Some of you may recall that in January I was planning to get  a job to supplement the shop’s income.   At the time I was looking at a company in Hershey, PA that needed “weekend workers”.  The company decided that they were only going to hire full-time people, and that opportunity  went away.
Since then, I’ve been searching around, submitting resumes, getting calls and emails from recruiters.  Some really interesting positions have been offered to me.. a lot of them for places 4-6 hours away.  I had one recruiter contact me in March with a position for Lockheed Martin that was really interesting.  The interview process went fairly well and things seemed promising.  After my interview with Lockheed Martin, they let me know a week later that their project has had quite a few delays and they probably won’t be filling the position until July or even August — however, they did feel I could handle the job and wanted to bring me on — they just couldn’t right now.
Then I stopped looking for a while because I started getting busy with the business.  Things started to peter out in June and I resumed the job hunt.  This time, I focused on  the more populated regions to the south of me.  I struck gold.
I got an email from a recruiter in Bethesda, MD concerning a job in Sterling, VA.  It was for a web hosting company, administering Linux and Solaris servers, as well as customer support.  The opening was for night shift — 3 to 4 nights each, giving me 36 to 48 hours and either a 3 or 4 day weekend.
Before we could begin, I was giving an online exam to complete in order to test my Linux knowledge.  I felt that I had done horrible on this, but passed with a 3.7 (out of 4.0) scoring higher than 98% of all other test-takers.  This is quite encouraging.
The next step was a trip to Bethesda to go over the position and my resume in detail.  My resume was then submitted to the hiring company and a phone screening was scheduled.
The phone screening was a combination interview and rapid-fire verbal test by one of their Linux administrators.  This went fairly well and within a couple of days, I was scheduled for a “personal interview” along with another exam in Sterling.  This was on Wednesday.
The exam consists of them breaking a server and giving you a series of administration/troubleshooting tasks to complete.  They allot up to 6 hours, most pass it in 2-3.  The fastest time on record was 45 minutes.  I completed it in 1 hour.  I was then asked if I wanted to try my hand at the Level III test.
The Level III test was much more complicated and took me around 5 hours to complete.  But.. I did complete it to their satisfaction, even if some of my work was a bit “basic”.
On Thursday I got a call that I needed to have one more interview with the IT Operations Director and we set this for Friday morning.  This interview was actually an interview where he basically tried to gauge my personality and determine if I was a good fit for the company.  He told me that he hadn’t discussed my test scores with any of my previous interviewers yet so he couldn’t make any decisions right then.  But he did say that “he liked me”.
Then it was on to Bethesda — we decided to preemptively fill out as much paperwork as we could since things looked like they were on the right track.  Then, on my drive home, I got the call.
I was hired — it was official.  I had the second fastest time on record for the Level II, and had done fairly well on the Level III test. This placed me in a junior level Tier III position.  I can start Wednesday (the 27th).
To top things off, I did find a room for rent in Sterling for an incredible price ($450/month) that is only 2 miles from where I’ll be working.  I don’t know if I have this apartment yet — I am going to call the guy again today to double check and then drive down this evening (he doesn’t get home till after 6pm).  As long as it isn’t a crack house or roach motel, I will go ahead and take it.  This way, I can bring my stuff down on Tuesday and spend the night for work on Wednesday.
Great times.


It happened on a Tuesday.  I’ve never gotten the hang of Tuesdays.
This Tuesday started out fairly simple.  Someone I knew was moving and had an air conditioner he no longer needed.  I was told I could have it for free if I got it myself.. otherwise, he would leave it behind.   Free is usually a good price to pay for a known working air conditioner, so I accepted.
Last evening, I drove to the house to pick up my purchase.  I pulled into the driveway and approached the house.  Little did I know, things were going to take an interesting turn.  As I walked towards the porch, three neighbors approached me and one asked me “what do you think you’re doing here?”.  When I told her I was here to meet someone, she told me “don’t move” and she started calling someone on her phone.
Apparently, rent has not been paid and the landlord has a) changed the locks, and b) told the neighbors (also his tenants) to call the cops if anyone came on the property and have them arrested for trespassing.  This was all revealed to me second hand as she talked to the Bedford police department.  During this phone call I considered my options.
I very calmly produced a business card from my wallet and handed it to her.  I told her that obviously the person I was coming to see no longer lived here.  I told her that neither her, nor her landlord had any authority to keep me here, and I was leaving.  If the cops actually did bother coming, all of my information was on the card and they can come visit me at my home.
Again I was told to stay “right where I was”.  She also kept saying that “she has to do what she was told.”  My response was that she had done what she was told — someone arrived, she called the cops.  I then got into my Jeep and prepared to leave.  At this point, three of them went and stood in the bottom of the driveway, blocking my exit.  I backed up to within a foot of them.  The one boy said “you’ll have to drive right over me”.  During this time, they blocked the driveway with their vehicle.
I had suspected it before, but know I was convinced.  These people were crazy.  They believed that they were obligated to be “enforcers” for their landlord, confronting random people (potentially violent people).  The lady told me that if she didn’t do this, she could “get in trouble”.
I was considering the second option, which was to drive around the house and use the back entrance.  I wasn’t concerned about potential arrest — pulling into an unmarked driveway to knock on a door is in my opinion, a non-offense.  I was concerned about waiting 40+ minutes for someone to arrive that could get them to move their car.
Around this point, the phone rang and it was the landlord.  Apparently, she had tried to call him earlier.  She told him that I had arrived, the cops had been called, and that I was wanting to leave.  I don’t know what the landlord said, but she immediately yelled at the driver to move the car out of the way and “to let him go”.   I then left.
I don’t know if the cops showed up or not, or what would have been said.  I have received no phone calls or visits.  I don’t actually consider myself a fugitive, but it makes for a great title.
I was curious and looked up PA trespassing laws.  Generally, it is a misdemeanor, unless accompanied by a felonious act (vandalism). Each section starts off with ” if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, …”.  Additionally (except for criminal trespasses), you have to receive communication to leave.  A defense for trespassing is: “the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.”
In my case, I  was invited by a tenant.  There were nothing posted against trespassing, and finally I was not asked to leave.  Rather, I was asked and then forced to remain.
This is why I don’t like Tuesdays.