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Falling In Love Is So Corporate

March 18, 2015

I really liked her. I was a little leery that she seemed to be really needy. She sucked up all my time. She insisted that I spend my time with her and was pretty jealous of any time I spent away from her. Even time with my wife and family. 


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This week was my one year anniversary at my current job. I like it. Not as much as I did when I started, but few jobs survive the honeymoon period. In my case, it was a marriage of convenience. She (I mean they) needed an experienced Project Manager to work exclusively with a high profile very demanding client. I needed a job. It was a match made in heaven. 

Every new job is a bit like a new romance. We are told that an interview is a chance for you to see if you like her and see if she likes you. I mean “them.” See if they like you and you like them. But, let’s be honest. If you’ve been out of work, especially for a long time, you just want a job. And from the other side, if you need to hire 30-100 people each month like my company, you often take people based on hoped for potential. Sometimes we form marriages of convenience. 

And just because I really needed to be with someone doesn’t mean that I don’t want to make it work. The job has worked out much better than I had hoped. I get to do lots of interesting things and the parts I don’t like are a minor part of my job.

So, what if you don’t instantly have that “spark” between you? How do you make your love grow? I think the first thing is to approach the relationship with an open mind. I’ve met people in my life who I was sure were going to be complete jerks. As I worked with them and got to know them, I realized they were people just like me. 

I work with a lot of engineers. I have my entire career. Engineers, and I’ll throw programmers into that group, are a tough group to love. Many people find them unemotional and frankly, a little boring. I mean really, want to see programmers fight? Just ask them to pick between waterfall and agile methodologies. 

No way. Way more waterfall projects fail than agile. 

Oh, sure, tell me again how I’m a pig.

You’re not a pig. The pigs get to talk in scrum. You’re a chicken. Chickens are not allowed to talk.

It’s almost sounds like English. But, if you figure out how to talk to them, they are often great guys. Sure, they are a little interested in Comic Cons, but at least you’ll have a friend who can help you fix your computer. . .if you are willing to move to Linux. 

They key to developing a love for a new company is similar. Learn the lingo. My current company has a definite corporate culture that has taken me a while to learn. Even thought they are based in Utah, they don’t have a huge influence from the LDS Church like many Utah companies. 

My company is hugely supportive of the military, to the point that at times it almost feels like a USO club or something. The fact that my daughter will be commissioned a 2nd LT in a few weeks earned me important social points. 

So, look for the good in her. Buy her flowers occasionally. (These are disguised as doughnuts if you work with IT.) Learn the lingo. Learn the uniform. (Red on Fridays at our office, to honor the troops.) Put as much into the relationship as you expect to get out.

It’s Not You. It’s Me

My work anniversary was an important date for me. Because I did come into the relationship with some reservations, I promised myself I’d give it a year. And then decide. About a month ago, I received an unexpected raise and promotion. 

Yeah, she loves me back.

But, what about when she doesn’t. What do you do when you’re just not that into her? First off, it’s a big cold world out there. Unless she is asking you to break the law or you find that she’s secretly turning tricks on the side, don’t bail on one relationship before you have another one lined up. 

Once you do find another gig, give her adequate notice, but don’t linger. I’ve had jobs where it was obvious she wasn’t feeling it, and I thought, “If I just try a little harder, I can win her love.” Didn’t happen. Try not to appear desperate. However, also, don’t think that you have to stay out of loyalty. She will find someone else. Seriously, any of us can be replaced. 

Oh, and when you get to the next place, don’t talk bad out your ex. Nobody wants to hear that. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild. 
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