Thursday, May 17, 2012

Post 1998

Welcome to 1998, folks!

It was another  year of walking to work and making fun of the poor sods who had to drive back and forth to and from work.   It never did get old.

I turned 34 in 1998.

You may recall from  yesterday's post that I had applied for a job in 1997 but didn't get it.   Disappointed and unhappy, and told I'd be given additional responsibilities to make me suitable for a future opportunity in the department, which were not forthcoming, I applied for a position in another department.

I got an interview and did well at it.  I was offered the position and accepted it.  I wrote a letter of resignation and dropped it on my director's desk.

He came to me the next day and made me a counter offer.  I would be given an acting position at the next higher level and be allowed to remain on call, which would entail callback money in the event of a problem at 3 in the morning or whatever.  I wavered.  People who were my references and others whom I respected all contacted me and urged me to take the original offer from the other department.  With some reluctance, I did.  There would be no standby or callback associated with this position.  Taking this job would cost me thousands of dollars per year.

I went to that department at the end of April 1998.  It was even closer to my apartment, so for a while, I could go home for lunch, which was great.  The job, however, was disappointing.  I found the office clique-ish.  If you didn't fit in from Day One (which I didn't), then you were at a disadvantage.  I began to wonder about the motives of the people who had urged me to take the job in the first place.

I would remain in that job for 9 years.

It wasn't all hell.  There were some laughs along the way.  My supervisor started calling me Austin Powers for some reason.  In a couple of years, once The Sopranos became popular, he started calling me Mr. Bevilaqua.  He had a nickname for everybody, that crazy guy.

At my previous department, my former supervisor, the guy I had worked with for 10 years whom I didn't like very much, was denied a management position he had applied for.  It did not sit well with him, and he made no bones about his disappointment.  When I went back to visit the place, he bent my ear about his predicament.  I pretended to listen and to care.  He left the department that year, bounced around from job to job in the civil service for the next 9 years, and took an early, and enforced retirement, in 2007.

What else happened that year?  I was still in Toastmasters, of course.  We had a sister club that was struggling, and my own club had had similar membership issues over the years.  They approached us and asked whether we would consider merging with them.  There was a series of meetings involving members of my club and members of theirs.  We hashed out various issues.  Come December, the 2 clubs became one; we named the "new" club The Halifax Downtown Speakers Club.  We did keep the club number of my club, though, to save some money.  We also kept the numbering of the meetings.  I had joined the club in 1991 pretty close to meeting #666.  We are now up to #1580 or so.  It will be pretty neat to have been a member of the club for a full 1000 meetings!  I remain the only member of my old club.  There are 3 members of the sister club remaining in the club today.  I feel outnumbered sometimes.

There is not much else to tell.  I am struggling to remember any funny stories from 1998.  I am sure there were some, probably quite a few, but nothing is coming to me.  If I recall one or two, I will come back here and revise this post and tell you about it.

1998 was a year of great change for me, and one which contained some regret.  It headed into 1999, the year of the Y2K craze.  I will discuss that in post 1999.

See you tomorrow.


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