Thursday, February 26, 2009

Job hunt update number something or other

Monday morning was my exit interview. I am officially no longer part of IBM. So how are the other job opportunities progressing? Here are updates on the four opportunities I felt were most likely,

1. (A large drugstore chain*) - Had my first interview with them Tuesday. It was a 45 minute phone screen. This company is undertaking a huge, highly visible project in which they are going to completely revamp how they connect stores, distribution centers, suppliers, and corporate headquarters. What's compelling about this is that they are using the software I know best as the basis for this project. Not only do they need folks with my skills, but they need a lot of them. The downside is that I am not entirely convinced they are going about this the right way. Right or not, that ship has sailed. The project is underway. If they are successful, the captain and crew are going to be heroes. If not? They are going to flame out in a spectacular, highly visible manner. Everyone associated with the project seems a little edgy to me. Of course, this is precisely why they could use me.

What's next? I was the first of 22 phone screens they are making this week (thank you Accenture insider for that information). When they get to the end of the list, possibly this week, more likely into next, they will then bring the short listed candidates in to meet in person.

* - For now, I am choosing not to identify these companies. Don't know why, just seems like the right thing to do. Not that you couldn't figure out who they are if you really wanted to; I'm not being that opaque. I'm also going try really hard not to use TLA's** like SOA and BPM. If you know what these things are, feel free to insert them yourself wherever it sounds most appropriate. If not, move along, there is nothing to see here.

** - Three Letter Acronyms. Popular in organizations like IBM, SAP, the FBI and the CIA.

2. (Our* WebSphere's largest and most annoying competitor) - Had a second interview, a face-to-face one, mere hours after Monday's exit interview. Went very well. The guy I met with manages a team of people who do exactly what I did for IBM. He thinks I am a perfect fit, and would really like to get me in the company. Problem is, they are in some sort of hiring freeze, and he doesn't seem able to create any positions right now. There is an opening in an above-region role (IE, covering a larger territory in support of larger, more strategic accounts) but it appears someone may have beaten me to that position.

What's next? Nothing left to do but wait on this one. It would appear, in fact, that this is dead in the water for now. I may talk to them a little further about a Sales Rep position they have... but wow, talk about descending deeply to the Dark Side! Joining the competition AND becoming a Sales Rep. That's too much cognitive dissonance to digest in one day.

* - I am finding it is taking some getting used to not to say "I" or "we" when talking about IBM. This makes interviews, especially those with competitors, awkward.

3. (A large hotel and hospitality chain) - Now this is interesting. They are in the infancy, nay, prenatal stages of a project that is smack in the middle of my expertise. Which is funny, because my expertise, though deep, is highly specific, and not at all broad. Which makes perfect fits somewhat rare for me. There are very few positions, unfortunately, that I could get up to speed on quickly, and do well. This is one. I had a series of 5 interviews with them yesterday morning, all face-to-face. It is my impression that 4 of the 5 interviews went very well, and 1 went moderately well. The outlier is the database guy, who, based on his line of questioning, may have some doubts as to whether I am technical enough.*

* - Yeah, this issue again.
Interviewer: "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a propellerhead computer nerd and 1 being technological idiot with a newly minted MBA, rate yourself."
Aw2pp: "About a 5.9."
Interviewer: "Oh, I am sorry, the answer we were looking for was 6.4. Thank you for playing. NEXT!"

What's interesting about this particular position is that it is all about strategy. They are hiring this person to define an IT strategy that is in line with overall business strategy, and then evaluate projects against their adherence to this strategy. Those that adhere (apparently these are very few in number) will continue. Others are either tweaked or scrapped. Very high-level, thinking and planning type stuff. I really like the sound of that, and hope to get an offer. Especially if I don't get an offer from #4.

What's next? I expect the HR recruiter to give me a call this week, and set up a face-to-face with the VP who manages everyone I met yesterday. I hear good things about this gentleman.

4. (A tiny software vendor)- I had a second interview Tuesday morning with the local account team*.

* - By "local account team", I mean a guy who lives in Wisconsin and drives to Chicago a lot. Did I mention it was small company?

