extended time off, eh?

and now for something completely different…

On January 25, 2013, depressed, I went back to work after vacationing on the Oregon Coast for seven days and going through emails I got the one from my supervisor that changed everything. I work for a major cable company in one of their contact centers taking calls from customers, at first, about technical difficulties, and then transferred to retention to save subscribers from disconnecting services, and finally, eight and one half years later, fielding billing calls. Billing, I find it amazing how many don’t read bills but have a concern about what they are paying.

Before I left on vacation the company announced changes particularly in pay structure with more news to follow which arose while I enjoyed the company of good friends and the roaring of the mighty Pacific Ocean. The one on one meeting scheduled was to go over these changes in-depth and to explain three offers: an adjusted compensation package (an hourly rate with greatly reduced commission,) a severance package, or relocate to another call center which was immediately disqualified possible as I did not meet “high performer” guidelines which the company defines as: “…those who are on track to attaining 100% or more of target commission calculated based on annualized value of actual earnings from January through end of October.” Huh? So the choices are now an hourly rate or the severance which wrestled for my attention. Suddenly, the grey clouds parted and a light shone from above, angels began singing my outlook brightened! Severance pay, really I would never have thought that would come up, I declared to my supervisor. “Are you leaving us Jim?” she responded. Stumbling for an answer as I was still coming to terms of severance pay and not ready for a reaction I interjected, I am always looking.

After the 15-minute meeting I went back to my desk and wheels within wheels began turning; an opportunity to break away from this dead-end job presented itself and if it pays off a clear road is waiting. Not wanting to jump without looking and create a financial hardship for partner Al I spent the next seven days crunching numbers, calculating bills and assets combined and concluded that if severance accepted I can hold out for a few months, maybe longer with unemployment and part-time work. On February 1, 2013 my mind clear I sat down with human resource , gave the “Yes” for the severance package, and informed my last day will be February 8, 2013. One day later, on the evening of February 2nd while walking our dog, Smokey Joe, the clear, cold night air, combined with a starry sky created an electrifying sort of motivation that I made the right decision.

more words later

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