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Here's a thing...

A couple of weeks ago, I had an e-mail notification from LinkedIn - yes, some of us are actually on that thing, but that's another story... telling me that a former employer of mine had taken a look at my profile. For reasons which will become clearer, I was curious, so clicked on his page, which mentioned prominently that his company was looking for new staff

Some background: In early 2013, recently returned from an overseas holiday & unemployed, I landed a job with the flooring company headed by this guy & his brother. It was a family company - Dad still worked in one of the branches, having started the whole thing in the late 70s/early 80s, Mum still did whatever it was she did... mostly keeping Dad & the boys in line, I suspect, with a fair amount of book-keeping thrown in. Anyway, they had both a residential & commercial division & seemed to be doing well. I'd never sold flooring before, but was a quick learner & was soon doing okay... I thought. 18 months later, they closed my branch &, despite having previously been assured of another role within the company, I was out on my ear. Not happy, but at least I was soon snapped up by another flooring company & so on & tedious etcetera

Last year, while road-tripping in the USA desert, we got word that the company was "under administration", a polite way of saying they were circling the drain. Long-suffering Partner & I made some suitably pithy remarks about karma, then continued on our sandy way, not giving it much more thought

And that was that. I'd noticed, driving past their original Showroom in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs, that a differently-named flooring concern now occupied the site, but still didn't think much about it. I also knew, via LinkedIn again, that their long-time main salesman had left them for a job in real estate. Care factor - not very much...

Until this past fortnight, when not only was my old boss cyber-stalking me, but then he called, wondering if I'd "like to have a chat". I was at work at the time, still somewhat surprised by all this, so agreed to meet in a few days - today. Given the way things turned out last time I worked with him I told my current Employer about the call & embellished it with a potted history similar to that above, albeit with some more colourful language. I stressed that I was perfectly happy where I am & had no intention of going back there, unless/even if they made the offer of the century

After today's meeting, I still feel pretty much the same way. He quickly explained away the financial difficulties of last year, blaming over-extension & some partner companies going under, leaving him holding a hot potato he couldn't trade his way out of. The family lost the commercial business, but managed to keep the residential side &, radically downsized, are concentrating on that. But his tone & pitch were still that of an ambitious man, looking to grow the business again as soon as possible, using words like "hungry", "driven", "focussed"... all of which are code words for 'Forget about your wife, your social life & evening meals - you will work for us now... all the time!!' & are, usually, my cue to thank someone for their time & GTFO of there. Combined with the monthly sales target figure he nominated... & the fact that, for the 90 minutes I was there, the phone only rang once & nobody came into the Showroom, it all adds up to a big, stressful pie in the sky, that would dance frustratingly out of reach every time I got close enough to even think about getting a slice of it

So, on the whole... No, I don't think so

I'm not sure I've really forgiven them for reneging on their promise to keep me on board after they shut down my showroom - even though, if they had, it would only have been a leap into another frying pan, relatively shortly before the whole thing tipped into the fire anyway... but it's the principle dammit!! That, & the fact that the years since then have been filled with a roller-coaster of unsatisfactory short-term roles... Even though that's not necessarily their fault, they precipitated the ensuing avalanche I still bear a lot of bruises from

As I said to my current employer, when telling him of all this - What kind of stupid rat swims towards a sinking ship??


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