We met at a Perkins restaurant just off the interstate. Nothing but good vibes here. I like the:

- Company. They are just crushing their sales targets, and the lousy economy is only helping them.
- People I have met.
- Market niche. The only competition is ignorance. As in, "Wait, there is a product that does this? What a fantastic idea! Where's my Purchase Order?" Which makes them a prime acquisition target, though company leaders I've spoken to deny this with surprising vehemence.
- Opportunity. Let's face it, you don't join IBM or SAP (my last two employers) to grow the business. Working for a 100-person software company with an international presence, however, brings out the entrepreneur in all of us. Everyone has to produce, everyone has to pull their weight. And if we do, there is some serious money to be made here.

What's next? The Presales VP is flying in next week to meet me. Then maybe a conversation with the CEO, perhaps a technical screening.

- Aw2pp, a former IBMer

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Make it four

When last we talked, I had resolved to focus my attention on three strong possibilities. Late Friday afternoon, a fourth entered the picture. So my interview schedule looks like this over the first part of this week:

Monday morning - Goodbye IBM. (Exit interview.)
Monday afternoon - Interview #2 with largest competitor.
Tuesday morning - Interview #2 with tiny but thriving company.
Tuesday afternoon - Interview #1 with very large customer.
Wednesday morning - Interview #1 with a medium-sized customer.

At this point, all four opportunities are strong. In 2 cases, I have already talked to the hiring manager on the phone and they seemed to like me. In the others, the hiring manager told their corporate recruiter "This is the first guy I want to talk to." Ya gotta think (I do, that's for sure) that, of these four, an offer is going to come from one of them. If not... I gotta brush up on my interview skills, I guess.

So consider this a heads up... light blogging until maybe Wednesday afternoon.

- Aw2pp, who, in all the commotion, failed to notice that pitchers and catchers reported.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Highs and the Lows

I'm pretty even keeled. Typically not too excitable either way. Years ago, when I was a high school volleyball coach (would you believe that?), I preached this: things are never as bad, nor as good, as they seem. Words to live by, and I do my best.

To illustrate, think of a number, between 0 and 100, that describes your emotional state right now. 100 is deliriously happy, 0 is incapacitating despondency. For added fun, put that number in the comments right now. I'll wait.

For me, I typically stay between, say, 45 and 55.* Lately, it's been difficult to stay within, as Data from STTNG** might say, "Normal operating parameters."

* - I'm told Zoloft does this to you. Not that I have any first-hand experience, mind you.
** - Google it, if you must.

Let's say I walked in to work on January 21 sporting a nice round 50. Upon hearing that IBM has decided to move on without me and 16,000 of my closest colleagues, I plummeted immediately to, say, a 5. Couldn't put two words together as I tried to call Sue on the way home. I'm sure that was a little unsettling for her. By the time I got home, I had improved to, say, 25.

Over the next day or two, this number continued to climb, even getting up into the 60's or so as I discovered the breadth of opportunities out there. Of course, I had, at the time, a poor sense of how to identify the best options, and got some quick rejections. And that is really the whole point of this post. The last month has been that way.

Aw2pp: "IBM needs a Telelogic Rep? I could sell Telelogic! Interview me!" 65
IBM: "True, the posting went up just this morning, but we already filled the position." 35

Aw2pp: "Wow, AON needs a Director of IT Infrastructure. I could do that!" 75
AON: "Call us back in ten years." 30

Aw2pp: "Hey, IBM is hiring a Sales Leader for the Distribution Sector!" 80
IBM: "If you have to look up what 'Distribution Sector' means, you're probably not the right one for the job." 25

Yes, all the above has happened. I have another half dozen just like these. And yes, in each case I truly, naively, was excited about the opportunity; and in each case, I crashed to Earth upon the rejection. Why do I tell you this? They say admitting you have a problem is the first step. I admit I need to get a grip on myself. And today is a good day to do it, because I had an exceptionally positive interview with a small software vendor, which could lead to a potentially lucrative offer some time in March. I have an interview with our #1 competitor on Monday, and they are very interested in me. My #1 customer target called today, and scheduled an interview for Tuesday. They have four openings in my skill set, and the recruiter told me I was the hiring team's first prospect they want to talk to . Heck, it was even breakfast for dinner tonight... does it get better than that?

Everything's coming up Millhouse for Aw2pp, so the temptation is staring me in the face to climb back up the scale again. So, consider this post my attempt at getting a grip, to remind myself that the most likely scenario is that, on Monday morning, I am still going to be jobless. And the job search count still shows a goosegg in the "offers" column. Here, I'll show you:

Applications: 122
Rejections: 24
Interviews: 9
Offers: 0

Still, breakfast for dinner is pretty nice.

