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!