New Direction

My name is Rob, and I'm glad I didn't wear my suit. It seems as though for the last few weeks everything has gone my way. No matter how hard I try, I just can't manage to screw anything up. This sort of feeling doesn't happen very often in my life. This time I thought of a metaphor to help me express it - parallax.

Parallax error occurs in photography when the viewing angle for the photographer is different than that of the camera. You can witness this first-hand by holding your finger in front of your face and closing one eye, then the other. Notice the difference? Your finger is in the same spot but it appears to be in a different position because each of your eyes is viewing from a slightly different angle. When this phenomena occurs it can cause distortion in converging lines, and can cause real problems in stitching panoramic photos. In panoramic photography you alleviate this by rotating the lens in such a fashion that the no parallax point is always in the same point in space no matter what direction it's facing.

It would appear as though I've found my no parallax point. Everything is in perfect focus. There is zero distortion. No parallax. I'm managing to view everything from exactly the point of reference that's needed.

The focus ring came into alignment after I felt like I'd nailed a job interview on Wednesday. It happened despite a serious series of unfortunate events spanning more than 24 hours before hand.

I woke up Tuesday morning to the power at my place being out. It's not really an uncommon occurrence when you live in the sticks, but a pain in the ass nonetheless. I set off for work knowing I had a photo-shoot that day, and thinking the power would be back when I got home.

It wasn't. It wasn't to be back that day either. Awesome.

So let's make a list. I had no power. No water. No way to process the photos I took, and thusly no way to show them off at the interview. No way to charge my cell phone(read: alarm clock). No way to get a hair cut, or trim the beard. No A/C.

But, you know what I did have? Awesome friends who let me crash at their house. Problem solved.

There were another few minor snags. Like the fact that I only slept for 4 hours that night. And I forgot my dress shoes, so I left for the interview in my sneakers.  And that I used every minute of the two and a half hours I'd allotted myself for a drive that should only take an hour and 45 minutes.

No matter. I was bound and determined to impress the guy that was interviewing me. It helped a bit that my friends and family bombarded my cell phone with good luck's and you'll be awesome's and You got dis!

My head was held high as I entered the building, scanning the room for someone who looks like they might be looking for someone looking for them. I came up empty handed. The place was filled with people in suits playing with laptops. And people in casual clothes playing with laptops. And people wearing other things - playing with laptops.

As I reached the front of the building again, I see  this bearded guy covered in tattoos at the cash register. I didn't think anything of it at first. There was a pair of black thick rimmed glasses sitting on his nose. He was wearing flip flops, cargo shorts and a plaid short sleeve shirt with a messenger bag draped over his shoulder.

"Rob?" he says, as he turns toward me.

"Casey?" I say back. "Nice to meet you!"

"Holy shit, this is the guy that's interviewing me?" I thought to myself.

"Man! I'm glad I didn't wear my suit!" were the words that actually escaped my lips.

"Me too!" he chuckled, as he glances down at his nearly bare feet.  "I'd have felt really under-dressed if you had."

Check mark. 1 point for Rob.

During the course of the interview I got the impression that Casey was the sort of guy who could take a joke. I mentioned, off-hand, that I hacked off nearly two inches of beard that morning expecting that I'd be meeting with some corporate stiff who would look down on the artsy-fartsy photographer dressed as casually as could be.

This statement wasn't met with awkward laughter, nor genuine laughter. There was no witty retort. A distinct look of actual concern came across his face.

"Dude! I'm so sorry. I feel for your loss."

I couldn't help but chuckle at his reaction.

Check mark. 2 points for Rob.

We chatted for nearly an hour about what the job entailed, and my background in photography. He seemed genuinely impressed with my concert and landscape stuff.

Toward the end of the interview, he kept making inferences.

So, you'd start training on this day, if you get the job.

You'd be training under so-and-so, if you get the job.

Ya know, you'll have to take a drug test, if you get the job.

If you get the job.

Check mark. 3 points for Rob. What if? There's no if. I've got this on lock down!

I drove back to Huntsville feeling on top of the whole world. I knew I just nailed that interview. I just knew it. I was a better fit for this position than the other two guys. I didn't even know who they were, and I didn't care.

Fast-forwarding to Friday morning, I received a call from my contact at the company in Chicago offering me the job.

Elation doesn't begin to describe what I felt. I didn't know what to do. I texted everyone I could think to, and frantically paced around my house smiling and giggling for what must have been an hour or so.

The following weekend I spent nearly every waking moment, and a few non-waking moments with a lot of the people I care about most.

This story is a just a small part of life, and how well it's been going for me. It's been through no conscious effort on my account, either. I don't know if it's luck, or fate, or the stars aligning in my favor, or what, but I'm glad I didn't wear my suit. This path I've found myself on has me feeling happier than I have in quite some time.

Here's to continuing my journey down that path.