76) Down in the Gutter

Welcome new reader!

I am glad you are here.

In my last post you read about what happened to me during my out-of-state contract  with Micron Technology in 1999 while my son Steve was so sick at home. In this post how low a person can sink, professionally, despite supreme confidence and a raging fire of desire scorching everything in his path.

Nearly Broken

Understandably Nadine was not happy about my decision to terminate my contract Mask Design work at Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho. It would take many more years for me to convince her I wasn’t a quitter. I had hit a wall in Boise – one that I could not push through. I remained convinced I had experienced a nervous breakdown.

The  Healing

I think I was still sobbing most of the way on the 750 mile, 11 hour and 44 minutes drive from Boise to Fort Collins. About mid-way through the trip, if memory serves, Nadine let me know that Steve did NOT have cystic fibrosis. I was greatly relieved, but my conversation with Nadine was strained, due to our new economic circumstances. Our circumstances were, we had just purchased a new house I was 49 years old, and I hated my high-tech, high stress career. My kid is sicker than a dog, my daughter hates me for pulling her away from New Hampshire, and my wife thinks I’m a loser.

Second Opportunity – Once Again!

A week after returning to Fort Collins, I had canvassed the town looking high and low for a start-up that might want to hire me. I didn’t bother sending resumes, I got in the car and drove around looking for names of companies that might betray their identity – just like I used to do when I was making sales calls in California two decades ago. I scored a job that week with Phillips Semiconductor, a six person design group backed by a behemoth global enterprise. My new office had a window and was just a few minutes from home. The salary was $70,000 plus incentives, which represented about a 50% cut from my contract Mask Design work. I didn’t care. I was home, and that was all that mattered.

Have you ever been engulfed by emotion when returning home after a long work assignment?

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