Yeah… I know. This is posted on Bloggle Central, too. But’s its a crossover kind of thing.
To make a long story short, for the last four months I’ve been living in a bed & breakfast inn in Waterbury, Vermont. It’s one of those, “the things we do for dream jobs” situations.
Now, how we get from there to here… well, that’s the rest of the story.
That scenario started about the same time that I started this weblog. The same rising tide that floated the blog phenom also created a lot of tempting opportunities to join one of the many upstart web consulting companies that were tooling the goldrush, and eventually I gave in to the temptation. I left my safe Fortune 500 web geek job [safe, really, only to the extent that any corporate gig is] and signed up with an established firm that had just created an Internet startup division.
It was great, for a year. And then the bubble burst. And suddenly I had a lot of free time on my hands. Nine months of free time. Time enough for a hobby. Maybe even two.
Coffee had always been something of a passion… discovering the denizens of alt.coffee fueled the flames, and led me to discover just how very little I really knew about the bean. And as I dug in further, I became fascinated. Oh sure, I had little enough else to do [save for sending out between 20 and 40 resumes every week] but the romance of the bean had me hooked. What’s more, I was [and am still] incredibly impressed with the people who gravitate to the coffee trade.
I soaked it up, all of it — the history and lore, the origins, the stories of beans and blends and machines of all sorts — and I connected with growers, and brokers and roasters, and a whole clan of folks just as smitten with the bean as me. And when I landed [finally!] that next Fortune 500 web geek job, I took coffee I’d roasted myself to work every day. And then I started taking extra to share. And then I couldn’t roast enough coffee to keep up!
Those same nine months that propelled me into coffee also gave me a lot of time to think about what I really wanted in my work life. I wanted to do something I was passionate about. To see the tangible results of my efforts. And I definitely wanted my work to reflect my personal values. In short, I wanted a job where I could do some good, and feel that I was making the world a better place. Turns out, that’s not what I found at the office every day. Far from it, in fact. I worked with some great people, mind you, but the company… not good.
So I set out on my Quixotic quest to combine my two passions — the online customer experience, and coffee — in an organization that lived up to its values, rather than just posting them on the wall.
The final result? I’m now a proud member of the web team at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, where I’m charged with designing and building a brand-spanking-new online customer experience. Which means my job consists of both optimizing our customer web site, and tasing a lot of coffee. [!] I get to vacate the bed and breakfast in a little less than two weeks to move into my new home, where I hope to reacquaint myself with my lovely bride of 15 years. [Note to the wise: don’t forget your 15 year anniversary… 1400 miles distance is apparently not an appropriate excuse.]
The moral of this story? Have a care what you wish for… especially if that wish suggests a company who’s values are pretty much unimpeachable, packed with people who are hugely respected in the industry, in a landscape that’s among the most beautiful I’ve seen anywhere. Only, it’s 1400 hundred miles away, and they have nine months of winter and 3 of rough sledding.
Ah… Vermont humor. It’s growing on me.