Sunday, January 05, 2014

I Use To Work With

I don't talk about my work on Social Media (outside of the office) but I can talk about past work.  I am on my third career.  The first one only lasted a few short years, I was a commercial photographer for 2-3 years.  I did mostly print work for the hospitality industry.   

For my second career I worked with the distant relatives of the creatures above.  I worked for land developers and home builders in Florida for 15 years.  It was an interesting business.  The first 7 years I worked for a small family owned company that developed land and built 150-200 homes per year.  Interesting people, they knew how to control risk and make money.  One day they invited us all to a hotel for a drink on the way home from work, and proceeded to announce that they had sold the assets - I found out a few weeks later that I was not one of the assets and that I had better find another job.  I did, landing a sales and marketing job for a major national home builder  aka Big-Builder Company. I was there five years and made really good money.  When they hired me, the boss said I will screw with your mind but not with your money, you will make more money here than anyplace in town.  He was right, and so began my adventures with various swamp creatures.  

Big-builder company was big money land.  At any given time we had 50-100 million dollars of work underway, in the division I was in.  Nationally it was a multi-billion dollar firm.  We had some interesting characters.  One of the division managers was young and ambitious and willing to do or say almost anything to exceed his numbers.  I was in a meeting with him one afternoon, when we left he said I'll see you at the morning staff meeting, I went back to my mail slot and there was a memo saying that he had left the firm to pursue other opportunities.  Apparently he hadn't received the memo yet - but he was gone before I left the building that afternoon.  The last I heard he was building prisons - some were surprised he wasn't a resident in one.  When I left there I went to work for idiots with lots of money.  I referred to them as an accounting company that built houses to keep the accountants busy.  Reality was suspended and what ever the accounting system said, was held to be the truth, even if it was obviously wrong to everyone looking at reality.  I learned the art of creating paperwork to reconcile accounting with reality.  I was there about a year and left.  About the time left they hired one of my former bosses from Big-builder company.  I was gone about 120 days, including 90 days working for a supplier and I went back to work for more money than brains.  The guy who founded the company did a motivational speech for staff where he said that he could "write a check for a billion dollars and it would clear," and we all snickered that it would only count if accounting could find the paperwork.  I lasted another year or so, had a shouting match with a moron construction manager and went on my way.  The next company was idiots without enough money - one payday they quit paying.  I had been warned when I went to work there, that one day, one way or another the company would hurt me.  From there I went back to work for the company that had bought out the first company I worked for - closing the circle.  Nothing was the same.  The place was run by a drunk Australian and his YES MEN with no business morals - it was all about margins - they would sooner make no money than not hit there target margin.  That was my last builder job.  I followed love to another state, and took the opportunity to hit the restart button on my work life.  I went to graduate school, and found work that I wanted to do, mostly working for and with people that I want to work with and for and that is about all I will say about my current work.  

A post script in about 2010 Big-Builder ran tight on cash, and the banks really wanted cash, and more money than brains made good on his brag, and wrote a check merging the best company I ever worked for with the stupidest.  


  1. Alligators, but any voracious swamp creature would fit in the land developer and home building business in Florida. Alligators have a wide snout, crocodiles have a narrow snout. Crocs are much more agressive, gators are much less likely to attack unless provoked.