Monday, March 24, 2014

Bad Texas Memories and a Chance at Redemption

Spring can't get here soon enough so I am heading south to meet it. Way south. Dallas, Texas south. We actually left a few days ago and will be back in a few days by the time you read this so my blog will be running itself and that might explain my lack of comments on other blogs.

Actually we are visiting an uncle of my wife who lives there and perhaps take in a few sites during our stay. I've only driven across Texas once about 20 years ago and have never been to Dallas other than to fly through their horseshoe airport. Have you ever been to that airport? You arrive in a horseshoe shaped terminal, one of four, and you never really know which part of the horseshoe you are on. The ends of the horseshoe are where you hop onto the train to get to one of the other terminals and when you exit the plane, you could be fairly close to one end and never even know it. It never fails but I always choose the wrong direction and end up walking most of the way around the horseshoe before getting to the train.

I took a little puddle jumper once to Texas but never flew through Dallas. Instead I ended up somewhere in the middle of nowhere where they make machines for packaging Miracle Grow products. I was looking for a new job and they flew me down for an interview. After almost a full day of flying and sitting in airports, I arrived late in the afternoon feeling very much tired and hung over. They plopped down a shaft out of some machine and asked me to draw it on some proprietary 3D software I had never heard. When I told them that much they gave me a pencil and paper and told me to draw it? I did but shook my head about how this was pertinent to an engineering job. After an hour of scribbling on a piece of paper, they took me to another room and grilled me on how I might design a machine that packages pots. I hadn't eaten all day at this point and it was nearly eight in the evening and so I got pretty blunt with them. Finally they dropped me off at a hotel miles from anything and said they would be back in the morning to take me out for breakfast. I walked about three miles down a road to a little diner where I finally had some food and walked back and went to bed. In the morning, I was up and ready to go by eight o'clock. Nine came, ten came, and then eleven came. I had a flight at two in the afternoon and knew that I would need to get to the airport sometime relatively soon so I walked the three miles down to the diner and ate breakfast by myself. Finally about one o'clock the fellow who interviewed me showed up and asked if I was ready to eat. I told him that I had just eaten and that if he could just drop me off at the airport that would be just fine. As he drove me to the airport he asked if I had made a decision. Huh? I asked him what decision I was supposed to be making. He asked if I wanted the job. I hadn't even heard a salary, benefits, start dates, etc mentioned at this point and told him so. He quoted me a salary half of what I was currently making and I think I actually laughed just a bit. Well he kind of took offense to that and got a little upset telling me how much money it cost them to fly me down here. I told him that had he been serious about employing me, he would have listened when I had told him before I flew down here how much I was making for a salary and that when he flew me down here he would have treated me a little bit better. I think he was kind of new to the hiring game and it kind of showed. I bid him goodbye and hopped out of the truck telling him I would think about the offer. I thought about it until he pulled away still in a huff and that was about the end of my thoughts of working in Texas. That turned out to be the last time I've been there outside of the airport.

Hopefully this time treats me better.


Anonymous said...

The impression I have of Texas is that it's no place to be poor. Now that's probably an error, it's likely a very nice place all-in-all. But any news from that quarter rarely has 'normal' people.

Ed said...

Vince - There were definitely plenty of poor in and around Dallas so I'm guessing that isn't true.

malor said...

Well, I lived in Dallas for 18 mos. It was not bad. They have good restaurants. I love the Central Market. I love SMU campus.

I made more friends in Dallas vs Iowa. I was introduced to independent movies and "French" fast food there.