- Aw2pp, who has yet to find a reasonable wine match for pancakes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An actual piano-related post

I apologize to those of you who are disinterested in the job search updates. I can tell from the lack of emails and comments that this is not quite so interesting for you. We'll resume regular programming once this is all behind us. That said, I have a piano question.

Those who know me know that, when it comes to computers, I am NOT a mouse person. In 7 years of doing documentation, QA, and development for SAP, I never used a mouse. Since joining IBM 3 years ago, I never used a mouse. Strictly a laptop guy, content to use the keyboard whenever and however possible. This past Christmas, I got a wireless keyboard / mouse to use with my laptop. Here we are 6 weeks later, and the mouse no longer works. I will probably replace it*, but in the meantime, I am not perturbed. Reason? I knows my keyboard shortcuts.

* - Partly because sometimes it's nice to have a mouse, and partly because the keyboard rocks, and it would be silly to keep it, but not the mouse.

It took awhile to learn them. Among my favorites? Shift-F3 to toggle between capitalization cases in Microsoft documents.* Try it. Click on (or in) a word, hit Shift-F3 and watch it go from "word" to "WORD" to "Word" to...

* - Funny thing... I didn't actually know the shortcut was Shift-F3... I had to open a Word document, type a word, cycle through the cases, then observe what I did to do that. Which brings me, finally, to my point...

Piano, to me, feels like I am executing keyboard shortcuts. Even things I come to know well... say, Ombre or The Entertainer... it feels like my fingers are executing series of pre-programmed steps. Sometimes, I may need to glance at the music just for a mental cue on which sequence is coming next. For something I have played a lot, like I Due Fiumi, even this isn't (or, until recently, wasn't*) totally necessary. I know each sequence, and I know the sequence of the sequences.

* - The problem now with IDF is that, as I mentioned before, the sequence I had ingrained into myself was not, shall we say, orthodox. And learning a new finger pattern is MUCH harder than I thought it would be. I may as well be learning a new piece, even though the notes are the same.

"So, Aw2pp, what's the problem?" Problem is, it doesn't feel like I am making music. It doesn't feel that different, in fact, from typing on my laptop. It's a choreagraphed finger exercise. Acquiring new music a very time-consuming exercise this way. Increasingly so, as the music (and hence, keyboard sequences) become more varied and complicated.

So my questions: this is natural, isn't it? Is this all part of the process? Is that the point of scales and arps, so that those pre-programmed steps become natural, and when you come across them in music, they aren't unfamiliar? Does any of this make sense?

- Aw2pp, a starting middle blocker for Chicago Coast North, hitting .111 on the year.

3 interviews queued up

You throw enough gunk at the wall, eventually something will stick.

I have three interviews lined up at the moment. The first is tomorrow morning at 9 AM. This position is an internal IBM job, as a sales rep for... something. Nobody seems to know what this particular job is supposed to be selling. But the hiring manager wants to talk to me about it, and who am I to say no to that?

Then, tomorrow afternoon, a small BPM vendor wants to talk.

Finally, Monday afternoon (you know, the day which is supposed to be my last day at IBM, unless I score something else in the meantime), I meet with our #1 competitor. The person I meet with, in fact, has been involved in some of the opportunities I have won against this competitor in the last year. When I had my initial phone interview with him yesterday, at one point he said something along the lines of this: "Oh, you were the one who worked that opportunity? Yeah, we were surprised to lose it."

Applications: 110
Rejections: 20
Interviews: 7
Offers: 0

- Aw2pp, who still has to write the names of notes that are more than a line above or below the staff. Then again, who among us doesn't?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

100 applications, and counting

This morning, at 8:45 AM, I applied for a Senior Sales Consultant position at Informatica. This was a fairly unremarkable event in most ways. The opening was one I felt I could do, based out of the Chicago area. In placing my application, I felt confident that I would want to talk to me about it, if I were the hiring manager. This has been the case for many of the applications I've placed lately. Once I gave myself permission to apply for openings at IBM competitors, that really opened Pandora's Box... let's face it, EVERYBODY competes with IBM.

