Posted by Michelle on Feb 16, 2005 in Michelle
Follow along as I head up to Bristol CT to interview at ESPN as a technical producer. You can post comments on the very bottom of this page.
I’m doing this because I love to write and take photos, as a mini-tribute to all the cool ESPN.com writers who do cool running blogs (like the Sports Guy) and so my six year old daughter can see what Mommy is up to away from home. Oh and because this trip is just way cool.
Yes, this starts boring and mundane but it gets funnier… and imagine the people interviewing me reading it about the same time or after. Hilarious to me.
(I switched the order on this so it reads from start to finish)
Home, Tuesday morning
I’ve sent my resume to ESPN.com every year and this time, I finally struck pay dirt. They emailed me and we set up a phone interview and they liked me enough to ask me to come up on their tab. So today I begin that journey.
Got Hayley ready for school and she helped me pack some of my gear. It makes me happy to know she packed some of my stuff. I know Jeff aka Daddy will take good care of her but I miss her even right after dropping her off from school. I’m just not as good a person away from Jeff and Hayley.
RDU Airport, Tuesday 1pm
Waiting for this plane to take off. As I sit here, I feel like I’m contestant on American Idol and i got my yellow ticket to Hollywood. This is ESPN, I’m being called up for a tryout in the Show!
My new Zire PDA is a dream and I’ve got these sweet headphones that were a present from my brother-in-law Jay. Gotta play at little Usher, wishing Hayley was here dancing.
Somewhere over the East Coast, Tuesday 1:30ish
Some photos from the plane for Hayley.
Philly Airport, Tuesday 2:30pm
Thank goodness, my flight just continues to Hartford so no plane changing and no one was next to me on the way up. Hopefully I’ll sleep some on the way up, even if it is a 30 minute flight.
And thank goodness no one cared I was taking photos in the cockpit. I was afraid I’d be wrestled to the ground and strip searched.
Some highway between Hartford & Bristol CT Tuesday 4:00pm
Coming down the stairs at the airport, there was a man with a sign that said HILLISON. Took my luggage and headed out the door. My fellow flight passengers looked at me like I must be important (yes, I peaked with my excellent peripheral vision). Nice big car, doors opened for me, magazines to read. I felt like Mr. Big from Sex and the City, cruising around the Northeast. I thought about taking a photo but felt a bit goofy doing that and my cameras were in the back anyway.
Driving past ESPN was like a parking lot for satellite dishes. Low tan buildings sprawling with tons and ton huge white satellite dishes trailing along them, all over the place, big and small. My breath caught a bit.
Clarion Hotel, Bristol CT, Tuesday 5:30pm
I finally get online after such hassles with GuestWifi, the high speed wifi in the hotel.
I check email and see the ESPN HR guy has sent me an application at 11:30 am today to print and fill out. Well, not gonna work since I was already at the airport by 11:30. This trip is way cool and all but HR there is just not my speed. I’m a planner, I like to know where I’ll be in and when. Not knowing my flight details until 5:30pm Monday before leaving Tuesday was rough. And I’m also someone’s mom and wife, I have responsibilities and people who are affected by my actions. Give a girl a break please!
Clarion Hotel, Bristol CT, Tuesday 6:15pm
Room service baby. A nice cheeseburger and fries with some Mtn Dew. I had not eaten ALL DAY – with my goofy stomach, I didn’t risk it on the plane. So I was one hungry person!
Oh the hotel has a shuttle to and from ESPN twice an hour. Not too shabby.
Must get more caffeine before working on Host collegiate stuff tonight. Why doesn’t my spell check like the word ‘caffeine’? Is it subtly giving me advice? And why does this hotel only have vending machines on even floors (i’m on an odd floor). Is it working with my spell check to thwart my caffeine needs?
Clarion Hotel, Bristol CT, Tuesday 8:51pm
No one wants a photo of a can of dr. pepper and Hawaiian punch, so I’ll skip the photo.
I’m working. I know, most people go out of town to a hotel and don’t work but not me. Now that I’m working on Host’s collegiate sites and have the schedule I want, I didn’t want to duck out on a night I’m on duty. It means someone else has to cover it too and I’ve always hated those people to have something cool going on and want you to work while they have an experience of a lifetime.
So I’m posting SEC baseball roundups on the SEC site and waiting for the UK-USC game to end as well as one MAAC game (the UK-USC game is on ESPN – coindence???). It isn’t bad – just ‘watching the box’ for emails and posting them. They use the same content tool I use on my own site so I hope I don’t post about #15 Ole Miss win over Ark State here and my blog on the secsports.com site.
Talked to the hubby and little one. All is well. I know you are checking this and I love you both bunches.
Clarion Hotel, Bristol CT, Tuesday 11:05pm
Please UK-USC, finish soon. Thanks, me.
Clarion Hotel, Bristol CT, Wednesday 9:15am
Morning – on the pc again…
Can’t get HR guy at ESPN on the phone. Since I didn’t get their application until I got here, I’m trying to get this done and printed out. I typed it out and I’m sending to my husband to fax over. Might send it to the ESPN content people too as a backup. This is just a ton of crap, poor planning on their part.
I got a great night’s sleep eventho I woke up at 6:30am, wide awake. Once this application thing is over I can get some breakfast.
