How many engineers does it take to hire a technical writer?

I mentioned a while back about how I was interviewing for a job I really want? Well, it’s been a slow process with this company. I applied for the job way back in early August, and I had my first interview with them before Labor Day. And tomorrow, I have my fourth – and hopefully final – interview.

Here’s the one sort of weird thing: this job is with Dave’s company. (If you know who he works for, good for you. I’m not outing his employer on my site.) So even though we’d be doing different things – he’s an engineer, I’m a technical writer – we’d be working in the same office building. Which could be really cool, or really weird. I’m not sure which, but I’m leaning toward cool. Especially since I already know from his experience that the people who work there are generally really awesome, and they’re flexible about letting you work from home when you need to (i.e., if you have a sick kid, etc.), so it would really be an ideal set-up for our family.

Of course, since Dave is an engineer and not in management, he has no say whatsoever as far as whether or not I get the job, which is why I’m now getting pretty nervous. (Where’s the nepotism when I need it?) All I know from him is that they’re interviewing at least 2 other people, so my odds are in the 33% range. I wish he had more “insider info” to give me. Instead, these are the kinds of exchanges we have:

Dave: So, they’re interviewing another docs guy.

Me: They’re interviewing someone named Doc Guy?

Dave: No. A docs guy. You know, someone who creates documents? As in, a writer? That thing you do for a living?

Me: Oh. Right. Well, it would be pretty awesome if there was a tech writer named Doc Guy.

**Both of us die laughing. Nerd humor FTW!**

The HR person who set up the interview told me to allow at least 6 hours for the interview because they want me to meet with several members of the team. I’m taking that as a positive sign. Also, I got the heads-up that at some point, Dave and his boss are going to take me to lunch, which’ll be nice.

So, yeah. Big interview tomorrow. I’m nervous. Cross your fingers, send good vibes, say prayers, light candles, what-have-you. I’d appreciate it. I really, really, really want this job.

on the prowl (for a job)

Last fall I got a part-time job doing some freelance technical writing for a small software company that’s based here in Raleigh. I enjoyed the work that I did for them, and I was excited for some of the projects that they had coming up. However, they’ve had some major employee turnover in the last month or so, and now it seems that things like “have our freelance writer produce more documentation about our awesome software” and “pay our freelance writer’s invoices” have gotten pushed to the back burner. It sucks, but what can you do?

So, new year, new opportunities. I decided to start looking for another job. Obviously I’d prefer to work from home, but I’m not opposed to an office job either. I started sending out resumes, but I figured that it would take a long time to find something that would be a good match for me. And suddenly this week, I’ve come across two different jobs that both sound really good, both companies seem very interested in me, and I’m not sure which one sounds better.

Job A: Entirely work from home, and while it’s in the IT industry, it’s a side that I have absolutely no experience with, but it sounds like it would be a LOT of fun to me. And even though it’s work-from-home, it would involve a lot of talking on the phone, so I’d still get that need for adult interaction fulfilled, and not feel all isolated and hermit-like (which I know is a downfall of a lot of work-from-home jobs). However, the pay is just so-so – it would be more than enough to cover daycare expenses and still have some money left over, which I guess is the main goal.

Job B: It’s an office job, but it’s straight up technical writing, which is what I’m used to. (And I really enjoy technical writing, so that’s not a bad thing.) It would challenge me, which I love. And the salary would be… well, a lot more than the Job A, that’s for sure. It’d probably be enough to bump us into another tax bracket.

Now keep in mind, I don’t have hard offers for either of these jobs, I’m just in the early stages of interviewing with them. But, how do I choose between two seemingly great opportunities? Do I go for the work-from-home job, and take a chance on my gut instinct that’s telling me this would be a good fit for me? Or do I stick with the side of the industry that I know, and accept that security (and ok, the money) in exchange for having to commute to an office every day? Is it all about the dollah-dollah bills? Or is job flexibility the key to happiness?

How would you choose?

