Please note, this is a reposting of some previous entries made in 2016 when my position was eliminated and I found myself unexpectedly unemployed. This is being reposted here simply for the purpose of preservation as I am not maintaining the old site much. In any case, enjoy if you feel like reading it:
Today was great. Probably the greatest thing about today was wearing pajamas almost all day long. I don’t recall having done that before unless I was very sick. Even better, I actually left the house that way, several times.
Initially I only went to the convenience store to get a fountain drink. It was fine at 10am, people are still OK with pajamas at that time. Maybe not as much for 40-something year-old adults in PJs, but hey, sue me. I got my soda and the world was right.
Later on, I decided to venture to the Holy Grail of PJ-as-an-outfit stores. Yes folks, before I knew it, I was standing proudly in the local Walmart wearing my grey checkered PJ pants, a t-shirt, ball cap and shoes with no socks. I was in my element folks, I resisted the urge to grab one the electric carts and scoot my way around the cookie isle, but only just. I’m not sure I will have the fortitude to deny myself that in the future.
I can tell you that I strolled up to that Redbox machine like a boss! Once my movie was returned, I went and grabbed some crack-in-a-can (a.k.a. Razzleberry Peace Tea) while giving head nods to the other underdressed patrons. It was good, I was with my peeps.
Upon returning home I did some job searching and got to episode 7 of “Making a Murderer”. I only stopped watching because I had one more trip to make and had to be there by 4pm.
For this trip, I did make a minor adjustment to my attire. I added socks. I have say, they joy of PJs can be somewhat impacted by the squish of sweaty toes in shoes. Nobody can say I don’t learn from my mistakes. I think I may have to burn those shoes.
My final trip in PJs today ended up being to the post office to pick up a letter for my mom. After a quick scan of the walls to make sure my picture wasn’t posted, I picked up the letter and headed back out to the parking lot. I have to tell you, there is something wonderful about standing in a parking lot at 3:30 in the afternoon in pajama pants. As an added bonus, this was also the parking lot of a gym. I felt like I was giving the whole protein-shake with extra whey crowd the finger, silently, without even having to raise my arm. It was blissful.
Other than that, I got invited back for a 5th interview with a certain company tomorrow morning. That’s 2 phone and 3 in-person interviews. I’m getting to know the reception staff pretty well. Wish me luck please! I’ll report back tomorrow.
So today I find myself wearing a suit again at 9am. This is really starting to mess with me. First off, it was 9am and I was dressed. Second, did I mention that I was dressed in a SUIT? This is no way to spend my unemployment time.
If you have been following my little adventure here, then you know the suit was the result of interview #5 with a particular company. It went well and I felt that meeting the lawn maintenance team was a nice touch in the interview process. OK, I didn’t really meet them, but I think they may be the only ones I haven’t met. I’m still excited about this position, so I keep moving ahead. FWIW, I think the interview went well.
After the interview, I contacted my Belgian buddy who is visiting the US right now. We had made plans to go shooting this afternoon, because, well… Murica!. As it turned out, he was right across the street enjoying breakfast (no, he wasn’t eating waffles) with an old boss of mine. We chatted for a while about old times, new times and Donald Trump. It was great catching up.
From there we went to the shooting range. Well, we tried to, but it appears that GPS instructions don’t work for foreigners. I mean the place was right off the road in plain sight (down a road, behind a building, camouflaged and marked with signs that said “Toxic Waste! Do Not Enter!”* and with a digital sign at the street that changed between the businesses located there). I suppose in Belgium, where all of the businesses are housed in large buildings that look like 6th century castles**, it might have been hard to see.
We finally found the place. Upon exiting my truck, I could immediately smell gun smoke and testosterone*. I was in my element. I know not everyone likes guns, but I happen to really enjoy target shooting. It is relaxing for me and forces me to concentrate on what I am doing, control my breathing and focus on the target. For me it’s a lot like eating Ice Cream, only I don’t fatter. After shooting the variety pack of guns I brought along, we shot the coup de gras of bangsticks, a fully automatic AK47. It was phenomenal. I had a gungasm right there*.
I do want to say that I have a new appreciation for fully auto guns. I also realize that I SUCK at shooting them. There is a good chance that they will be able to patch the holes in the ceiling*. Just sayin. Two minutes after letting out the full-auto assault, my body was still shaking (not from fear or excitement, but because I’m fat). The man-silhouette target would have escaped with nothing more than a soiled pair of undies and possibly some temporary ear ringing*. I was that good a shot. Next on my bucket list is tossing a hand grenade. Always wanted to do that.
After that, we had lunch and chatted some more. I came home to attend a parent meeting at the local high school, then called it a day. I am hopeful that I will hear from one or more of the companies I have been interviewing with soon. Wish me luck!
* I might have exaggerated a tiny bit here
** So, this is purely speculation, but it is true that Belgium has almost 3000 castles, making it one of the highest density of castles per square km in the world. (totally NOT BS cuz the internet said so)
Erich Kron is the Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, and has over 20 years’ experience in the medical, aerospace manufacturing and defense fields. He is the former security manager for the US Army 2nd Regional Cyber Center-Western Hemisphere.