Tuesday, April 1, 2008

That New Project: a new life for me

It's time to reveal that new project I hinted about here. It's a major step, more than just another market, and this may be the end of Seen Through A Glass.

My kids are getting towards college age, and they're both in parochial school; more to the point, they're both doing well, and reaching the point where they need to branch out beyond the standard offerings of education. That put us in a position where we had to look at all our options to keep the kids in the caliber of school they deserve.

One of those options was me "getting a real job." That was a hard nut to swallow after finally reaching the point where I was doing well, getting into some major markets, and making connections that led to better assignments. But I had to face the facts. While I was finally making the same kind of money I made as a director-level executive in the pharmaceutical business back in the early 1990s, time had marched on and that kind of money isn't what it was 15 years ago. I had the potential to make more, and our situation -- and other factors -- demanded that.

I put out some feelers, talked to people I knew, and started interviewing. The libraries that were interested in me for director positions offered excellent pay, but would have required us to move, something we just didn't want to do. I talked to some business research firms about doing beverage industry analysis, but while everyone I talked to told me that I had clear knowledge of the business that was superior to most people in the field, company policies required that I have an MBA, and Cathy and I agreed that I just didn't have the time, even for an accelerated program.

Then it hit me. I was always getting press releases, and complaining about the writing in them...why not look for work there? After a lengthy search, I found a small firm that wrote press releases the way I liked them as a writer: full of facts and meat, with substantive quotes, and with a minimum of marketing jargon. After sending them a portfolio, they asked me to come to their offices to interview. I was very excited: these were my kind of people.

The interview went great, and they asked me what it would take to get me on board full time, as soon as possible. Money, I told them; big money. We haggled over a few percentage points, and vacation time, and dental benefits (they actually hung tough on dental), but finally reached a great package.

As of April 15, I will be working for the public relations firm of Fuhrman & Schmidt, a small group in the far suburbs of New York. It's a long commute, but I'll only have to go to the office twice a month; the rest of the time I'll be working at home or traveling to meet clients and get the real story on their products and services. So now I'll be writing those press releases, sending out honest information about new products, new hires, new fixes to problems, and new settlements for product liability lawsuits.

I'll miss writing about beer and whiskey. I'll miss it a lot, I'm crying as I write this. But I'll still enjoy beer and whiskey, and though I'll just be an amateur like so many others, maybe it will allow me to enjoy things on a simpler level. Maybe. But I'm sure it's going to be worth it.

It's been fun, folks. See you around the beer festivals.

Ummm...not. Fuhrman & Schmidt was an old PA brewery, I'm still writing about beer and whiskey, and the kids -- and our finances -- are doing fine. Cheers! 

29 comments:

roan22 said...

WOW LEW!!! Nice move! Good luck and Wwelcome to the road! I too drive around to accounts/clients [in 3 states!]. :)

Your kids I hope see the huge sacrifice you've just made for them..you'll still do the blog, right? What about Mid-Atlantic BN/Ale St. News beer writing still?

roan22 said...

april fools ...oh jeez how unironic Lew!

sew said...

I just got off a bartending shift. Beat tired and not able to sleep yet...so slightly delirious, I go to check email and a few blogs...I was like,
what? really? no!

consider me had.

you're the jolliest jerk I know;)

bill mc said...

Well, I for one will miss you Lew. Good luck and if you're up in the Coxsackie, NY area please stop by, there will always be a cold beer in the fridge for you.

bill mc said...

Oh, by the way, its a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Anonymous said...

Lew

Congratulations. Tough choice but that's what makes life interesting. I'll miss your writing. Next beer's on me.

TM

Anonymous said...

I was duped

You write all too well!

And I need dmy first cup of coffee!

TM

Steven said...

Yeh -- after I checked the Beer Baird's link mid-post, I had you pegged friend. Nice try, but today's date always has me looking over my (proverbial) shoulder!

Lew Bryson said...

But no one's caught the "Fuhrman & Schmidt" reference, dammit!

Dan Bengel said...

They are great people to work for. They just did some work for us at Ortino's Northside. But what about the dog?

sam k said...

You bawstid! This is like the annual fakeout on NPR! You had me going even beyond the Fuhrman & Schmidt reference, and I was ready to accost you at WhiskyFest until reading the comments. Nice work, foolboy, even though it's at the expense of Thomas and Nora's career path!! See you in Chicago.

bill mc said...

Wait a minute...The Eagle Run Brewery?

beerinator said...

Awesome!

Press Releases are just GREAT! You will love that industry!

Anonymous said...

You actually had me for a minute. It seems like just dumb enough that you'd do it.

April Fool jokes are infantile, though. People who try and pull ymem off have too much time on their hands.

Stephen Beaumont said...

I had you sussed at "While I was finally making the same kind of money I made as a director-level executive in the pharmaceutical business back in the early 1990s..."

As if!

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to water down your whiskey in Chi-town...you cheap beer drinker you. :)

Lew Bryson said...

April Fool jokes are infantile, though. People who try and pull ymem off have too much time on their hands.

And the people who post blog comments about them?

Lew Bryson said...

Steve,
Funny thing is, that's one of the few true things in the post! It was a start-up company, much of the compensation was stock, options, and bonus...and my gross last year was the same as my base pay back then. As you well know, though, there are other ways of keeping score than money. Good thing, too!

jakester said...

Lew, you're a pain in the ass...a CLEVER pain in the ass, but a pain in the ass nevertheless! Nice shot!

Steve said...

Does this mean there is truth to the rumor that you have hired Jack Curtin to be your secretary at your new position?

Jack Curtin said...

ANONYMOUS: >April Fool jokes are infantile, though. People who try and pull them off have too much time on their hands.<

LEW >And the people who post blog comments about them?<

My bad. Actually that was my post, trying to be ironic but I forgot to sign in. Sigh....

Steven said...

"But no one's caught the "Fuhrman & Schmidt" reference, dammit!"

Heh -- those guys are nuts!

S.Johansen said...

Got me. Nice work. I had to yuk through the Beeryard article before I was able to put 2 and 2 together. Nice work.

Boak said...

You got me good - it's just as well I have a policy of not blogging at work or I'd have probably written you an "obituary".

I'm a pretty gullible sort of gal though, this one fooled me as well.

mobud said...

Lew, the Fuhrman & Schmidt comment was the one that had me rolling. I never got to try Shamokin's finest....

Jeff Alworth said...

In my April Fools post (obviously, those critical of 4/1 posts have never had to stare down 365 blank days on a calendar and try to figure how to be interesting and informative), I included a spokeswoman name April Primo--and no one got that, either. Lesson: keep subtlety out of april fools posts.

Lew Bryson said...

Ah, the Fuhrman and Schmidt reference... An old friend, sadly no longer with us, had scored a large stack of F&S letterhead, which didn't mention that the company was a brewery, just the logo and "Fuhrman & Schmidt, Shamokin, Penn." When he felt like rattling cages, he'd type up a letter from the law firm of Fuhrman & Schmidt. It was a natural to use them in this.
Here's a homebrew to you, Mark!

Chas D. Kaier said...

Sir, I would not recommend working with Furhmann and Schmidt in any capacity.

RICH said...

Who waits until April 12 to pull an April Fool's scam?

Oh, I forgot who we're talking about here...