I Killed The Elephant

20 months.
330 positions applied for.
19 interviews with 15 different companies.

The statistics are staggering – and depressing. When I walked out the front door of my last employer on October 22, 2010 I never dreamed my unemployment stint would last so long. What was novel and actually sort of fun in the beginning became a drag as the months stretched on. I used to write about my interviews here, but quit doing so when I realized that I apparently was jinxing myself because nobody ever called me back for a job. I love my parents, but get-togethers became stressful events. Though they never came out and said as much – wait, YES THEY DID – they weren’t too keen on having their fortysomething son moving back in with them. Naturally, I didn’t want to talk about my failed efforts to find work, and so my dad called the whole situation “the elephant in the room.”

Today, I am proud to say I killed the elephant.


Received the offer just after 8:00 this morning. It’s contingent on my passing a drug test, but I figure that’s just a formality. I’ll stay away from the poppy seed muffins until then.

And the meth.

He’s dead, baby!

The details, then? I’ll be the Sales & Marketing Coordinator for one of the nation’s largest independent music distributors. In my role, I’ll be working directly with record labels and helping to organize events like the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Pretty fun stuff, and right up my alley – I’ve mentioned my passion for music, particularly indie rock, in this blog many times in the past. I knew I’d aced the interview the moment I left; my excitement over the position was glaringly evident. The Senior VP even commented on that as we shook hands afterward. Plus, my experience was a perfect match for the job duties. I walked away feeling more hopeful than I had after any of my other interviews, and when a friend called that afternoon to tell me they were checking references it was all I could do not to tell the world. But again, I didn’t want to jinx anything. When I didn’t get a call yesterday, my faith slipped a tiny bit. And then my phone rang a few minutes after I came downstairs today, and I just knew.


Admittedly, the pay could be better. I won’t become rich working there, but I think I’ll be happy and might actually enjoy my job. Plus, there are always opportunities for raises and promotions. It’s a foot in the door and an excellent addition to my resume. I’m pretty excited!

They wanted me to come in and take the drug test right away, but as luck would have it Tara and I were headed up to Seattle for a visit with her family in an hour. Fortunately they were fine having me wait until we return on Thursday, but I know they’re anxious for me to start. The person currently in that position is leaving on July 13th, and they want to get me trained before then. I fully expect to be heading off to my new job next Monday.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my last few days of freedom. We’re planning a haunted hike in the Cascades tomorrow, and a nice dinner with the family. We’ll also try to hit the beach when we get back home, or do something fun downtown this weekend.

Here’s to new adventures!

And dead elephants.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

35 thoughts on “I Killed The Elephant

  1. *doing the happy dance*

    I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy and excited for you, Mark!

    What faaaaaaaaaabulous news!!!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I knew the perfect job would come up for you!

    They’re lucky to have you!

    Enjoy the rest of your freedom week, buddy!



  2. You go from $0 a year to a paycheck and cringe a little at it the salary for your new job? DUDE not cool! Meanwhile….CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Besides, its always easier to look for a new gig when you HAVE a gig to begin with. Wish me luck, I started the job hunt myself 🙂


  3. SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!! Congratulations! 🙂

    I’m also, admittedly a bit jealous. Getting to work with record labels and help organize SXSW? GAH.

    Now if I could get a job, I’d be happy.


    1. About the only thing better would be a job in the publishing industry. Maybe polishing Stephen King’s boots or something. I’m pretty jazzed! And I knew you of all people would be envious. 🙂


  4. Woohoo! Go Mark! I’m so excited for you! The job sounds really cool. I wish you the best! Seems like this year everything is falling into place for you! Time to celebrate with a voodoo donut!


    1. We were actually supposed to bring some Voodoo doughnuts north with us to share with the family today, but simply didn’t have the time. Too bad – what better way to celebrate than with a maple bacon bar??


  5. Yay for dead elephants!!

    I really am happy for you Mark. I know that it is a big relief and huge weight gone from your shoulders. I think it’s great that this is a job that you will truly enjoy!

    I am, however, going to miss the ‘during the week’ visits that you and Tara have taken but it’s something we can work around.

    Now go have a bloody-mary or margarita or something to celebrate only stay away from the benedryl….lol


    1. Thanks so much, Tracy! It’s been nice to be able to come up here whenever we felt like it, but the visits won’t stop – they’ll just happen over the weekends now. Or holidays.

      No Benadryl for me today, lol.


    1. Thanks, my friend! This is my 3rd job since SMC…can you believe it? Seems like a lifetime ago. I don’t miss some of the corporate politics, but the salary and bonuses were out of this world! Oh, and the Dec. 7th faxes were a hoot, too.


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