Clarion Hotel lobby, Bristol CT, Wednesday 12:10pm
My chronic obsession with being early (or ending up late), I’m down in the lobby way early, waiting for this shuttle to come to run me over. Hope the shuttle guy will let me dork out and take photos.
And I noticed that HR sent me the info packet for someone else – well it has someone else’s address in Colorado. Hope that doesn’t mean I have her schedule.
ESPN lobby, Bristol CT, Wednesday 12:25pm
I’m here at ESPN Building C. Lots of security gates and satellite dishes. Didn’t ask the shuttle guy to stop, he was busy and I didn’t want to screw up his time.
Michael, the HR fellow, is who is listed for me to call when I arrive on the sheet and he isn’t around. The security guy has no idea who Jason is and can’t get the phone system to figure it out either. I’m way early so I tell him to just let me wait some in case he is eating lunch. So I’m sitting on some furniture with cool sports fabric, taking photos and these notes.
I did see Len Pasquarelli and Pat Forde on the signin sheet here – that’s cool. I love Pasquarelli’s Tip Sheet. I took a photo of the log sheet with his name.
ESPN lobby, Bristol CT, Wednesday 12:35pm
OK, I have the security guy call Jason to let him know I’m here and I get a badge. Says he is coming down. I wait.
Five minutes later, another guy shows up to see Jason. We wait.
Five minutes later, a guy and girl show up to see Jason. We all wait.
You know that tension, four people sitting there in a square, not looking at each other. Y’all know I’m not like that, so I started talking … guess the southerner and sorority girl in me in me can’t not strike up a conversation. Michelle, Ken and Steve are the other people. Seems we are the first foursome of four to interview. Two flew in from CA and CO, one guy took a train from NYC. Some reported HR problems with late notice about flights and application stuff too. Everyone seemed nice and happy to talk some.
Jason finally comes down and welcomes us all, hooray!
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 1:00pm
We all head down a very nicely decorated hallway and drag our bags down the stairs into a conference room. Jason gives everyone a nice welcome speech and explains each of us will be in a room or office and the interview groups will rotate through each room. He also apologizes for any HR problems and explains they are swamped but not to worry, anything they really need can be done after the fact.
We go over everyone’s departure schedules and fan out to our rooms. I’ll stay in this conference room and ‘guard’ everyone’s gear. While I’m waiting I see the ESPN phone book and one section is the ‘Telephone Threat’ section – cracks me up but I know it is a necessary thing. When I was working at a TV station, they had tons of security issues. But it still gave me a chuckle.
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 1:20pm
Ok yeah, HR sent me someone else’s schedule. Great, I’m sure that will help me keep track of who all these people are. But luckily things started out well with the two very nice guys above. I’m not here to lie and I don’t need a job, so I’m answering honestly what I know and don’t. Besides, I didn’t apply for a specific job, I just sent my resume in. It is up to them to see if I fit what they want.
So I start out with the two guys above, Sujal and Pat (I’m not posting people’s last names because I don’t think that is really fair to people who didn’t ask for this.) They asked a lot of good questions. Interesting to see what I know and don’t know – and definitely fun to talk to engineers and producers who love sports as opposed to some of the situations I’ve dealt with.
They had seen the blog and we chuckled some about it. Nice fellows, we talked about blogs, photography and other stuff.
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 1:45pm
Brent was a very good guy to talk with about things. He took me through a day at work for him and talked a lot about how it is to work at ESPN and have a family – how they were very flexible. He asked some good questions and I felt like I had good answers.
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 2something
This one started off bad. He didn’t seem to understand UNC versus UNCW (the school that I help run a site for versus the school where I went for undergrad). I explained the UNC college system – although it is pretty much like many others.. And then he asked if UNCW played D1 ball. Uh yes, UNCW had been to the NCAA tournament several times recently, including upsetting no. 4 seeded Southern California in 2002 and then taking Maryland to the final minute when damn Drew Nicholas hit a three pointer to win. I thought these guys “knew sports”
But it went better after that. He is a nice fellow. Once we got going, it was a good interview.
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday later 2something
Karen was very interesting to talk to. Asked good questions, told me about some cool stuff she did at the Super Bowl. She had some NBA scoreboard and wanted me to explain to her how to execute it in production. I just could not grasp what she meant. I’m sure she thought she was being clear but I just didn’t get it because she seemed to have no grasp of sports. I certainly understand what variables go into a box score and understood about putting in code to not refresh data that doesn’t change. HELLO?
Then she informed me how she leaves for NYC every weekend. Boy that’s just what everyone considering moving to an area for a job wants to hear! Way to sell it!
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 3pm
ESPN conference room, Bristol CT, Wednesday 3:20pm
Jason came to talk to me. Asked me about what I’d do with engineers who knew sports instead of having to be that interface as I have in the past. We talked about feeds and how I’ve done stuff before. And the regular stuff about salary etc. I gave him my philosophy about not arguing about money with non-HR people and how it sucks to start out on that foot with someone you’ll work with. I work for people who I trust to give me a fair wage – places that want to screw their employees for every penny they can get aren’t for me.
And I told him to talk to Tim C. at iHigh who would give him as honest a view of me as there is. I think it is a testament that all my employers will give me a reference and I never left a job on bad terms. All the people who are my references I’ve worked with recently.