do anything at home as long as I was within earshot of the office phone or the Lotus Notes incoming mail sound. I was fortunate to work under the Captain, a very wily and supportive manager for three out of those four years, and met a lot of great people.

I had hoped to retire by forty, and that might still be in the cards. It will be more difficult without the annual bonuses and salary. I certainly won’t be able to replace the relaxed working environment of the home office.

My employer let me off easy with a very generous severance package, so finances are not going to be an immediate concern. I have also been working for Starbucks since May of 2007 as a barista, mostly to get out of the isolated environment of the home office and meet other human beings. Porter, Rosie and Pearl are awesome, but they have pretty limited vocabularies. One of the nice things about working for Starbucks is that they offer really fantastic health insurance for anyone who works over twenty hours a week. If I don’t find a suitable position by February, at least I’ll have health insurance.

I am looking for senior manager-level front-end Web development and design leadership or senior manager-level user experience and usability leadership positions. I am willing to relocate to northern Virginia, Southern Oregon (to serve the SF Bay area), or Austin, Texas. I would also stay in Richmond, but I am very afraid the salaries are not up to my requirements. But you never know, so if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone, I would be much obliged for your assistance.

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5 Comments on "Those bastards took my stapler."

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  1. Damn man, it’s sucks that you got axed :/ Sounds like you had a very nice job!

    Good luck with the hunt!

    Also: I never imagined anyone having a Starbucks job next to their “normal” job. That’s way cool! 🙂

  2. drfaulken says:

    Thanks for the well-wishes. As a dot-com veteran this isn’t my first layoff, so at least I know how the process works.

    About a quarter of the partners at my Starbucks store have “day” jobs, and we were working nights and weekends for fun or a little extra scratch. I routinely work with a gal who is a retired State Trooper (law enforcement) who now works for the county police as a liaison with other law enforcement organizations. She works at Starbucks so she can smile for a few hours a day.

  3. Ben says:

    Sorry to hear about that. I don’t know if my company is hiring for anything you’d be interested in, but our open positions are at if you do apply for something, let me know and I will let them know you’re a referral and bug them endlessly 🙂

    Good luck in your search though.

  4. Ringo says:

    Dude, that really does suck. For what it’s worth, I put out a feeler with my web guy in Austin (Big Blue). He’ll let me know if anything comes up. He also said, “The best places to look are Monster and Career Builder for the Austin area. The market down here is actually supposed to be good, BUT Dell is in the middle of some pretty major layoffs that are not really making the news and the market will be flooded soon with a lot of folks.”

    Hang in there, Bud. I’ll keep you posted (by email, if you prefer).

  5. drfaulken says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Ringo, I am very glad that you’re still reading Gibberish, that pretty much made my day.

    I have head interesting things about Dell also, insomuch as the shadow layoffs. For now I am taking it easy and going by word-of-mouth referrals.

    I haven’t started freaking out yet, I’m saving that for three weeks from now. 😉

    Thanks again, everyone.