Looking for a Josh Janicek

CEO: “How many pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter did we deliver to the NYC segment?”
Jeff: “Ummm, let me look.”
CEO: “…”
Jeff: “It looks like 8,475 were delivered.”
CEO: “WHAT?!? We don’t even have 8,000 unknowing recipients in our database to which to send our pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter, you ****ING MORON!!!” I added that last part, but given the nature of the conversation, it wouldn’t have shocked me in the slightest had he said it.
Jeff: “Oh. Hang on, let me double check.”
CEO: “…”
Jeff: “Ah. I accidentally transposed the NYC and LA numbers. We sent 4,938 pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter to the NYC segment.”
CEO: “That sounds better.”
Jeff: “Sorry about that.”
CEO: “I celebrate your ineptitude.”

The above was an actual conversation. And that was the day where the straw broke the camel’s back. Later that day I had a somewhat unrelated conversation with my boss where we collectively determined that the job I’d originally accepted had become non-existent.

I’d accepted a leadership position with this new company on March 10th, and put in my resignation with my former employer the same day. A week later, my soon-to-be employer was listed on Spamhaus. Without going into great detail, getting listed on Spamhaus is heart attack serious. Ask any reputable ESP and they’ll more than likely just respond with an, “Oh, fudge. Sorry.” And then they’ll hang up. Since I was going to be charged with heading up the email efforts of this company, I inquired about the Spamhaus listing and what needed to be done, even though I hadn’t even officially started working for the company. I was told that “the problem is currently being addressed.” The CEO called my cell phone at 8 a.m. the next morning, assuring me that the company had never been listed on Spamhaus before, and to not worry.

Prior to my start date, the company was removed from the Spamhaus blocklist.

After my second day with the company, they were listed on Spamhaus again.

For the remainder of my first week, there was no email to be sent because of the Spamhaus listing. No leads to generate for clients. Nothing for my staff or me to do other than look for “a band aid” so we could send email. I couldn’t find a “reputable” band aid because they all required our opt-in source(s). I even called in favors from friends in the industry: “The company’s on Spamhaus?! Fudge.

Since there was no work for the better part of the week, I was charged with reducing headcount. I barely knew the folks that were reporting to me and I had to reduce staff by 44% after my having been employed for only 5 days.

Since then, the company has employed a “don’t ask, don’t tell” email marketing service, and was working on outsourcing its sending servers overseas at the time where I left.

I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t adding value. I wasn’t at fault. I was fired. There wasn’t a fit and the company and I parted on amicable terms.

So, I’m looking for a new job. If you, or anyone you know is looking for a Josh Janicek, let me know.

The swing then and now

This video is from when we gave her the swing in July of 2008:
[flv width=”500″ height=”375″]http://www.maly.tv/video/20080727_swinging.flv[/flv]

And this is the video of her this evening, almost 2 years later:
[flv width=”500″ height=”375″]http://www.maly.tv/video/20100408_MalySwing.flv[/flv]

I just paid off our student loan in full

I just scheduled the final payment on our consolidated student loan. The loan will be paid in full on April 6th. Less than two years ago I took an inventory and hard look at our loan and put a plan of action into place to get rid of it.

My original plan was to pay off the balance in two years. Then I thought I’d pay it off in 18-months. To implement my plan I aggressively threw cash (cashed out a money market account, sold some stocks, applied a referral bonus) at the balance to put a good ding in the loan. I also moved us over to a high APY checking account, focused a little more on affiliate marketing, de-cluttered and sold some stuff around the house for extra money to apply to the loan’s balance. My most effective strategy was to just pay extra each month until it stung, and then pay even more, which helped to remind us to live below our means. At first I doubled the monthly payment. Then I tripled up. Quadrupled up. And finally I quintupled up on our student loan payment. There were a few months/scenarios (Christmas, medical expenses, etc.) during that two year period where I had to dial back, but I remained cognizant and vigilant in my plan.

It wasn’t until the balance got to the $5,000 mark where I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. And what a glorious light that was. Had I kept paying the monthly minimum, we would have been 47-years-old and have paid around $15,000 in interest by the time the loan was paid off.

For some reason it hasn’t set in yet. I don’t feel the liberation that I was expecting. Perhaps tomorrow. Or maybe on Tuesday when the loan will show a $0 balance. I guess I should just sit back in the meantime and calmly think about how I love it when a plan comes together!