I had my interview today with a new company for a similar position I now hold. I'm more than qualified and it's clear they want to hire me on the spot.
The company itself is closer than where I work now, and with four data centers across the country, and just tons of insane hardware to drool over (Sun 450 Enterprise systems everywhere! Raid systems! Fail over machines! Two Cisco 7500s! Terrabytes of disk space!) it does sound tempting. But even with all that, and their corporate headquarters in a newly constructed four story building (where I would be working) and over 400 employees, it is still a dotcom company and with the recent Internet stock bubble popping, and ad revenue sinking it does give me pause working there.
But that's not the real reason I'm hesitant to work there.
The real reason I'm hesitant to work there is well, it's work. It would be more work than I really want at this point, involving more system administration than I really care to do. And like most companies in the U. S., you get your standard two weeks of vacation (but only after you're there for six months). After three years, you then get three weeks, but from the sound of it, not many people there have qualified for that, nor from the tone, is it expected you actually take all three weeks.
But that could be my biases showing here.
The one manager I talked to (out of three that interviewed me) about vacation time, I mentioned that I was used to taking three, four weeks vacation time a year at previous jobs, usually with a month's notice and not paid (the notion of an actual paid vacation is rather novel to me to be sure).
“I don't care if I'm paid or not,” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “But I just can't let anyone take time off like that. This is a twenty-four-seven company and we need people to cover this place around the clock.”
“I understand that.”
“And if I let you do it, then other people will want to do it.” Anarchy reigns, hell freezes over, cats and dogs start living together!
“But I've heard that people in Europe get six weeks vacation a year,” I said.
“But it's the law there.” It's a fair conclustion that there is no way I'm getting more than two weeks vacation time out of this job. “You're just living in the wrong country.”
The other sticking point was the simple question he asked me: “Where do you see your career going?”
Well, I thought, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. “I really don't know,” is what I actually said. And it's true. I don't know. I took my current job because I was pretty much burned out of the whole dotcom insanity, development, insane schedules, long hours and other corporate supidity (not that I worked insane schedules, but I tend to avoid such situations).
And it is a dotcom.
But I have a few days to think this over.