Ho Ho Ho, Har Har,Har

Ex Austin Dispatches  No.1                                                                             Dec. 1998
Greetings and Salutations!

    Well, it's been a been a turbulent year for me, what with my big career change and all the subsequent upheaval.

    For those of you who haven't heard already, I left the incredible shrinking world of journalism after a decade of crazy hours and chump change. I finally reached the point (and age) in lie where I couldn't rationalize it to myself anymore, and the latest dispatches indicate I was right to get out — just in time, too.1
     Instead, I'm offering my services to the computer industry, which has a bright future. Thanks to recruiter Michael Svoboda at Consultis of Austin, I landed a job at pcorder.com, a new provider of electronic commerce ("e-commerce") platforms, doing research analysis for its online catalog. Really just glorified data entry, but hey, I liked it. I'd've liked it even more if the job had lasted the full four months of the contract.
    However, pcorder apparently overestimated the amount of work to be done. I was laid off for the first time in my life, and just two days before moving into an Austin apartment, instead of commuting 200 miles round-trip daily.
    For the next four months, I interviewed with a succession of Texas companies that didn't want to hire me because I "didn't have enough experience," an explanation especially ludicrous coming from an industry founded by goof-offs and college drop-outs, like Dell's Michael Dell, a Bronx-born punk who got rich doing what the experts said couldn't be done, and struts about it to this day.
    So I'm taking a "sabbatical," and taking technical courses to hasten my return to Austin.
    Merry Xmas, and next year in Austin,
1. For the latest egregious examples, see Ledbetter, James. "The Gang That Couldn't Write Straight." GQ Dec. 1998: 117+. See also Nocera, Joseph. "Family Plot." GQ June 1994: 71+.