Last post I mentioned that our departure from the start up was sudden. The first Monday of August T met the tech hire that he, as CTO, didn’t know they were looking for. Tuesday at breakfast with the CEO he learned the new hire was his replacement and that he would be unemployed by the end of the month. Needless to say, by about 11 am that day life was feeling pretty ugly.
It was a scary place to be, but also, for T primarily, it was a relief. We joined the start up with an idea of what the atmosphere would be like. Unfortunately, it was even worse than we thought. As the company grew so did the demands. Failure was not tolerated and mistakes were taken as almost a personal slight. I can understand why Topher was glad to be done.
I was glad to see that go, too. However, what lay ahead was terrifying for me. Not only that, I struggle personally, for reasons I’ll probably write about someday, with feeling thrown away, excluded, not good enough. I was devastated, but T was motivated. By lunch he had started his search for what he would do next. This was August 2013.
Since we had made the jump to freelancing in April 2010, the WordPress world had changed greatly. Gone were the days when your only options were work for a corporation or work for yourself. Agencies had begun to develop. Not just developed, but been around long enough to have moved beyond a start up to be a stable, reliable option. They had histories and reputations and employees with stories to tell.
That said, we didn’t just find the first position and hire on. With freelancing still as an option, we looked through the options available. T looked carefully at what skills he had to offer, what kind of jobs he might want to be a part of, and primarily what lifestyle would fit our family best. We were tired of being under-appreciated. We didn’t need to work in a hostile environment. We were going to find a place that also met our needs.
This last was tricky. One of the struggles we’d had at the start up was a complete lack of understanding of what kids need. Why? The CEO was a single guy fresh out of graduate school and had been an only child. A lot of agencies were similar. They had been started by people ten years younger than us who, if they had families, were, generally speaking, at a completely different stage. We knew we needed to be cautious. Our family was at a breaking point. There was only so much more we could take.
I mentioned earlier that I was terrified. I was, but maybe it was even that same day, there was a bright flash of hope. An interview had been scheduled for just a couple of days later with a very interested agency. I couldn’t believe it. Had I panicked too soon? Was it possible that only good could come from this?
The interview went great. T was asked to do a test and he did. That went well. Things were looking so promising. The transition looked so hopeful. And then nothing. Communication just stopped. Our end date grew ever closer and there was nothing from this agency. When asked, they said they were interested, but had a couple of things to take care of first. No problem we had a few weeks. Surely things would come together. They knew we were a family. They knew we needed a job. And nothing.