Anyway, what was remarkable about this application was that it was #100. In the two hours since, I have placed an additional five applications, bringing our count to:

Applications placed: 105
Rejections: 17*
Interviews: 6
Offers: 0

* - I gave myself credit for another half rejection. There was an IBM internal opening that popped up on the career portal Sunday evening. I was all over it. Applied, wrote a fancy "You need me now" letter, found the hiring manager, and contacted her. "I'm sorry, I know the position was just posted, but we've already filled it. If something else comes up, we'll let you know."

There is good news, however. Namely, it turns out that our competitors, especially our big competitors, want to talk to me. And are hiring. More later.

Oh, and I have started earnestly working on Alfred's Book II. Guantanamera is HARD.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Job search continues

I hope you are halfway interested in job searching. It appears, for the time being, that it's going to continue.

The good news: a small software concluded I was the right person for a need they have.

The bad news: a deal fell through at said small software company, and now their sales pipeline is too weak to justify bringing me (or anyone else) on board. "You are what we are looking for. When the pipeline gets healthy again, you are the first call we are going to make, and we're going to extend you an offer. Could be next week. Could be six weeks. Could be six months."

"Thank you sir, may I have another?"

We'll only give that credit for a half rejection. Therefore, the updated count is:

79 applications placed
13 and a half rejections
1 legit opportunity I am progressing
3 opportunities could become legit if the company gets back to me*
0 offers

* - Which, of course, I think they should. (I'm looking in your direction, JPMorgan. It is in your best interests to interview me.)

Having saturated my customers with applications, I have now turned to (gasp) competitors to see which of them are hiring. Turns out, some are hiring. This is not easy... over the years, some competitors* have engaged in deceitful sales practices in competitive opportunities I've been on. For example, I was in the room with a customer, on a conference call with a competitor / business partner that, on this opportunity, was supposed to be our ally. As we were talking about a schedule for some project deliverables, the business partner on the phone forgot I was in the room, and said "Of course, it's IBM we're talking about, and you know you can't trust those guys for anything." I mean, WHOA, cowboy! I would NEVER say that about a competitor... even if I believed it.**

* - I refuse to name names here... after all, I may be working for one of them before long.

** - And in some cases, I do.

But that is the modus operandi in some sales organizations: win at all costs. And now I have submitted applications into some of those organizations. Who'da thunkit?

- Aw2pp, whose transformation to the Dark Side is nearly complete...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Missing out on recital #.. (what number are we up to?)

I had hoped, a month or so ago, to have progressed far enough with Melodia Africana II to submit it as a recital entry. Failing that, I knew I could have I Due Fiumi ready as a backup. Wrong on both counts. I finally have reached a level with MA2 to where you could maybe, if you squinted really hard and used your imagination, discern bits and pieces of correct music from page 3. But recital-worthy? Heavens no.

And with IDF, PT had some compelling arguments* about why some of the LH broken chords should be 5-3-1, and others should be 5-2-1. I was playing some 5-3-1, and others, I hate to admit, 5-4-1. Apparently that is incorrect. She tells me there is long-term value in trying to do it as she suggests, so, in the spirit of humility and trying to do what I'm told, I am doing my best to adapt. It's ugly right now. I am not playing it very well. Hence, no recital piece for me.

* - All of which elude me at the moment. Clearly I am not paying close enough attention.

In fact, with the job search going full tilt, I am putting in very little bench time, instead doing one of four things:

1. Following up on applications I've made.
2. Studying for an upcoming interview / technical screening.*
3. Looking for new opportunities.
4. Talking to my conscience (Sue**) about the process. She has good instincts for this sort of thing.

* - Had one of these Monday morning, in fact. In the interests of time, I decided not to brush up on a small subset of material, considering it too trivial for discussion. Bad decision on my part. As luck would have it, that very material, the topic I dismissed as too trivial, too easy to be discussed, was our first topic of conversation. And I blew it. He almost ended it right there. Later, when we got to the hard stuff, I did better, perhaps well enough to save the opportunity. But I'm annoyed that I didn't take just 30 minutes to review some very easy fundamentals on a topic I haven't thought about since my first year of grad school, 8 years ago.

** - Who, ironically enough, has a hard time saying the word "conscience." She'd tell you so. (Hi, honey!)

The current count is 67 applications made, 12 rejections, and 4 legit opportunities I am working with. (I'll know a final status on one of those by tonight.) And zero offers. I don't know how that compares with earlier reports of progress... and by now, you know me, I am too lazy to go look and see what I wrote before. But I just tallied up the spreadsheet, and those numbers are accurate. I have actually applied for 67 jobs.

