… or, how Janet Met Bob. Back in the day, I had a job at Neuron Robotics. And it was kinda fun.
Looking for Work in All the Wrong Places
I had been looking for work for a while. The same things had been working all right, but it was time to shake things up. I was in a rut!
I received a notification of a job fair at the Microsoft Nerd Center, to be held on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010. Great!.
Except for one thing.
The subject was robotics.
So, my knowledge of the subject spanned R2D2, Lost in Space, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Star Trek.
In short, I was about as over my head as anyone could possibly ever be.
What the Hell
But the event was free, and I figured, well, everybody needs social media marketing, right? So I decided to go anyway.
I got a haircut that morning (completely unrelated, I swear!) and prepared for the event by printing up business cards and generally doing pretty much everything but think about it. Yet onto the bus I went.
The space is interesting. It’s a two-level area, where there is a huge staircase in the middle, splitting up the lower level. Being that in a former life I was an insurance defense attorney, I always look at that big, beautiful staircase and think: someone’s gonna trip.
But I digress.
I walk in, and I am easily a good 20 – 25 years older than everyone in the room who isn’t an employer. Also, I am one of very few females. And most of the job seekers are in corners or staring at their shoes. There are two skateboards in the room (fortunately, they are not being used — see tripping hazard, above).
God knows I do not belong.
I do not belong. Cough, wheeze.
Mild Panic Attack Ensues
But seriously, folks.
I do not belong.
Taking the Plunge Which I Did Not Expect Would Become a Job at Neuron Robotics
And that is all I can think of, but I plunge in anyway, and I talk to some people but, frankly, I can only reel off about five words before I’m done. I drop cards wherever I think I can.
And then I retreated to the sidelines, to an area where there was a large wall that showed information on all of the companies attending. I stare at the names, and I am having an existential crisis.
I do not belong.
Oh, I do not belong. Panic, slight panic, big panic.
But let’s face it.
I do not belong.
Gawd, this is not good. I look up and I see this guy standing nearby. He is, perhaps, thinking some of the same things I am; I can’t tell of course (it turned out, he more or less was). He looks at me, I look at him, and perhaps there was a flash of recognition or sympathy or commiseration because he smiles, says, “What the hell!” and sticks out his hand.
Thank God!! And, Suddenly, a Job at Neuron Robotics
So, we chat, and I find myself becoming animated again. It is a free and easy discussion, on topic and off, and it is, above all else, easy. Hallelujah, saved from despair.
We part ways in order to mingle and network, but keep circling back. We are not there together, of course, but keep circling back anyway, you know like you do when you are at a party with a friend and comparing notes or taking a breather.
The evening ends and the next morning, I send a note. But I hear nothing, and chalk it up to experience. I continue, as always, to go to networking events.
In late April, I get my reply. So, we start emailing, and agree to meet on May 10th. Coffee okay? Sure.
I get in early, and the coffee shop is playing The Smiths. This I consider to be auspicious. Bob arrives and we again chat easily. Finally it comes down to brass tacks. Do you want to help us out? Do you want a job at Neuron Robotics?
Sure. Details are discussed over the next few weeks, and I meet the rest of the team, and we hit it off, too. We agree on a shmancy title: Director of Social Media and Public Relations.
And I think to myself:
… and …
I belong. And egad, I suddenly had a job at Neuron Robotics.
Oh, and we used to make stuff. The company, apparently, was sold or taken over or got its own taste of reinvention. Helfino.