Since I wrote part 1 – How I Landed My First IT Job in Hawaii, I thought I’d also show you how easy the second job fell into my lap. Unfortunately, it was like a bomb. Let me explain…
After I got the first job working for the spam king on Oahu, I stayed for something like a year. The guy was brilliant, and I learned a lot there. I also knew a lot and was rather cocky. After about 11 months of working with them I had disagreed with the king a bit too much I guess. Luckily I felt the woosh of air as the king’s axe took a big swing back in preparation for the wacking. I was already updating my resume online at all the big sites. The biggest site at the time was Monster.com, but I also found about 5 other big online nationwide jobs sites with jobs available in IT in Hawaii regularly.
The axe fell and Vern’s head rolled. I lost the job on the day before Thanksgiving. Ha! He gave me a couple thousand severance and also paid for unemployment with I needed for a month to get me through. Much appreciated.
I enjoyed the severance package, surfed a lot, rode my mountain bike a lot… hiked a lot. Swam a lot. At some point I got a response from the head of sales at Classic Resorts, on Maui. They needed a Marketing Manager. I was an internet marketing manager. They wanted to pay $50,000, I wanted $70K. They flew me over to interview and we worked it out at $60K.
I was introduced to the travel industry… room bookings, quotas, print publications, and the rest of it. It wasn’t a great fit for me, but I took the job thinking they’d realize that I was an INTERNET marketing manager – not a traditional marketing manager. My talents were in the IT world, and probably nothing else.
They did want an internet marketing plan drawn up – which I created for them. They had done virtually nothing online, so it was difficult to create the entire plan from A to Z. I did finish it and handed it in to be reviewed.
I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I recommended they spend about $70,000 quickly – to get on par with some of their competition that were already several leap-years ahead of them with internet marketing efforts (Sheraton, Hilton, Etc.).
They balked, and I bailed. I was there a total of maybe 7 months?
This was back in 2003. Companies, even big companies that were not Hilton or Sheraton, were having a lot of trouble coming to grips with giving up traditional marketing budgets and moving to internet ad budgets managed by their IT departments or newly hired internet marketing managers. Reluctance to change hurt a lot of companies – I would argue, this company had just screwed itself bigtime by not staying up with technology… with the way the world was moving. You can’t stop the world… you can only stop yourself from being competitive in it.
I might have stuck it out at Classic if I was happy to start with. I wasn’t.
Behind my leaving Classic Resorts were a couple of other factors.
1. The company was run by three partners. Two of them nice people, emotionally stable and “good people.” Then there was the other one, part-owner part emotionally unstable ogre. This guy had himself all in a tizzy over losing the beach to temporary erosion at the Ka’anapali Ali’i on Maui, one of their big properties. I hadn’t actually seen the beach yet – so I asked the head of sales if it might be a good idea to go take some photos of it. She agreed – and off I went.
Who did I meet coming up the walkway from the beach – as I headed toward it? This owner, of course. As near as I can remember, the conversation went something like…
“Hi J___!” Putting on my best smiley employee face.
“What are you doing? He asked, surrounded by 3-4 people that are a blur to me now.
“Going to look at the beach, and take some photos, I haven’t seen it yet.”
Are you out of your fucking mind?” He screamed, his face all contorted with a crazed, almost psychotic look.
Kids within 10 meters of us looked suddenly in shock, parents looked at him like he was a raging nut.
I didn’t know what to say…
He continued by asking me loudly, “WHY on earth did you think that would be a good idea?”
It popped right out of my mouth… “Lynn and I were talking about it and we thought it was a good idea.”
Ha! You could have thrown an egg on his nose, it would have fried brown before flaking off.
As you might have guessed, things kind of soured between me and the company after that. I had a sneaky feeling this one owner didn’t like me and Lynn was upset I brought her name into it.
Playing the corporate game – I was never any good! Ha!
2. The IT guy at Classic Resorts, his name… hmm, having trouble coming up with it. Ah, I can’t remember. Anyway, my first interaction with him went something like this…
“Hi Scott, my name is Vern, I was just hired as the marketing manager for Classic. Lynn told me you were the man with all the IT knowledge about the system.”
“When you have time, could we plan a short get together so you can tell me all I need to know about the network as a user? I also would like to get my Exchange Server stuff setup whenever you can help.”
Loudly and very agitated, “Yeah, uhm, why don’t you just do it yourself?” Click. Bzzzzzzzzzzz.
What the hell?!
Though at times I was actually able to talk to him as if he was a human being, most of the time I dared not. When I asked for some help from the head of sales I got nothing. “That’s how he is…”
Yeah, well, time for someone to make a command-decision and get rid of this looney-tune, isn’t it?
3. I got a phone call from an outrageously successful dotcom entrepreneur that was trying to start a business in Maui. I submitted my resignation with Classic Resorts after a couple of days of talking to him. He gave me a great offer and a great severance if things went sour. They did.
That’s the next IT job in Hawaii story. Warning – it’s also a horror-show.
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