Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Walking in LA

The purpose of y trip to San Diego wasn't so much as a vacation (which my dad seems to think it's more of) than a way to keep things from being prohibitively expensive. I can't even begin to imagine trying to do a one-day trip to LA, including transportation, hotel, and a meal or two and not having it cost me the same as a trip out here for a week, including car rental. So I took the opportunity to drop in on Joanie.

And Joanie took the opportunity to hook us up with tickets to The Late Late Show starring Craig Ferguson. More on that later. First, the interview details.

This interview had come about a bit unusually. In the midst of all the emails from headhunters/recruiters, hucksters, insurance salespeople and firms who didn't bother to read my resume, I got one that intrigued me. Yet when I went to the website, all that I found in the 'careers' section were openings for insurance sales and real estate brokers. My first instinct was to blow it off; just another insurance company spamming me with ads promising big commissions.

After a bit of thought, I decided to call the person who emailed me and see what was up. Turns out that while they were looking for those positions, that wasn't why they'd contacted me. Seems my accounting and legal background were just what they wanted. Their business was growing, and they wanted someone in-house to handle the day-to-day affairs. Enter yours truly.

Still, I was cautious. I couldn't find much on the web about the firm, so I had no idea what they were like as a business, which was a concern. I knew that they were a privately-held, one-owner company, and I'd worked for one of those before, long ago. What I've found (and what I've since learned is not unusual) is that owners of small businesses which begin to grow at a good pace find themselves overwhelmed. The problem isn't finding people to help; the problem is letting go. These owners can often hold on too tightly, undermining managers as they nitpick, micromanage and change orders at whims. Employees soon learn that the manager has no real authority and begin to circumvent him or her and go directly to the owner/entrepreneur. This defeats the intended purpose of lightening the load, and things tend to get worse as the manager struggles to assert his supposed authority, only to be cut off at every turn.

The interview lasted two hours, during which I asked questions galore. At one point, the owner commented that this was less like an interview and more like a discussion on business - and then he said it made him feel very confident. We'll see how things turn out.

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