Mind you, if I were the hiring manager for about 50 of them, I wouldn't interview me. Good thing I'm not.

- Aw2pp, who is pathologically incapable of leaving a FreeCell game unsolved.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Visting an old friend

We dropped Gramma MA off at the airport Sunday, then stopped by Papa's House on the way home. (You'll recall that Papa's house was home for us while our new house was being built.) Last time we stopped by there, I sat down at their old piano, and couldn't believe how out of tune it was, and how uneven the key action was. This time, I had an entirely different experience.

Yes, Ole Bessie is still painfully, wincingly (what, that's not a word? it should be) out of tune.

Yes, the keys are yellowed with age, and still uneven in terms of weight and height.

Compared with my Ap-200, she's much more difficult to play.

And yet, I gotta say, there is nothing, NOTHING like playing a "real" piano. Yes, if I close my eyes and put on my nice new Grado headphones, it sounds great.* And it's nice that we'll never have to tune it or have the action regulated. But the sound will never fill a room like a real piano. And the strings will never vibrate, communicating feedback through the keys.

* - Except when, you know, I start playing the wrong notes. Because my eyes are closed.

Maybe that is the next step in the evolution of digital pianos? Sympathetic resonance not just through the sounds (mine does that today), but via touch as well? Of course, such an instrument would likely cost $10k or more, and for that, you may as well buy a quality acoustic.

Anyway, thought you might be interested in that.

- Aw2pp, who doesn't "get" the point coffee. Never has. Never will.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Aw2pp's first lesson... sort of

You'll recall, if you've been coming here for more than 2 weeks or so, that Jillian has her piano lessons on Mondays. You also know nobody has booked the time slot immediately following hers. Good thing, because PT is a real talker, and time tends to get away from her. Jillian's first four "30 minute" lessons have accumulated probably 3.5 hours of clock time. We're supposed to end at 7:00. We've yet to finish before 7:20.

So last week, I confirmed that the 7:00 PM time slot was still available. It was. I told her I wanted it. She said she's call to confirm. She never did, but I spent all weekend* polishing up The Entertainer, I Due Fiumi, and the parts of Melodia Africana II** that I can play.

* - By "all weekend", I mean maybe 30 minutes on Saturday, and 15 minutes on Sunday. I haven't had much bench time lately.

** - That would be pages 1 and 2. 3 is still impossibl for me. So much for that being a recital piece.

Jillian's lesson this week went like her others. She went through the 4 or 5 pieces she was assigned, with only minor hiccups, or none at all. She put stickers on each completed page. She was assigned new pieces, sight-read the first one, wrote the note names down on the others, and did some counting exercises on them. They do a lot of that at this point in her lessons. I'd say only about 1/3 of the time actually has her on the keyboard itself.

Then about 7:15, PT did as she's done in the previous weeks... she snapped herself to attention, looked at her watch, and apologized for going so long. Then started talking about next week.

Me: "Is the 7:00 time slot still available?"
PT: "Sure is. Do you still want it?"
Me: "You bet. When can we start?"
PT: "How about next week? I promise to be better about the time. You can always interrupt me."
Me: "It's no problem. How about we start now? We still have 15 minutes."

As with Jillian's lessons, we managed our time poorly. It took me about 10 minutes to go through my music / piano playing history. I brought Alfred's Book One, and some Einaudi sheet music. I admitted that Alfred's at times bores me, but that I feel like I probably need to do the method book thing to build the toolset for playing more (and more interesting) styles and music. She nodded attentively and appropriately, then asked me to play "something".

I broke out I Due Fiumi, and... couldn't play a lick of it. I had no idea what notes were which. Or which pedal was sustain, and which was una corda. I didn't play it nearly as well as I did the very first time I attempted the piece back in November.

A word or two about her piano. It is an 80 year old Emerson baby grand, no more than 5 and half feet, and probably less. I came to find out, with all the pedaling required in I Due Fiumi, that it needs to be tuned. The key travel is rightnow, meaning, keys bottom out seemingly the moment you lay a finger on them. I am sure I will become accustomed to all these things. But on my first experience, I absolutely could not play her piano.

Nevertheless, I meandered around enough for her to formulate some basic suggestions for improvement, mostly fingering changes. She asked me to play something out of Alfred's, and I again stumbled and bumbled, this time through The Entertainer. And by this point, it was almost 8:00.

