My “New” Old Job


I recently started my new job:  My old job!

Comp-Boss of CompCo[1] hired me to my first professional job in information technologies back when I was still in college.  The company was so small that I was his second ever employee, and we were working out of a closet in a fumy paint shop in the industrial park.  (The other guy had been hired only days before me.)

Within the first year, Employee #1 got fired, leaving us as just a two-man company, but we were having enough success that we soon moved into a proper office building and started hiring more employees.

After a few years we partnered with PineCo, a startup that came and shared the office space with us.  Since I was dedicated to the new project as one of the primary developers, my official employment was switched to PineCo.  After a few months though, Pine-Boss decided that he wanted separate office space, so we relocated PineCo to another city about 10 miles away.

The switch was made just before Christmas, and since Comp-Boss had little-to-no involvement with PineCo by that point, I missed out on the generous Christmas bonus that CompCo always gave.  That sucked, but I thought I was still in an okay position.

Then after I'd been with PineCo for a year, PineCo's main investor pulled out and Pine-Boss decided that he couldn't afford to keep more than one developer, so I got the axe in November.  Pine-Boss was nice enough however to refer me to BallCo who was looking to hire another developer, so I went and interviewed with Ball-Boss that Friday.  On Saturday I was hired, and I suffered no interruption of income, which was a great blessing to my family.

Apparently I didn't tell my wife I was losing my job with PineCo until after BallCo hired me.  I don't remember this detail, but that's the way she tells it.

I stayed friends with Comp-Boss, and we kept irregular contact with each other over the years.

After I'd been with BallCo for seven years, Comp-Boss and I happened to catch up with each other.  He told me how his company had grown and was employing nearly three dozen developers.  After I mentioned how much I was earning, Comp-Boss said he thought I was worth a lot more than than that and that he would like me to come work for him again.  He offered me a significant raise plus better benefits than I was already receiving.  I would have been a fool to turn that down, not to mention Comp-Boss had always treated me right, so I went in for an interview.

I was (re-)hired, and I gave Ball-Boss nearly three weeks notice.  (I had some major things to take care of before making the transition).

On my last day working for BallCo, I stayed up until 3:00 AM writing documentation since nobody else had worked on my part of the project.  Luckily I managed to not be a tired zombie the next day.

My first day at my “new” old job I went to clock in, but I couldn't as I discovered that I had never clocked out.  I'd remained clocked in for nearly 9 years, with a shift that was over 77,000 hours long!  If that had qualified for backpay, it would have added up to over $2,000,000.

A few familiar faces from eight years ago are still around, still working for CompCo or otherwise perepherally connected, causing those who didn't know I was coming back to double-take at my presence.  One guy vividly remembers the fish I overcooked in the microwave over 10 years ago!

It's kind of weird being back at my old office, but also feels a bit like “coming home.”

  1. Names of businesses have obviously been changed.  They all have to do with software development.