Did I just move to Seattle? – Part 2

I moved back to Idaho and in with my folks in the Winter of 2002 after being on unemployment for about a year. It was hard finding a job because everyone else in my industry was in the same boat. The economy wasn’t that much better in Idaho at the time and I had a hard time swallowing that I was going to a $55,000 a year job in the city I loved to $10 a hour jobs where I spent my childhood. It felt like Boise had nothing to offer except call center jobs if you didn’t have a college degree and the high-tech industry wasn’t that large even though HP and Micron have a large presence in the area.

The first job I landed happened a few months after I returned to Idaho was with a temp agency testing HP printers overnight for 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday. It paid about $10 an hour if I remember right and was to involve loading paper and ink cartridges in printers to test the reliability of the product. However on the way to my first night I called the temp agency and told them I wouldn’t be in. I instead spent the weekend at a friends place in Boise and drank beer. It was still hard from me going to a job that paid almost $30 an hour to $10 an hour and working overnight on weekends.

HP Sales Center

HP Sales Center

I kept searching but it wasn’t easy to find a job as a web developer in Boise without a college degree. Plus companies there were just starting a web presence or didn’t have one at all. I found a job at the DirecTV call center which was the largest call center in the valley and one of the largest employers. I thought it would be easy since I already had several years of customer service under my belt. But I soon found that to be different as customers over the phone are some of the most difficult people on the planet. I found myself driving home in tears sometimes, missing Seattle, the lifestyle I once had and wondering what the heck I was going to do. That job didn’t last long and just 3 months in I was given the option to leave on my own accord or be terminated for missing just 3 days. Even though I had some of the best stats and offered great customer service. I chose to leave and was happy again the moment I walked out that door. I knew why they had a revolving door because practically everyone in that valley has worked there and left for some reason. That’s when I knew that I had to do something to change the course of my life.

The struggle to find the perfect job continued as I bounced from call center job to call center job. Yes, Boise was and still is the mecca of call center jobs with low wages to boot. I’ve had so many jobs I’m getting to that age where I’m starting to forget all the places that I worked. I went from DirecTV to Alaska Airlines, the Carlson Leisure Travel and next to T-Mobile where again I missed a few days and was terminated. I remember one day that over 150 agents were out due to an illness going around the call center. That’s what happens when you have to share a desk with someone else who gets sick and spreads their germs all over the same workspace you share. I went to HP to sell computers and the same thing happened there. I would sell more than most healthy agents but was given the option to leave or be terminated. I decided that maybe it was time to work more on my education and hope to find a stable good paying job.

To Be Continued

Part I – Did I Just Move To Seattle?

Final Post – Did I Just Move To Seattle?

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  • Leisa

    Oh Dennis, I remember those days. I’m still working for a travel agency, lol. They treat me well, though. I’m in school to get my RN, with the goal of completing my MSN Nurse Practitioner.

    I’m so proud of you and what you are accomplishing. You were always too good for Idaho and too smart for low skilled jobs.

  • http://www.dennisjsmith.com Dennis J. Smith

    Thanks Leisa. I really appreciate the kind words and glad that I got to work in travel. It gives me a better appreciation of the industry. Thanks for the comment.