Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Black Suit & A Gun

When I first started the job search in the new arena, I was expecting a huge rush of interest from the Washington DC area, followed closely by the Pharma density from PA to CT and of course San Diego, the birthplace of Computer Science meets Biological Science.

But that didn't happen. Initially it was Texas only; Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

Now, a month later the tide has turned yet again. The cities that seem most interested in me are (in increasing order of callback volume)

5) Boston
Not so surprising since Boston has always been a leader in the Bio-Computing arena. The problem I have with Boston is the white stuff that falls from the sky.

4) Phoenix
This was a surprise to me but apparently there is a considerable amount of clinical trial work here (maybe its an age-related demographic). I've always like the PHX area to visit, I wonder if I would like living in the "dry heat".

3) Las Vegas
Yeah, totally surpised me but LV has invested much in the bio-computing arena, apparently in an ongoing effort to balance out their ecomony. LV would be a good place since I like its 24-hour nature and most of CA friends now live there.

2) Atlanta
ATL's economy is so diverse its almost impossible to get your head around it all. CDC is headquartered here so they anchor a fairly big bio-computing community. The bonus to ATL would be an existing friend base and my folks are only 4 hours away.

1) Washington DC
These are all gov jobs, which is cool with me since I worked for the CIA, NSA, Army and Navy back in my 20's. When I recall all of the places I have worked (over 100, I'm a consultant) I think I enjoyed my time with the gov people the most. Sure the NSA polygraphers were not very humorous; I thought it was funny when they asked me "Do you have or have you ever had sex with an animal?" and I replied "Well, some of them have been a little wild, does that count?" But judging by the "Just yes or no, please" response I got, they were not amused. Once you get past that administrative detail, the people in the agencies are far from uptight and rigid, although they are hyperfocused on getting the job done.

So now I'm faced with many different agency opportunities, all of which have pretty good salaries and excellent bennies.

Of course the most important reason to consider these positions is that I think I would look good in a black suit and a gun.

It really is all about fashion.



Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

Funny...I'm strongly considering moving back to Dallas...wanna switch homes?

My take on 2+ years of Phoenix. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the weather - perfect most days. 3 months of absolutely brutal heat (everyone stays inside) 9 months of perfection - you can count the number of days it rains on one hand. NO BUGS - SOON TO BE NO SMOKING STATE. Fewer Republicans :)
The gay community is not oranized AT ALL - It has been difficult to meet people - My main circle of friends is still outside of the state.
The TRAFFIC IS HORRIFIC!!! I thought it would be better than Dallas - it's SOOOOOOOOO MUCH WORSE. They JUST started the rail system here and that will not impact the traffic in a positive way like it did in Dallas - poor routes.
People are much more relaxed here - not much emphasis on your black suit - you'd get a better reaction other places.
I love that I can be in shorts most days.
I have fewer allergy problems here.
Gas is more expensive here.
Groceries are cheaper.
People are not as nice.
Drivers are the worst in the nation.

Nothing but the truth!

Let me know if you're interested in buying my house :)

7:18 PM

Blogger Ryan Charisma said...


I vote for Phoenix. I love it there.

I come from Boston and I'll give you the quick and dirty.

Beautiful, clean city, Good looking guys, The gay community is clique and mean (esp. if you don't have oversized pecs), the general public will be nice to your face and judge you the minute you turn your back (esp. if you don't come from old money), you'll probably make the moste financially there, but rent is huge, food is moderate, the subway system is mediocre yet affordable, the city shuts down at 2am - you can't even get a pizza, gays can marry.

9:00 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Steve, the irony is that your comlaints about PHX are my complaints about DFW, particularly traffic - it took me 1 1.2 hours to go 18 miles yesterday. Not to mention the current ice-sleet-freezing rain situation, which usually happens twice a year. Or the now ubiquitous $500K townhome, which all look like McCondos and are slapped up in 2-3 months.

I think you'll be gone from PHX long before I know exactly where I'm headed. My guess now is that I will be either DC or ATL.

9:01 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Ryan, thanks for the LD on BOS. I've only been there a few times on business - liked it from a tourist's perspective but the cost of living reality is not offset by any pro-rated salaray increase (this is also true for NYC, unfortunately).

People were actually mean to my face, gay and straight alike, but they do this in DFW as well. But as in any city, these are people I would ignore, they deserve nothing more.

What I found oppressive about BOS, besides snow, was the intellectual snobbery - where you went to school and how much alphabet soup you carry with your name (which, as you pointed out, should scream old money).

9:10 AM

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

I saw a lot of change in the 15 years that I was in Dallas - it's not perfect, but the traffic is really much worse here...and growing worse all the time - there are so many people moving into the city and the roads can't keep up. As in Dallas, there are some areas of the city where condos/homes are pretty unique; however, most of the homes (like mine) look pretty much the same - stucco/tile - they're pretty, but there are a million of them.
I guess I miss some of the southern charm - the ability to be nice to people and them be nice to you without either wondering "what do you want". The crime is growing here too - lots of gangs moving in from California.
You could probably avoid a lot of this by living near where you work and living in Scottsdale, but be prepared to pay for that.
Seriously, let me know if you want to know more about the city - there are good and bad points and I'll share my point of view, which I think coincides with most.

8:02 PM

Blogger Jason said...

You worked for the CIA???
I think I must stop visiting here. You don't know me.


Good luck with choice. It's nice to be able to be selective. Black suit and Gun...that's hot.

8:04 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Exactly right Steve, no city will ever suit all of our needs, I guess its good if can cover a few of the most important.

Of course at my age the big factors will be the specific job and the cost of living. I'm afraid the traffic and crimje just come along with big coty living everywhere.

How is PHX's cultural scene?

9:39 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Jason, who? :)

It was just a 3-year gig, it was really amazing, particularly the people, they were surprisingly fun.

I'm glad its not just me that likes the black suit/gun thing :)

9:41 PM

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

The cultural scene is okay...a few museums, two major art walks, traveling broadway doesn't really compare to Ft.Worth or Dallas though. It's not bad...just different.
My nephew and his wife called me from Dallas tonight - they just moved there from here...they were excited about the flurries today :)

9:57 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Ah yes, the flurries were cool. The preceding 6 hours of freezing drizzle and sleet, not so much.

1:05 AM

Anonymous psylake` said...

Hmmmm. Why not Seattle? Lots of biotech, lots of 'pharmacoepidemiology' and Microsoft. Plus, lots of us gay ex-Texans up here (2 in my office alone).

11:38 PM

Blogger Jim said...

I dont know psylake, the Seattle area just doesnt seem interested in my resume.

9:49 AM


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