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Cupcakes & Dilemmas

November 18, 2009

This is a picture from the place Matt and I had lunch today. Before you go on reading into things, it’s just a picture of a red pizza parlor. Nothing symbolic or creepy. Matt and I had this really deep conversation about work vs. calling and who we want to be when we grow up. I was going to blog about that tonight, but it seems trite given recent developments. All I’ll say for the time being is, I felt Matt’s sadness for having to compromise science for business, and that it seems that while he’s very successful and respected, he’s not overly happy at his job. I’m getting to know a more real side of him, and it’s making him less perfect, but also more endearing. I also think that he genuinely cares for me, though maybe he’s conflicted about getting serious with someone. I don’t know….. One minute he’s acting all smitten, then he puts up a wall, then it’s back to smitten again. I guess people in this city are complicated.

Speaking of complicated, here’s the thing most of you CTPs already know: someone messaged me the log-in and password to one of our clients’ intranet. People went on about disturbing information being there. I admit, I want to look, but I also know too well about curiosity and cats. Also, it’s totally and completely illegal and I’d lose my job. As it stands, I’m not certain that I won’t lose my job anyway, but at least I’ll do the right thing.

I talked to Liz tonight, (over cupcakes and two martinis that left me slightly buzzed) and she pointed out that if I get fired, there’s no way I’d last more than a month here. With these rents and my almost-nonexistent savings, I’d be high-tailing it back home a total failure. This economy is not a good time for career risks. I still haven’t decided what to tell my bosses, but I really don’t want any badness in relation to you-know-who. I want my calm little life from before this whole mess started.

Oh, and I’m not meeting any strangers from the internet, thank you!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 11:21 pm

    Work vs. calling is a debate for the ages, that’s for sure. Heck, I’m “old” and I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. I really get the conflict Matt must have between science and business — I work for a big chemical company and those kind of paradoxes come up a lot. Maybe it’s the same in other scientific fields too…what does he do? (Not asking where he works, as I am just a CTP *lol*…just curious where else these sorts of issues come up.) I’m glad you had a good talk at lunch though, and I really love all the wall designs in the photo.

    Jobs are tight — I’m in Michigan, and boy I can tell you, hold on to yours if you can. I’d advise to hold your tongue completely with your bosses as long as you safely can.

    Holy crow, cupcakes & martinis? (I am assuming chocolate martinis, because I just can’t fathom appeal of the cakey-sweetness and a gin martini!!) What a fun night!

    And as far as meeting up with Sara? Not that you’ve asked for advice, but I really do think it’d be a good idea. If you meet her in a public place (maybe you can even have Matt or Liz watching from a distance), you might get decent information. Important to stay safe, but Sara ostensibly wants to keep you safe as well. Probably important to think about that before shrugging her off. And besides, despite the horror stories, I’ve met literally dozens of normal (albeit a little geeky) people that I’ve met online first. Not a bad experience in the bunch.

    Have a great night!

  2. LaurenHP permalink
    November 18, 2009 11:40 pm

    Pizza, cupcakes, and martinis… sounds like a great day! Well, apart from all the other craziness 😉

    I totally understand worry about your job security. I was unemployed for a pretty long time this year, and it can definitely suck. But your physical safety is definitely more important than your job, and that may be what’s at stake. Hard to tell until you gather more information.

    I agree with MJinMichigan about Sara from Spectrin… she genuinely seems to want to help you (and to believe that you may need her help) and as long as you have an few minutes to meet and hear her out, I don’t see the harm. If you meet in a public place, the worst that could happen is that you waste a little time. She’s got to be more credible than us CTPs — I mean, she’s a legit business lady with a fancy job and graduate degrees, who helps people for a living.

    Anyway, stay safe!

  3. IlionBlaze permalink
    November 18, 2009 11:50 pm

    Hey Alex, I think professionally you’re doing the right thing by not using that login information you were given. I have a friend who lives just a ways outside NY and I understand the rent in the city is insane! You have to protect yourself.

    Certainly I think it’s a good idea not to go meeting random CTPs, but I’d encourage you to at least keep a dialogue going with Miss Kingsley. I’d also be in favour of you taking Liz or Matt along and meeting her somewhere public. I honestly think she’ll be able help you make sense of all this craziness!

    So Matt’s a science guy? What sort of science?

  4. viewingfigures permalink
    November 19, 2009 3:25 am


    I think Mjinmichigan has a real point about meeting Sarah. You can always meet her in public like he suggests.

    I think you are wise to ignore the login codes you were sent.

    Just one thing though, where is Two Boots Pizza, I couldn’t find a listing. If it’s that great I will make a note of it. I love Italian it’s my favorite. (Although garlic and dating is not always a good thing – lol).

    Take care.

  5. skymandr permalink
    November 19, 2009 5:08 am

    Hi Alex!
    You should show this to Matt, I’m sure it will crack him up!

    Have a good day!

  6. November 19, 2009 7:15 am

    I second MJ’s advice about holding your tongue. Jobs are really tight, and people are looking for any excuse to fire new people. My brother-in-law mentioned a cool consulting idea to his boss — said he would pursue it later in life. About a week later, his boss decided why not now? and fired my brother-in-law.

    In this climate, I’d trust your friends, your family, heck, even people on the internet before I’d trust your employer. They’ll use any means to tighten the ship.

    I really feel for Matt. I was a science major in college, and I went back to school for medicine, but a lot of my friends went into research at different companies. It’s really hard when science and business mix — a lot of times it can keep you from doing what you think is right scientifically. Just look at some of the drugs that come out these days. You *know* that some researcher didn’t like the side effects, but some business guy pushed it out for the bucks. (no offense to anyone here in business)

    Is there any way Matt could go back into academia? The money might not be as good, but his heart might be lighter.

  7. November 19, 2009 9:55 pm

    The calling and work are not mutually exclusive! A lot depends on what calls you to adventure. Do you even know what it is? If it isn’t clear, it makes a lot of sense to stick with work. It also makes sense if your work will garner you the resources to make your dreams come true, or develop skills you’ll need in the future, or teach you something you need to know.

    But don’t wait to follow the call. It’s never too late, but don’t wait. When you hear it, answer it. You don’t want to be at the end, looking back, and wishing you’d done what you needed to do, but didn’t because you got caught in the machinery.

    • November 19, 2009 10:15 pm

      Thanks, that’s actually really nice and I’ll try to remember it. I don’t always sound this lost, you know. Just stuff’s been very confusing lately.

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