I left the interview feeling okay about how it went, but not okay with what I was potentially up against. I felt like I was going to get an offer and I felt like it was my ticket out of my current place of employment and away from the frustration I was experiencing, but I can say the ONLY reason I was even interested in the place was because of my friends and previous co-workers who are currently there and doing well for themselves.

I received the “thanks, but no thanks” email the next day, which was a Friday, and at first, I was a little bummed. Right about the time I received the email, the CMO of my company (who is also one of the founders) came to my desk and asked if I got the invitation to go to happy hour after work.

“Umm … no?” I replied.

“Well, you got it now … seeya at the bar!” he says, while strutting away back to his office.

I didn’t really want to go, but … I understand the importance of playing along, especially if the executive team of the company you work for is a fan. I went had a beer with them, then went home and had crab legs with my girlfriend / wife-to-be.

After reflecting back on all that transpired, I really felt like I had dodged a bullet. I would have hated it at that place. I am waaaay better suited for Business-to-Business type interactions, not Business-to-Consumer. I really felt like that organization was full of bottom-feeders and what they do goes against everything that I think / feel about certain things (like money and profiting off of people and their misfortunes and poor choices, etc.).

My girlfriend / woman had to work Saturday, so I was home by myself throughout the day, and my mother called me. She probably knew I’d be out somewhere with no cell phone service on Father’s Day, so she called me a day early. We were talking about credit cards, etc., and I warned her about being disciplined and not letting things get out of control.

Coincidentally enough, she explained that things did get way out of control for her financially after I had left home, and how she saw a commercial on TV about debt consolidation programs, and how she called them and how they convinced her to stop paying on her debts so they could negotiate them for her and how everything just spiraled out of control financially (she even lost a home that she owned outright), and that was almost 20 years ago. She is just now recovering. She has made some poor choices throughout her life and has not had it easy by any means, but that’s beside the point.

I did not tell her about the place that I had interviewed at, but I was just thinking to myself: I dodged a bullet.

Later on that day, I was at Wal-Mart, purchasing supplies for a Father’s Day lake trip. I remember looking up and down the check-out aisles and seeing all the people, most of which (I assume) were making their purchases with credit cards; whom most of which have outstanding balances that they’ll never pay off, and thinking: “these are the kind of people companies like that feed off of.”

I have to say, in hindsight:

  • I was invited to happy hour on Friday, then went home and had crab legs and watched Bates Motel on a 120+ inch custom projector screen (that I built) with my girlfriend.
  • I am a semi-pro musician and had a gig Saturday night at our favorite place to play; in fact, in 16+ years of playing semi-professionally, that Saturday was the BEST gig I’ve ever played.
  • On Sunday, we took the boat out to the lake with the kids and took the singer from my band and his kids, too.
  • We hit the beach and played for a while, then we all took turns getting towed around on the inflatable, three-seater hot dog.
  • After the lake, we went home and had steaks and watched a movie.
  • And then I had what alcoholics refer to as a “moment of clarity.”

I came to the realization that everything is not going to be okay because everything IS okay. I know I don’t make as much money as some of my friends or as much as I used to, but you know what? I make enough to take care of business and I don’t have to go home and immediately take a shower from basically scamming people all day.

I have a decent job, I work with good people, I have a nice house, cool kids, a beautiful girlfriend, I play in an awesome band, I don’t work nights or weekends, I don’t have to commute all the way across town for work, I have no car / boat / motorcycle payments, my dog kinda rules – life is good and I am learning to be happy and appreciative. It is a bit hard for me, but I’m getting there.

And it all brought me back to one of my core purposes of even taking the time to express my thoughts on this blog site: jobs are stupid and money is make-believe and our only true resources are our time and our health – that is it.

I appreciate being able to take care of my family and spend quality time with them and do fun things, and I appreciate physically having the ability to, as well. I’m not a fitness model by any means, but I stay pretty active; I eat mostly healthy and hit the gym at least 3 or 4 days a week, I get several runs a week in with my dog, and I can say that everything IS okay.

It’s summertime now, so the kids are out of school, but I appreciate being able to be home by 5pm every day and being able to make dinner and help them with homework and be able to attend their school events. I appreciate not having to work nights or weekends or having to go to work one day and come home a year later, like how it was in the Army. I have an ideal work / life balance and never take work home with me. Life is good, and I appreciate it.