Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | September 16, 2005

Welcome to my job

Well, after more than three months of searching, I’ve finally done it. I found a new job! I’ve been with my current company for more than four years; lots of ups and downs, redundancies and general disorganization had completely sapped my energy and will to continue working there, and an interesting reorganizational move following the last round of firings provided me with a boss whose micromanagement style made me want to beat myself repeatedly with a hammer. Motivation to move on had reached dizzying heights. Dusted off and updated the old CV, shot off a few emails and contacted a few old friends, and then sat back to see where the chips fell.

Interviewed at nine different companies in a veritable plethora of locations. Gotta love the interview process. Repeating the same information about yourself so many times that after while, it begins to sound fake. Honestly, if I hear someone ask me one more time to “tell me a little bit about yourself”, I think I’m going to gag. One company even sent me for psychometric testing! Filled out a nine-page questionnaire (written in Hebrew, though I persuaded the powers that be to at least let me answer in English) by hand, followed by a series of intense logic-type tests using a computer. Was there for just over five hours, and by the time I was done, I felt like my eyes were going to bleed. Just to put you in the right frame of mind, think SAT exam from hell.

To make a long story short, in the end, I had to choose between two great job offers, each with it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the company with the better location won out. Both companies offered some pretty nifty benefits, and I found that with just a bit of negotiation and playing one company off the other, I managed to get a salary and benefits package that was better than I’d hoped.

One standard option in many Israeli hi-tech companies is the option to take a lease a car through the company. Your salary is reduced by a certain (relatively reasonable) figure, and in return, you get a new car with all gas, insurance, etc., covered by that figure. If you happen to require a lot of gas, it can be a really great deal. Or, if your current car is beginning to die a slow, painful death, the leased car is suddenly a most attractive option. Given that we fall into that latter category (and we’re not too shabby when it comes to doing a lot of driving, either), we’ve decided to take a car. Was told by the powers that be in the new company that we can choose between the Ford Focus, the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Corolla.

And so it began. We researched. We asked our friends. We became peeping toms as we wandered around parking lots, peering into windows to check the space (if we were lucky, there was already a baby seat, which would give us a better idea as to how our own baby seat would fit) and using our arms to measure trunk sizes. The husband even hit the dealerships, coming home loaded with brochures and information.

Back and forth it went. Apparently (depending on who you ask, anyway), the Mazda 3 has the best drive and the most comfortable driver’s seat, but the smallest back seat area and trunk. The Ford Focus has the biggest trunk and is the most spacious, but doesn’t have a lot of storage space for little things, no armrest for the driver, and no pick-up. The Toyota Corolla, might have a bit of a smaller trunk than the Focus, but there’s more storage space. Everyone we asked had a different opinion. Back and forth, around and around, until we were dizzy. In the end, we decided on the Corolla, as it seemed to offer most of what we wanted and needed. Of course, I will continue to take the train to work, given that my new office is only ten minutes’ walk from the station, and it would take me at least twice as long to get there by car. Besides, train time is the only “me” time that I’ve got, so why on earth would I want to give up a half-hour twice a day of reading or writing (on my new company laptop – yeah!) time and replace it with more than an hour each way of traffic time. Seems like a no-brainer to me!

Despite the fact that Husband will be the primary keeper of the car (and accordingly, his wishes as to which car we chose carried more weight, though we were in agreement on the Corolla, once presented with all relevant evidence), he says that I can choose the color! Now we’re talking! Damn, it doesn’t get much better than this!

(By the by, I would be terribly lax if I didn’t make a point of mentioning that the title of my post is also the title of one of my favorite George Carlin skits. Just giving credit where credit is due…)

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Responses

  1. Yay Yay yay! So excited for you 🙂
    Although you didn’t ask me for a car opinion, I would have said go with the Corolla too. Not because I know much about the Corolla, but because I know the Ford and the Mazda first hand and wouldn’t recommend either of them. So I think you made a good choice about the job and the car. But what color did you choose?

  2. Because the color is the most important thing about choosing a car…

  3. Congratulations on the new job; I hope everything works out well 🙂

  4. I Know
    I Know
    I Know what color you chose…

    🙂

    Orange !!! right? 😉

  5. Still haven’t chosen the color. I can’t officially order the car until my first day of work, and the company will give me a different car while we wait for the new car to arrive. Not sure what colors are available to leasers, so I don’t want to get my hopes up for one color, only to have those hopes dashed because it’s not available.

  6. ra,

    heh heh heh…

    Don’t think they actually have orange, and, politics aside, I’ve never really liked orange (you would never have found anything orange in my closet – am a dark color person – blues, greens, lots of black, etc). Besides, if I started driving an orange car, people would probably just stare and wonder which one of the Dukes of Hazard was at the wheel. 🙂

  7. Mazal tov on the new job! B’Hatzlacha!

  8. Congrats on the new job! Sounds like the right move at the right time.

    I take the (subway) train to work and back everyday, half hour each way, and I agree with what you said. It’s the perfect amount of time for reading the paper or writing notes, etc. I haven’t driven (which would take the same amount of time) in six years.

    Finally, the only orange cars I’ve ever seen were a model of BMW (from the late 70s I think). It wasn’t a luxury car, more of a family sedan, but the most popular color was orange. I wonder if that color would work with any other car?

  9. Hi “She”! 🙂
    Mazal tov! I’m glad about your new job! I hope “bekarov etzli”… The whole “tell a bit about yourself” is frustrating. I’ve been unemployed for 3 weeks and have been to 3 interviews so far… Argh! Today I guess I have one more, *chills*.
    Unfortunatelly the media is poor and we have no more than a humble salary and no car. Maybe, if the company is decent, a cell phone, hehehe. Journalists are poor people! 🙂
    Lots of luck! I really understand what lack of motivation is!
    Love,
    Rinat

  10. Rinat,

    But at least you are trying to find a job doing something you love, something you are passionate about. Working in hi-tech certainly has some interesting aspects and good financial perks, but in a perfect world, I’d chuck it all if I knew that I could find decent work as a “real” writer. I admire you so much for what you do!

  11. congrats!

    The choice will probably be between white and metallic – that’s my experience with leased cars!

  12. Hello She,

    thanks for commenting on my blog! I had forgotten your blog’s name & how I found it, and wanted to follow up on your “destroy the synagogues” piece. Good, I’ve bookmarked you now.

    Congratulations on the new job!

  13. Congratulations! Am very envious, counting the months till I too can justify moving on (only 9 so far; how many do you think is the minimum? 12? 18? 48?!!! please, god, no!), both because of my very smelly resume, and because I know too too well the nausea of
    “sotellme/usalittlebitaboutyourself” GAAA. Last year at this time I was cursing the holidays because they were getting in the way of my job-hunting; now I’m on cruise control, and that’s the ONLY good thing about my job right now.

  14. squarepeg,

    I’d say 12 months is a safe bet, or at least that’s what everyone says. So, only three months to go, and this month is all holidays, so you’re almost there! What I can tell you is that there are lots of positions out there for people in “our” profession, and there aren’t enough quality people to do fill the positions. If you’ve got the skills and experience, you should be able to do pretty well. If you’re seriously interested, contact me offline, and we’ll talk.


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