if “the eric update” were a fictional account, you might sit back upon learning that i’ve been laid off and exclaim, “oh come on! that’s a fairly over-the-top plot twist, now don’t you think!” and snort in disgust at my fairly obvious attempt to jump the shark on the snowdeal show ®.
but no, this really is the the really, realest, real reality show and friday was my last day of employment at motorola after being handed a pink slip. after six years of surviving thousands and thousands of layoffs, the irony of being shown the door at this particular time in my life is so rich that it almost makes me laugh.
conspiracy theorist might conclude that my getting the pink slip might in some way be related to little odin and my struggle to balance focusing on work with my new role as a full time nicu dad. the truth is that we’ve known for a long, long time that unemployment was inevitable and the only unknown was exactly when the pink slip would arrive. in fact, not many know that when we moved to michigan from illinois two and half years ago, i had tried to quit because the perpetual job uncertainly was getting to be tiring. of course, it would have been nice to have a few more months of breathing room, but layoffs at big, international organizations are planned well in advance and it just wasn’t going to happen.
in some ways, the pink splip comes at a great time. odin’s stupendous progress means that he’s going to be coming home sooner than any of us expected and i’d like nothing more than to spend every single waking moment with him after he gets home. thanks to a very modest severance package from the mothership , i’ll be able to do that. so, i think i’m going to take the next month to clear my head, spend time with my son and try to imagine what i’d like to do next.
hopefully this won’t sound too much like an infomercial, but the time off also gives me a great opportunity to focus on facefive, which is a company that i cofounded with a longtime friend over two years ago. we’ve spent the past two years developing a reputation for providing wireless internet service in some of the most popular locations in chicago for people who don’t mind paying a little money for a super fast and reliable service. we’ve always thought of the wireless internet as a “trojan horse” service and have been diligently working in the background to offer additional services. my newfound free time means that we’ll be able to more quickly roll out fun things like facefive fone, which will let our customers make phone calls to anywhere in the u.s. at no charge, from their computers or even a regular telephone. in fact, we’ll be announcing a more widepsread beta test soon, so if you’re in the chicago area and you’re interested in free local and long distance phone service, let me know.
despite how well facefive has been doing, it’ll still be awhile before it’s the kind of thing that can support a full time salary, so after spending time getting new services going, i’ll probably start looking for a regular day job. i’ve slapped together a resume because you never really know who is reading the site these days. please, i beg you to consider the resume for what it is – a rough draft that was thrown together from scratch in very short order.
i’ll betray my somewhat legendary confidence ( some say arrogance 🙂 ), and tell you, somewhat immodestly, that i can do pretty much anything. i’m the guy you want if you’re looking for someone with experience wearing the many hats that one must wear at the fuzzy front end of product development. i’m the guy you want if you’re looking for someone who can chat afffably with customers and suits right before running to the server closet to fiddle with the knobs. i’m the guy you want if you’re looking for someone who can move smoothly from removing the central nervous systems of fruitfly larvae to business development ( perhaps not as different a skill as you might think ) to running marathons and developing internet phone applications in his spare time. oh. and i’m pretty good with a camera and have passable written and oral skills.
while i’m always open to more traditional business development, strategy and marketing types of roles, i’m also always willing to trying something new. after years of trying to get the powers that be at motorola to more creatively embrace blogging to no avail, i would certainly be interested in entertaining any “technical evangelist” offers that would allow me to do the kinds of things that tim bray is doing for sun or robert scoble for microsoft ( yes, i understand that 99.99% of the people who are visiting for updates on odin, have no idea what i’m talking about ).
so take a gander at the resume and maybe pass it around, as i go downstairs to make a big batch of lemonade from all the lemons i’ve been handed before i head off to the nicu.
oh, and i apologize in advance to all the family members who are reading about this for the first time without getting a warning phone call. i’ve obviously been quite busy and calling everyone to tell them the news has not been very high on my priority list.