On the Road Again

By now it should be common knowledge: I was laid off from my almost brand new job as Director of Business Development for Harte-Hanks. Only 48 days after starting, my boss called me in his office to let me know they didn’t need me any more. He cited my failure to improve the sales pipeline. In addition, he also blamed me for incorrectly responding to a vendor capabilities survey from one of their biggest clients. Both of these reasons are entirely bogus.

It’s simply ridiculous that he should expect results on the sales pipeline after only 48 days. I had only just finished writing a proposal to address it – which he hadn’t yet reviewed. Now, if after six months there was still no improvement in the overall sales landscape, then I agree I should have been held accountable. Business development was my job after all. But it does take time before you can see results.

The second excuse is equally unbelievable. On a Monday, merely 25 days after joining the company – and only five days after finally getting my own key to the office – I was asked by the VP of Operations to respond to a short survey from one of Harte-Hanks’ largest clients. I had all the necessary answers by Thursday morning; however, as I answered the questions that afternoon, the survey ballooned from 25 questions to over 200. Needless to say, we weren’t able to fully respond by the Friday deadline.

Now I can speculate about the political machinations that led to me becoming the scapegoat, but there really isn’t any point. I’m gone.

Unfortunately, the Hudson Valley area is very short of technology jobs, and the software development market here is almost nil. That means we’ll be moving: just when we’ve started getting involved in the Rhinebeck community. Someone else will have to pick up maintenance of the Rhinebeck Democrats Web site. The Wilderstein Estate will have to find another sucker, er, landscape volunteer to climb into the thorn bushes to prune them in preparation for winter. The Spot of Tea, the new British tea shop, will need to find someone else to eat all their crumpets, which don’t begin to compare to those from my friends at the Crumpet Shop in Seattle.

We haven’t yet determined where we’ll go. It all depends on where I’m able to get a job. Currently, we’re looking at southern New Hampshire, especially Nashua and Manchester. I’ll be attending the monthly Greater Nashua Software Entrepreneurs’ Group meeting next Tuesday. With luck I’ll make some contacts who can help me find a position. I also have a meeting with a local recruiter scheduled for that afternoon – a few decent contracts will go a long way to getting our feet back underneath us.

So if you, or someone you know, works for a software company that needs a new Director of Product Development, Engineering Manager, or Software Architect, please take a moment to review my generic cover letter and resume.