Random Friday thoughts

With headings, Mimi Smartypants-style.


I had a job interview today. The job would actually be pretty good – not super-exciting, but ok; I’m qualified for it, the people seem nice, etc. And the interview went really well, I won’t be surprised if they make me an offer. But I think I’ve talked myself out of it simply for the fact that it’s a full-time office job, and the office is over 30 miles away. That’s a long-ass commute. Especially if it means that Catie would be going to daycare full-time, tacking an extra 45-ish minutes onto the beginning and end of each workday just for the drive? I don’t think I want to do that.

Although, I would get to pass this sign every day, which might make it worth it.
I hear it makes for a really crappy commute *rimshot*
Yes, I actually pulled over to take that picture. Don’t judge me. (Oh, be sure to hover your mouse over that pic so you can see my Flickr caption. I’m kind of ridiculously proud of myself for my juvenile sense of humor.)

Anyway, I figure that any job interview is good practice for the next one, which might actually be for a job that I do want. So, eh. Moving on.


Of the two days that Catie went to daycare this week, one day was great and the other day not-so-great. On the really good day, Nicole (our daycare provider) set Catie and Kiersten (Nicole’s daughter who is Catie’s age) up with some toys in Kiersten’s room, and then Nicole left them alone, but listened to them from the next room. She said that they played really nicely together for a long time. They talked to each other, role-played with their Little People action figures, and had an overall great time. So that’s good.

One of the things that Nicole mentioned last week, which was really bothering me, was that Catie often seems to be on the verge of tears when she’s at daycare. I couldn’t figure out why that would be, since that’s not her normal personality and Catie tells me all the time that she loves going to Miss Nicole’s house.

Then the big “DUH!” hammer smacked me upside the head. Remember how I mentioned recently that Catie goes to bed way too late for a 2 year-old? Well, on normal mornings where she’s just hanging out at home with me, she wakes up between 6:30 and 7 a.m., she has some milk, and then we go back to sleep for at least another hour. But on daycare days, we just get up and go. So, hi there, Big Fat Obvious Answer that I overlooked: she’s tired! Of course she’s tired! DUH! I’m kind of mortified that it took me this long to notice that.

So, we’re working on bedtime. I’m trying to bump her bedtime back about 10-15 minutes earlier every night. Last night she was in bed at 10:00, tonight I’ll aim for 9:45. I know you 8:00 bedtimers are still appalled that my child is up that late, but whatever. That’s the first time she’s been in bed that early since we left Washington. (Hey, maybe that’s the problem! She’s still on Pacific time! Even though we haven’t lived there in over a year. Hmm.)


Catie has gone Christmas crazy. She’s absolutely berserk for the cartoons, the decorations, everything. And it’s only going to get worse because the child is essentially having FOUR Christmases this year. No exaggeration.
* 1st Christmas – Next week, when my family is here for Thanksgiving. Since we’ll be in the UK next month, they want to do our big celebration and gift exchange now. Which is fine with me, really.
* 2nd and 3rd Christmas – With Dave’s dad and mom, respectively. I guess this is when divorce pays off, the grandkids get two sets of presents from two sets of grandparents. Score!
* 4th Christmas – When we get home from the UK, because you know, Santa understands vacation plans, and he knows that suitcase space is limited. He doesn’t want to deliver Catie’s new toy kitchen to England and make Mommy & Daddy haul it through customs. So Santa will reschedule delivery for, I don’t know, maybe New Year’s Eve. It depends on how jet lagged we are tired he is after making all those Christmas Eve deliveries.

So, yeah, she is WILD for Christmas. It doesn’t help that Christmas decorations are currently everywhere, so she sees Christmas stuff every time we leave the house. She loves it. Everything is about “Santa and reindeer, and look, it’s a snowman, Mommy! A SNOOOWMAAAN!!!” It’s awesome to see her get so excited about it, because it reminds me of how magical Christmas was when I was little, but it’s also completely exhausting.

My Little Elf

She’s an awfully cute little elf, though.