We agreed on this: I would work on the first two pieces in Alfred's Book 2, and do some work on I Due Fiumi and Melodia Africana 2. Long-term, she is probably going to have me focus more on Alfred's pieces, since that provides a framework for learning. Then, as rewards for progress, mix in new Einaudi pieces or things from the standard classical repertoire she thinks might interest me. There is a lot of theory that is completely mysterious and opaque to me. "Can you play that G7 chord again? I want to show you a different way you can do that." Um, no, I have no idea what you are talking about.

One thing to look forward to: June recital. Maybe I can play Le Onde?

- Aw2pp, who thinks Oswald acted alone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Public Service Announcement: RSS Feeds

Just wanted you to know that I am aware that something is awry with the RSS feed, and I am investigating what to do about. Of course, if you are reading this, you are probably right on the blog itself right now, and you may have no idea what I am talking about. On the other hand, if you are one of the RSS subscribers (AnthonyB, I am looking at you, and perhaps 2ndSoprano, mom3gram, and Professor K.), you aren't seeing this announcement. Which is ironic, since you are my intended audience here.

So as you were. Hopfully I'll get this fixed. I'd hate to have to set that all up again, and ask you to do likewise.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh, that's right, The Blog!

Sorry for the paucity of bloggy goodness these days. I'm a little distracted. I'll try to make it up with higher quality posts in the next week or three. Or, failing that, I'll just overwhelm you with quantity.

I may have mentioned before about IBM suddenly, inexplicably deciding that it can go on without me, right? Did I mention that? I did? Since then, I have had a third interview with a small software vendor, and a first interview with a medium-sized software vendor. And I am playing phone tag with the VP of a tiny, tiny vendor. These companies have openings for positions similar to what I have been doing for IBM (solution architect/ pre-sales type stuff), albeit on different technology. At this point, I think the most likely outcome is that I land a position like this. If not one of these I'm currently working on, something similar at another vendor.

The next most likely outcome is that I become one of my customers. That is, I land a position with an IBM customer who is implementing technology I helped sell. I would think I would be a great fit for a position like this, and, surprisingly, given what we're told about how bad the economy is, there are many of openings for them in the Chicago area. I'd guess 60 to 80, right now. The bad news is that my resume reads awfully technical... WebSphere this, SAP developer that, Master's in Computer Science... and I am having a hard time convincing HR monkeys* to pass my information onto a hiring manager for a job that requires business comfort. I've received some surprising rejections. "What? They don't want me? I launched the project that created that position!" On the other hand, I have had a couple of customers come back to me with questionnaires indicating further interest. Given the sheer volume of applications I have sent out, I like my odds of landing something.

* - Meaning no offense to any HR monkeys who visit here, of course.

That said, becoming one of my customers is not my preferred outcome. If I did get a job like this, I would, you know, have to dress up every day and go to an office or something. Daily commutes. The horror. I live 41 miles due west of Chicago... commuting from here could get ugly. And I'd gain back those 15 pounds I lost not eating Chipotle / JimmyJohn's / Potbelly's for lunch every day.*

* - "You can always bring your lunch," you say. "Or you could make lighter choices," you say. Irrelevant. I have no discipline for that sort of thing.

So how am I spending my time? Lots of piano playing, right? HARDLY! I'm either on the phone with recruiters, completing applications (I thought I was done with those, but more positions are always coming through on the Job Search Agents), updating my LinkedIn profile, or studying up for the next interview. "Yes, EDI, I'm a guru on that. Hold on one second while I Google what EDI stands for."

On to the numbers:

- Days since IBM told me they are letting me go: 13
- Days I have to find a new job within IBM: 19
- Applications submitted: 80
- Interviews: 5
- Rejections: 12
- Legit opportunities I am currently progressing: 4
- Offers: 0

And, since this is purportedly a blog that has something to do with playing (well, learning) the piano, it's probably relevant to post a quick note about that. I had my first ever "lesson" this past Monday. Yes, it's true. I know you are very happy for me. But you are going to have to come back tomorrow to see how that went. I have to review the Model-View-Controller pattern. It's wondrous how quickly and thoroughly those skills erode when they go unused.

- Aw2pp, who voted for Pedro, and, believe it or not, all his wildest dreams came true.