Posted by: Rob | October 19, 2009

The Job Track, Part 1

I was working under a NAFTA permit for an independent refiner in the US Midwest when I was offered a job with my current employer. My quest for an employer supported green card was going nowhere and after three and a half years in a small Kansas town we were weary of the place, the mindset and not a few of the people.

The job offer looked like a dream in the offing. Although we had to move back to Canada for it, the company was a big multinational*, and the possibility for an employer sponsored move back to the US on a permanent basis loomed large.

But that was all before George W. Bush, 9/11/01 and everything else that has occurred since those halcyon days in the middle ‘90’s. Eventually, the US changed and we changed and the idea to permanently relocate to the US was, well, permanently dropped.

The years passed, quickly it seems in retrospect. Career opportunities would arise, real nice opportunities too, but then circumstances would change and I’d have a discussion about choices. More often than not I elected the choice that was better for the business or the company and less in my own interest. It didn’t matter to me at the time. Circumstances in my personal life outside of work would often weigh in those decisions too. But I think those times when I opted less for me and more for the employer ultimately took a toll. And, eventually, by the time we were becoming empty nesters, I was ready for a major career re-direction and change.

Then fate inserted itself, as it is wont to do, with a terminal melanoma diagnosis. We didn’t really believe it was terminal, not at the outset. But the path forward to overcome this most vicious of cancers meant that I had to suck it up, pull it together and stay with my steady and reliable job and benefits. These were things we would need were we to vanquish the beast.

Regular readers already know that we were not successful.

Around the time that my first wife died, the plant I was working in was targetted for permanent shut down. Half of it had already been shuttered and I was pretty sure that I was going to be slated for redeployment, although such matters were pretty far outside of conscious thought at the time. By the time I was widowed, I was certain that I would have to be redeployed.

I remember when my then leader, AJ, came to discuss my options with me. I haven’t ever worked for a better leader than AJ, ever, and he was genuinely sympathetic to my situation and was keenly interested in securing ongoing meaningful employment for me.

I was still in shock, mostly, but I had the presence of mind to ask if there were going to be any packages**.

AJ’s reply? “Not for you.”


…to be continued.

* Nowadays, the descriptor would be “global”.

** Per daisyfae’s observation, adding that the “package” sought was of the severance variety.  I knew the answer would be “No” but I had to ask.  I came to grips a long time ago with the fact that my demographic is one that will never be given an incentive to leave early.


  1. there’s always the point in a career where we figure out that our selfless devotion to the organization is not reciprocal… and yours came at the most difficult time in your personal life. ouch…

    by the way “packages” can mean several things – either a relocation cost package, severance package, etc… not sure which you refer to…

  2. We who are sandwiched between the annoying Boomers and the cool ones known as Gen X have and will always be dependable little workhorses and the MAN knows it.

  3. [nodding head in understanding] yeah, you can give your heart and soul to the company, but 99 out of 100 companies are heartless and soulless

    standing by for part 2…okay, sitting by…

  4. […] October 20, 2009 The Job Track, Part 2 Posted by Rob under career | Tags: Careers, Exploring myself, Relocation | Leave a Comment  Picking up from yesterday. […]

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