Dean Clough

October 2, 2021

Portico Darwin: Goodbye to All of That Special Edition

Today, October 2, will always be a big day for me.  For one, today, in London, is the day of our close friend Joanne Rutter's wedding.  What a catch!

But 10/2/19 is also the day I left TEECOM.  And 10/2/20 is the day I learned I finished second for a dream job at The Presidio.  So I am now 2 years to the day from the most humiliating experience of my adult life.  And missing out at The Presidio 1 year ago wasn't so great, either.

So yeah, today gets a Special Edition.  But maybe not the kind you think.  

First, it is a celebration of my wife.  When I was turned down by The Presidio one year ago, and after a solid year already of being very patient with my angst over TEECOM, my wife did an amazing thing.  She said - and this is a verbatim quote:

"You're officially retired.  I may work longer than you have, but I will never work harder than you have."

Yes, I had put in my time on various endeavors over the years.  But mind you, my wife had zero to do with me leaving TEECOM, and nothing about my departure was or is fair to her.  I was also 56 at the time.  Yet, that was her reaction.  You can see why I've clung on to this woman for dear life for 32 years now.

Second:  in this one year, we have traveled, and continue to travel, more than we ever have, or even dreamed.  During the worst global pandemic in a century, and during great strife just about everywhere else.  We are among the luckiest people around.   
Lastly:  my story at TEECOM is nasty and also complex.  Many of you know the story, but there is much more to it.  In fact, it is the details that have made it very hard to put behind me.  Specifically, not a day goes by where I still don't grind on the entire thing!

But I am moving on today, and I appreciate your patience as I put this out there.  Two years is enough.

"The signs of the end are the closure, not the end itself.”  That is from a mental health podcast I listen to.

Closure here comes from understanding I was blind to the failings of others - and my own - as they were occurring.

I did not see the warning signs at TEECOM, or more accurately, did not interpret them for what they were.  Tim K.  Edward H.  Steve.  Carolyn.  Others quitting or wanting to.  KW’s entire pig/toxic demeanor.  The NDA stuff.  The Principals’ Meeting and the Patrick Bell stuff.  Alex S. and not wanting to test big workstations.  No HR person for months.  KW directing me to change timesheets and overbill Facebook.  The whole CK thing and its handling.

These were the major signs I was not a fit and would eventually need to leave TEECOM, one way or another.  The signs of the bullshit to follow WAS the closure.   

But I was so happy to have landed there after 17 years with my own business and to have the position I did that I couldn't or wouldn't see the reality that was all around me.  Nor my own role.  I see most, maybe all of this, now.

Two years on, I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life.  I have the total freedom I have always sought, with my wife Julie and the family and friends I brag about here.  Dumping this TEECOM baggage in the dumpster where it belongs is the icing on my proverbial and Diamond Certified life's cake.


There's even a musical accompaniment to this.  Since this is about first signs, here is "Premiers Symptomes" by Air, just a 5 song EP but it's one my favorite records of all time.  Premiers symptomes is French for "first symptoms".

 Thank you for indulging me today.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.