This is a folder in the mailbox I used back in 2001. I was working for a contracting company located on the 77th floor of tower 1 and had just submitted a time sheet for work I did in Ohio. I needed the money because I had been laid off at the beginning of August and had just moved my whole family far away from any type of safety net. I had worked about 90 hours, but my timecard was rejected over and over and I was getting pretty frustrated with the company I was working for.
The day before this lovely little email exchange I had had an interview for a job in Louisville, and while I was arguing via email with this company I had a phone call scheduling another interview, also in Louisville, for the following Tuesday. I was in good spirits for some reason, even though I had just been jacked around by the hiring manager at one company (rhymes with ear panel) who seemed to have forgotten that I was hired on the day I showed up to start work. My interview the day before had gone well enough, but I knew that company wasn't going to pay anywhere near what I had been making.
I did eventually get my time card approved, and I relaxed a bit that weekend. That Monday I got scheduled for another contract gig, sent out another seven resumes, and started seriously worrying about what I was going to do if I didn't get a job by the end of October when my severance ran out.
Tuesday morning I got up and dressed, hopped into the old Volvo and was headed to Louisville when I heard on the radio that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. As I rode in, I called my wife, and events unfolded around us.
I kept my appointment. Me and the guy I interviewed with just sort of sat and looked at each other, talked about people we knew in New York, and watched the TV this company had in their lobby. I left after about an hour.
I drove home, picked up Dangeresque from pre-school, got gas and made damn sure I had some cash on hand. Then I went home and watched everything fall down.
I knew the company I was working for was in Tower 1, I also knew that every job I was applying for had just gone up in the smoke from those towers.
Until 4:30 that afternoon when I got a call from Louisville. I was offered the job I had interviewed for on the 5th. The pay was twenty percent less than I had been getting, less even than I was making hourly as a contractor. The guy offering me the job told me that he could give me an extra week of vacation time that year, and they would start my benefits the day I started work, so I wouldn't have to COBRA. He also told me I'd be replacing the three contractors who he was going to be letting go. I knew what he meant, so I didn't hesitate. I took the job.
It was the best career decision I ever made. I'd be poor for a couple of years. Low man on the totem pole for a while, but I'd survive, my family would eat.
On October 1, I got an email from the company I had been contracting for. They had not had a fatality on 9-11 and they had been able to restore their data center at a cold site in Florida. This meant that I'd get paid. Eventually.
...and I did... right before Christmas. Just in time.
I'm a lucky, lucky man.