Saturday, March 9, 2013

Today's Correspondence (Part 2 of a Letter Started Yesterday)

"I haven't slept well at all this week," JoAnna explained after she announced, at 9 o'clock yesterday evening, that she was going to bed.

We'd been sitting on the couch, snuggling, watching a schmaltzy movie on the Hallmark Channel (her choice, and a regular choice, for which she receives frequent teasing from me.) The father-daughter storyline, or as much as I picked up once I started to pay attention, probably resonated with JoAnna. A father and daughter work together to establish a wildly successful bakery in the small town where the family has lived for generations.  A New York investment firm offers her and the bakery's business manager a plan to franchise the business, which would mean a return to a glamorous in the big city. Once she learns that Dad's not included in the deal, her expectant, smiling face becomes clouded over with concern, then hurt, anger, and determination. She stands up, the business manager following her lead, and announced in a calm but firm voice to the six dark-suited men sitting around the conference table, "Gentleman, the deal is off the table." And then, of course, she strides purposefully out of the room. And everyone lives happily ever after once the daughter picks family over fame and riches.   There's even dancing in the street as the closing credits of the movie roll.

When JoAnna is unable to sleep, she will retreat to the family room to watch TV. (A Hallmark movie encore? Could be, though I'd put my money on Law & Order reruns, which apparently are now being broadcast in perpetuity.) Until last night, I didn't hear her get out of bed. I may have mumbled something as she left the room, or maybe I just changed my sleeping position. Whatever the case, I was sawing z's again within seconds. (Maybe literally, as sometimes JoAnna complains that my snoring wakes her up. Who me? I always claim with mock hurt.  Dad, especially, and Mom, to a lesser degree, were known to produce a ragged and snorting nighttime symphony of noise -- even during daytime naps, if I recall. Guess it's something I've inherited from both sides of the family.

As soon as I got out of bed this morning, I walked to the family room to check in on JoAnna. She was still sleeping, which prevented me from stripping the case from her pillow. It's time to wash the sheets. And based on the weather forecast for the upcoming week, we have decided that it's time to put the flannel sheets back in the linen closet and sleep between cotton again.

Andy wasn't offered a job with Enterprise. He was notified of their decision by email. Not a classy move. To me, it's OK to notify someone by email that their application materials have been received and are in order, since many employers employers nowadays encourage resumes and cover letters to be submitted electronically.  But once a person is invited for an in-person interview, all candidates should be notified of the outcome by phone, i.e., through a personal, real-time contact.  Using email for this purpose is a chickenshit approach and reflects poorly on the company, especially when it's done at the end of the workweek.  In that way, when a candidate replies to the email with a series of follow-up questions about the decision-making process and how he could have presented himself better (as Andy did), no one is available until Monday to respond.   (If they even bother to do so.)  The same type of avoidance, of course, would apply to a follow-up phone call.

"This just sucks!" Andy tweeted around 5 o'clock, just before JoAnna returned home from work.

I felt so bad for him I couldn't respond right away.

Later in the evening, though, just after JoAnna went to bed, he called and sounded surprisingly upbeat. Apparently, his job at InStile Productions will take on a different focus, something about a Business-to-Business program, the details of which remain hazy. But, if his supervisor can be believed -- and it's obvious from previous letters that I'm very skeptical that the best interests of employees are regularly taken into account -- Andy will soon be working a regular 8-to-5 weekday schedule. No more evenings or weekends. I certainly hope that's the case. It also helped Andy's mood that he made two sales yesterday, which must have occurred later in the day. Perhaps he channeled his frustration into charm, turning lemons into lemonade.

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