Spacer April 9, 2005
  | Asymmetry | Archive | April 9, 2005 |




She likes to play with books.


Today is the day! I have nursed my sourdough starter along for almost two months now, and am finally going to attempt the rustic focaccia I had in mind when I started the stuff. The dough needs to rise in the refrigerator overnight, so the results will not be available until some time tomorrow.

Oh, the interview? It went pretty well. I left myself plenty of time to get lost, and as a result arrived almost exactly an hour early. The company is housed in the same building as the New Balance shoe headquarters, and is easily visible from, but not easily reached from, I-90. I went and looked at shoes in the factory outlet store, walked around the area a little bit--it felt enormously strange to be back in the city, to see people walking around. We used to live in Brighton, although not that particular neighborhood. There is a large empty lot across the way, with rat traps all around the edge, something I found vaguely alarming.

The New Balance building (it has a name, which I have already forgotten) itself is a pretty glass-and-steel construction with 2000 on the cornerstone and rather hyperactive security. Most of the places I've been in claim that visitors need to sign in, but this is entirely ignored in practice; in this place visitors don't need to sign in, they need to show photo ID and have the purpose of their visit confirmed by a phone call to the visited person, then be issued a geeky-looking sticker to wear. I wanted to ask them how important they thought the place was, but refrained. At least they validate parking.

The interview itself lasted about an hour and a half. I talked to their single resident writer and to his boss, and got the distinct impression that a) they are desperate to hire someone reasonably competent now and b) they have in the past hired not so competent people. I did my best to assure them that I am a flexible and sane person, not someone who is going to quit in a huff because I don't like using the house style (such as it is--with one writer these things tend to be less than formal), or claim that I know the audience better after two weeks than someone who has been there four years.

There are a lot of frauds in tech writing. I've worked with some of them, so on one hand I understand this company's fears; on the other I wonder if they're letting their bad experiences skew their interview process--we spent a lot more time talking about that kind of thing than about, say, my actual experience. I'm not generally in favor of certification for tech writing, but after conversations like this one I can see why some people are so gung-ho on it.

They seem interested in me; they want me to talk to HR, and to check my references. I'm not sure yet though if I'm interested in them. It's a really long drive, their immediate needs are heavy, and I'm not entirely sure about the people I'd be working with. We haven't talked about money yet, so perhaps I will let that be the deciding factor. If I do take this job, I expect it will be for the short term. It's only been two weeks, but I want to get back to work.

| Top |


Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2005 Rebecca J. Stevenson