Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Search of Place

Where do you like to be creative?  What does one do to find a spark?  Even though I just starting blogging, and recently took a little hiatus, I have been really happy to talk about getting back into writing!  As I stated in my first post, there are so many topics that I want to explore.  Some experiences were jaw dropping.   And so far I haven’t needed to find a place to inspire my writing.  I have written in my kitchen, at the airline gate, once was at my desk at work over a conference call that I didn’t need to be on (sh, don’t say anything), and now I find myself at one of the coffee shops in my neighborhood I’ve been wanting to visit.  (The peppermint tea here is really impressive!)

“Place” isn’t just a spot where I rip a blog, of course.  In my professional life, I like to be surrounded by a bit of familiarly, creativity, and like-minded folks—as I am sure many of you do.  Working at EP was enriching for some of that for me.  But, like I said, I found myself needing to push the industry forward and advocacy alone was not going to fulfill my goal. 

I found myself on Amtrak heading from NYC to Baltimore for an interview with a roofing company.  I was answering an ad for a horticultural professional who had some experience with green roofs.  That sounded cool, I seemed qualified.   A guy who looked a bit like Wilford Brimley was standing near a silver truck with a ladder in the parking lot once I arrived.  This must be the guy.  Actually, he wasn’t the guy I was interviewing with, he was just “doing his boss a favor” by picking me up.  

When I walked into the Magco building for the first time, I thought, “Well, so this is what a roofing company looks like, huh.”  I noticed steel partitioned cubicles, large drafting tables with large plans stacked on top, bulky computer monitors and wires openly exposed.  The floors were cool- it was painted concrete and the duct work was exposed in the ceiling.  I didn’t see people- and I saw that as a good sign- they must be out roofing, estimating, and managing some very important projects.  My future boss’s office was huge, with large windows.  File cabinets lined the walls, and there was actually a jade plant in the window.  (Hey, I notice these things.)

This is where I met Mark Gaulin, with a serious and commanding personality, yet easy to talk to.  The interview seemed fairly standard and I thought it was going well until he asked how many green roofs I had installed.  I said, “A few. Maybe 5-7 that I had an active hand in, but that seems to be about as much experience anyone has in this emerging field.”  Come to find out, Magco had only put down 2 or 3, so I was on point.

This was a good fit for me and Magco.  They had some green jobs booked for the spring and had maintenance planned in the DC area. Magco had equipment, crews, and insurance – and knew how to get jobs done safely on the roof.  That meant more green roof acres for me!  And, they were part of some larger organization beyond the Mid-Atlantic.  Mark didn’t promise me a national scope, but suggested there may be some travel from time to time.  That was very enticing!  

In search of a new professional place, I may have to give up my beloved NYC personal place.  But, it was the decision I had to make. 

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