Job: Acquired

Plus: Why you shouldn’t keep your hotel room key in the same pocket as your phone.

Well, it’s finally happened.  After forty-five applications, twelve weeks, eleven interviews, five hotels, and five offers, I’ve finally accepted a full-time job.  And while I’m very thankful to have received so many nice options, I’ve got to say, job hunting kindof stinks.

If you’ve ever been jobless, you can probably relate to this.  For the past few months, my life has mostly consisted of hours upon hours of mindless internet job searches and lengthy, impersonal applications, punctuated only by the occasional nerve-racking interview or site visit.  Of course, traveling can be fun, especially when someone else is paying your way.  I had a blast traveling down to Austin, TX to interview with National Instruments (NI).  Those guys sure know how to make work fun.  They even paid for an extra day, giving me time to meet up with a good friend from college.

For me though, traveling gets old fast.  Fact: the word travel originates from the Middle English word travailen, which means “to toil.”  And my desire to toil was pretty much satisfied after my third on-site interview.  But of course, people in my line of work (electrical/mechanical engineering), don’t usually get job offers over the phone.  So to Indianapolis, IN I went for Dow AgroSciences.  To Austin, TX for NI.  To Kansas City, KS for Garmin.  To Waterloo, IA for John Deere.  And to St. Louis, MO for Boeing.

Now I’m psyched to say that after every on-site interview, I received an offer of employment.  So, five offers.  Pretty good offers, too (although sometimes that took a bit of negotiation).  And having so many options is great!  Awesome, even.  But it does make the decision-making process a little tougher.

However, after giving it a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve made up my mind.  So who did I choose?  Well, I suspect the image below will answer that:

John Deere 7530 Premium Series Tractor

Yes, I’m now employed by John Deere as an Engine Controls Applications Engineer.  I haven’t started work yet; that’ll happen on Dec. 6th.  But I’m already pretty excited.  I know, I know, they’re probably not going to let me drive the big tractors right away, but eventually.  🙂  For now, I’m keeping myself occupied by packing all my worldly posessions into surprisingly-expensive cardboard boxes.  I do hope the weather holds up next week, as I’ll be driving across I-90 in a big ol’ Penske truck.

Oh and I promised to address the issue of hotel keycards and cell phones.  Well, you probably know that most hotel keycards, like credit cards, have a magnetic stripe down one side which stores the data necessary to open your hotel room door.  You probably also know the this data can be rewritten by a specialized device which contains an electromagnet.  What you may not know is that these magnetic stripes come in two flavors: low-coercivity (LoCo) and high-coercivity (HiCo).  Credit cards normally use HiCo stripes, which last longer and can handle frequent use.  However, hotel keycards are rewritten so often that they are typically made with LoCo stripes.  The problem with low-coercivity stripes is that they’re susceptible to corruption by small magnets.

So why shouldn’t you put your keycard into the same pocket as your cell phone?  Well all phones contain at least one speaker of some kind, and all speakers contain magnets.  So if that speaker happens to get too close to your hotel keycard, it’s gonna wreak havoc with your card’s magnetic stripe.  I learned this the hard way a couple of months back.  So, keep hotel cards away from anything magnetic.  I’ve heard that even credit cards, if they get too close, can cause problems with hotel keys.  Who knew?

5 thoughts on “Job: Acquired”

  1. Hey man, I have been seeing your blog for a few weeks now. I’m pretty far away from U.S., but I know a little bit of English. Well, let’s cut to the chase, I’m happy that you’ve got a job.
    I hope that you’ll have time to write on your blog because I really like it, but, the same way, I don’t want you to loose your job.
    Anyway, I hope you like and stay in your job.

    1. Thanks Ricardo, I really appreciate that! I’m certainly going to keep posting, although I won’t have much time to do anything detailed for the next few weeks. Thanks again though!

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