Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Opportunity Knocks

Ok, I am a Dave Ramsey addict. And no, I don't drive an old beater. Contrary to what "Dave says" my car is new, but it's paid for!!! And yes, I do believe you can get through life without a car payment...or a house payment, if you are smart with your money and practice restraint for 5 years. 5 years, I can do that. I was a poor starving grad student for 5 years. I stuck out some other unfortunate situations for 5 years. 5 years is a small time to take to not have to make a house payment anymore. Think of all the money you'd have.

Ok, so, DH and I are on the Plan. We used to spend ~$600 a month on groceries...there are 2 of us. Yes, I am a foodie and a food collector. One of those people who can't buy a can of lima beans, I buy like 4 in case I need them later. So, on the plan, we decided to cut our grocery budget to $300 a month. We are in fact a family of 2--3 but Chance doesn't get people food.

So, I made my list. I usually do this. I scavenged for coupons. I don't ritually do this, but occasionally I do. I took list, and coupons and CASH for groceries to store. I was walking around, phone in hand to calculate my grocery bill as I shopped (aren't phones versatile?). I got to the produce section, a place where--when I used to try and budget I always blew my grocery bill. How do I know how much 5 bananas costs when they are sold by weight? Well, this time, I used the scale...for every piece of produce I put in my basket. I noticed this man meandering through the isles. He would stop, pick up a random piece of fruit, put it down, glance towards me, wander to another section of fruits,...this went on for a minute or two. Being the observant, paranoid person I am...WOMAN POWER...I began to scope him out, is he casing me, about to shoot me, mug me, steal my list and coupons, or steal my bananas.

Finally, he walked up and this was the conversation:
Stalker: Excuse me, miss, but I was noticing how carefully you shop. Do you always take that much care to shop in the manner that you are now?
Me: No, but my spouse and I blow $600 a month on groceries and there are only 2 of us, so we thought we'd curb it back to half that.
Stalker: The reason I ask is that I am in the financial services and we work with people every day to teach them about smart spending doing what you are doing.
Me: Really? I want to get into the financial industry, but I haven't done it yet.
Stalker: What do you do?
Me: I'm an unemployed chemist. I thought about changing fields and am working towards an MBA and have been recruited by another financial company to sell life insurance for starters but I don't much see myself as a life insurance salesman...
Stalker: We are holding an info session tomorrow night at our company. Would you be interested in attending?
Me: Yes, I would.

We swapped info and he disappeared. I checked out, went to my car, made sure I was not being followed, and drove home--enjoying providence.

Once home, groceries put away, I had $43 left, and saved $17.50 in coupons...I hopped on the computer and read about Primerica. They are a division of Citigroup...and you can read about them. But I had mixed feelings about whether I wanted to be a part of that.

I decided not to tell DH about it. He often thinks I am gullible and naive, and figured he would react that way to this.

Late that night, I got to thinking about the session. If I didn't tell DH where I was going, what if this stalker opportunity knocks guy lured me there to kidnap me, kill me, molest me...What if the whole thing was a set up?

Tuesday, I had an interview with a guy about an organic synthetic position with a very small startup flavor company in Lakeland. It was interesting, but I didn't walk away hyped up about it. I walked away with a lot of doubt about my abilities to do a good job and to be happy working there. I arrived in Brandon, and drove over to the address the opportunity stalker had given me. Legit. Still, in question, I went home.

I never went to the info session. I figured if I had some mixed feelings about how my values would mesh with their philosophy, then it wasn't for me.

I have found that opportunity knocks in the strangest places and times. Cott did. So far, financial advising positions have dropped out of the sky into my lap twice, and twice I haven't felt super good about them. However, they've found me. A synthetic position was offered to me. I don't feel good about it. I did feel good about Cott. And I did well there.

Now, I just interviewed with an instrumentation company for a technical applications specialist position. State of the art, new facility, 12 minutes drive from the house, compassionate people dedicated to their work. Company offers really good benefits. And since George gave me the technical shove in analytical chemistry, I have wanted to be an apps specialist.

The VP of Sales and Marketing told me he wondered if the interest in the job was of convenience. No and yes. The job itself is of interest. The distance from my home...a convenience...more like an opportunity.

Well, they want to start people by Oct. 1. I walked away from this interview, and phoned my Dad. He's like my idol for guidance, little does he know. I always look to him for wisdom, guidance, and approval. He's surprised me more often than not with what he does approve of. Last night, he tried to convince me to not be afraid to recognize my weaknesses and let others know of them. I am not a strong organic synthetic chemist. With some guidance I could be, but did I want to develop that in solitude? Not really. He spent some time telling me that things would be ok, and worst case, I could quit. He doesn't realize that he instilled in me the value to not give up. He could tell I didn't feel warm and fuzzy, and I know it bothered him that it bothered me. I shouldn't put my concerns off to my parents. After all, I am grown. But, they are my best friends, and my truest friends. I live 12 hours away and have called almost every day since I moved away in 2001.

Today, when I called Dad, the first words out in the conversation were: this is the job I want. I was confident. Do I know everything I need to know to be successful in it? Yes: hard work, determination, dedication, and that I will have unlimited resources to help me if I want to help myself. Oh, and I can come home and see Chance at lunch. I hope I get the job. For now, it's my new dream job. Financial planning, yes, but for the next decade, it's going to be on a philanthropic basis. Maybe, that's not my destination. Being happy is, and I think I found a happy new home today. Hope they take me in.


Dr. Wifey said...

ok, google reader did not even let me know you had posted a new blog, so sorry for the delayed comment...

YAY! i am so glad the interview went well and that you have a good feeling about. go with your gut :)

Dr. Wifey said...

ok, girl, where you at?

Dr. Wifey said...

seriously, where are you? hope all is well...

i have an award for you, check out my blog

i'm black betty said...

LOVE me some dave ramsey. we are buying the junior edition for our daughter for christmas.

Dr. Wifey said...

you have been tagged for a book meme on my blog