Friday, May 6, 2011

Obstatunity Comes from Strategery

When the move was nine months away I opened a savings account.

When the move was six months away I changed my yahoo weather alert to Phoenix.

When the move was four months away I started selling a few random items on craigslist, Matt began talking to the complex we liked about a second floor unit, we sent a letter to our landlords to let them know (and crossed our fingers they’d let us out of the lease early and with no penalty), and I brought my car in to have a major service done so it would be all spiffy to tow a trailer 3000 some odd miles.

When the move was three months away I knew that we weren’t going to be able to pull a trailer behind Little Car, that we’d have to get a truck, that we would have to wait another week or two before submitting an application, and that Matt was supposed to have a meeting with his boss to discuss how the whole telecommuting thing was going to work.

Now that the move is a little less than two months away I know that our current apartment has been rented (freeing us from the potential of having to buy out the last couple months of our lease), that no one in Boston seems to be interested in a super cheap commercial grade paint sprayer, that I have to sell my drum kit (because hard side cases are just out of the moving budget), that we’re about set on the truck rental, and that we’re approved for the apartment.

Oh yeah, and also that Matt doesn’t have a job anymore.

Last week Matt and his boss sat down to chat about the finer points of his work from home position. Yes, we all know that means the money. The position wouldn’t change, as predicted, and with a couple new loan officers coming on the workload was sure to increase (which is good considering from all I’ve heard the entire office is sitting around listening to birds chirp since the rates went up recently). Plus he’d be making a really healthy bonus structure on every file he processed.

In about 2-3 months when loans brought in by the new dudes actually start to close.

*insert hysterical laughter here*

But, the thing is, we’re going out there with some pretty good fundage in the bank so I said if he thought these new L.O.’s were going to produce relatively quickly that maybe it would be a viable option after all. That’s when he told me that the proposed plan accounted for his hourly wage only being compensated after the loan closed, that the hourly wage is about a 65% pay cut from what he’s making now and obviously he only gets paid a bonus (read: also his hourly wage) if the loan closes.

Wait, what?

So essentially his job could end up being a work for free from home position, part time (because he’s only allowed six hours per file).

Well, hell, where does he sign up for that?

He doesn’t. Phoenix is certainly less expensive than Boston but it ain’t 100% less expensive, you dig?

The following day he promptly told his boss that he couldn’t consider taking that offer and ever planning to eat again so he countered back with, admittedly yes, still a pay cut but more like a 25% reduction. His boss said he’d think about it.

So a day or two or something like that went by and Matt came home and said ‘The word of the day is obstatunity’ to which I promptly responded ‘Say what?’

His boss didn’t take his offer, didn’t counter back and Matt had to say that he’d in turn be saying goodbye, likely to the entire company (though he’s had a resume on file in the corporate help desk/support office for a few months too but not looking likely they’re hiring anyone in the near future, let alone him).

He’ll work out his final 2 months and then his boss will be left with only one person in a similar role in the physical office. Someone Matt has trained as best as he can, shown the ropes of his sixteen years of experience in the business, tried to teach how to detect fraud and whatever other awesome stuff he’s shown her that he tries to tell me about at night while my eyes glaze over and my brain goes to my happy place.

Its not that I don’t care about his work, I do, but truthfully I only really care that he comes home happy he was able to do something that got him jazzed all day, like investigating fraud or training, and not the actual work itself. I left the mortgage industry eleven years ago and I will never look back. It bored me to tears then and frankly…well you get the idea.

So he repeated his now Matt coined word of obstatunity again and explained that it was the blending of obstacle + opportunity. That out of the obstacle would come great opportunity, that we were still getting the ‘eff up on out of here (seeing as though that was half of the opportunity in the equation) and that for the first time in his professional career of late he not only had more than two weeks to find a new job but that his boss was fully aware of the situation, cool with it and able to act as a reference.

I promptly asked him ‘Is obstatunity born of strategery?’ -- another classic Matt used term -- and his response was something about the need for strategery to take advantage of the obstatunity but how they really are two totally separate things. Okay, I could buy that. Then he sat down to post his resume on all the career sites.

With a smile on his face and lightness in his heart.

Neither of us are truthfully all that concerned, he’s already targeted a bunch of positions, gotten calls from recruiters and follow-up emails to complete online assessments from companies as well, so it’s not like he won’t have something, now the question is what sector of the business does he want to work in (because from the tiny bit of information I’ve been able to absorb before mentally checking out of most financial industry conversations, Matt takes to training his peers and fraud detection like red to a tomato).

With the current state of the economy there has never been a better time to dig deeper into a fraud detection position. He knows his shit, that much I can say; I know that he’s even been responsible in the past for FBI intervention in some cases. Cases that led to imprisonment of the perpetrators of the crimes. Which is kind of key in uncovering fraud rings right?

And it just so happens the hot bed for fraud detection companies are in the Phoenix area right now…

Now that’s strategery.


Matt S said...

It's the best obstatunity I've ever had! But I won't bore everyone with any extra details....LOL

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Ginger made the point that perhaps GWB used the term strategery before you so I've changed the wording slightly. Though I can't exactly pinpoint when you first said that...guess its kind of like schmoopy or gangsta cowboys...

Karen said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed that something comes up!

pastrywitch said...

Here's to obstatunity - that could really catch on :) I see a whole new self-help movement...Matt can explain it on a only....6 cd set, Embracing Obstatunity, yours for the low price of only...

Wflynnaz said...

I held my breath the entire time I was reading this post waiting for the shoe to drop... Thinking to my self "if she says this obstantunity is leading them to Cali I am calling her right now to scream and cry and throw a 2 year old fit!" So glad I don't have to have a tantrum today :)Love you- Wendy

Almost Precious said...

Isn't language great? With human influences it is always changing and new words are constantly being created, some good, some not so good. I can't stand "Ginormous" why should it be bigger and grander than either gigantic or enormous ?

Anyway the real thing is that Matt is a very smart and capable man and he will be an asset to any company that hires him ... which I'm sure there will be many that want him and in the end he will have a nice selection to choose from.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Wendy you made me almost spit coffee :-) Phoenix is definitely the goal still, it makes so many other things so much better! No need for the tantrum sister lol

Thanks Karen & Anna, you ladies & your happy vibes rock!

Kate I'm telling him that right just never know...

Rosebud Collection said...

I have to tell you..and I probably said this before..We left Vermont, after one year, four children, two dogs, two cars and joined hands, said a prayer..headed to Maine..Didn't know where we would end up..Oh, we had a few rough times, but what the heck, it all turned to leave again..ha..sell our property???
I know you both will do well and you will be warm too..So happy you are soon to be heading to AZ..It is getting exciting now..two months to go..will be reading about your every move..Have a happy weekend..xoxoCarolyn

Liz said...

Are you familiar with the word "obstatsunami?"

Liz said...

Love this post! I googled obstatunity because I've been using the word since 2004ish and a few people have also pulled it out of the ethers. I love it! Well done!

Have you ever heard of obstatsunami though?