Two-hundred and ninety-seven long days after he lost his aviation-tech job at San Jose’s airport, Kris Rowberry is finally finding salvation.

When he starts his new job on Monday moving and tracking supplies throughout Stanford University’s medical school, hospitals and clinics, the 25-year-old San Jose resident will be
the first of the three Pink Slip 2.0 participants followed by the Mercury News the past year to have escaped the jaws of joblessness.

And all it took, besides those never-ending days, was two reams of resume paper, lots of cold-calling, numerous dead-ends, and way too many sleepless nights.

“”I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Rowberry said Tuesday. “”After nine-and-a-half months of looking, I’m a little dazed. It’s like, is this really happening?”

When he starts his $17-an-hour swing shift, Rowberry leaves behind millions of fellow jobless Americans, many of them considered “”long-term unemployed” after being out of work
for more than six months. He also leaves behind software-test engineer Roopa Govindarajan and bookkeeper Elise Sandusky, the other two still-jobless participants in the newspaper’s series.

“”That’s awesome,” said Sandusky, when told about Rowberry’s news. “”Hopefully it’s a sign that things are turning for all three of us.”

Best of all, Rowberry’s getting a raise – he made about $13-an-hour in his former position.

Rowberry’s good fortune comes after months of wandering the same wilderness that his fellow pink-slippers have endured. Sandusky has sent out more than 2,000 resumes, most of them
online, without landing anything. Govindarajan, laid-off in January as a software test engineer, has been similarly frustrated by the bleak job market, although she said Tuesday that she has an interview scheduled for later this week. She’s hoping Rowberry’s good fortune
will rub off on her.

“”I’m so happy for Kris,” she said. “”This is a little ray of hope in a gloomy atmosphere. The fact that he’s found a job helps me become a little more hopeful.”

As part of the Pink Slip 2.0 series in print and online, we’ll check in with Rowberry once he’s settled in at his new job. And we’ll continue to follow Govindarajan and Sandusky in their job hunts for the rest of the year.

Rowberry said he’ll be working Monday through Friday out of Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital as part of the so-called “”patient equipment management systems” team,
which moves, cleans and inventories equipment around the campus.

Pam Miller-Smith, the call-center manager at Stanford University Medical Center who interviewed and lobbied for Rowberry, said that pending a background check, the new employee is set to go.

“”Kris first interviewed with me for more of a behind-the-scenes position, but he had such a great personality I didn’t want him locked up in the call center,” said Miller-Smith. “”We
thought he should be on the front lines, dealing with nurses and patients. He’ll be a great addition to our team.”


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  • SV_Tech.Worker

    Just read that Kris got a job at Stanford and for more $$. Congrats!!! This gives ‘hope’ to a lot of folks out there.

    The SJ Mercury article did not mention whether Kris got the job through networking, but that seems to be the new buzz word. It would be interesting to know whether that finally made a difference for Kris. Have been trying networking and its hard.

  • Judy Galloway

    Congrats! As someone who has been thru a few layoffs in her time, I know how demoralizing it can be when you are not working (and it looks like everybody else is!) Best of luck to Kris in his new work.

  • “Wait, you bought one?

    Why didn’t you build one out of cat5, stolen transeestahs and your cat’s hairballs?”

  • “For you, never.

    For others, it depends, what sort of equipment are we talking about? and what sort of “”interlocks””? there are cases where for (for example) adjustment, the equipment has to be operated with covers removed because if the covers are in place one can’t get at the adjustments, and if the equipment is unenergized one has no feedback on the adjustment.

    In short, for servicing by qualified personnel, is the only time interlocks should be overridden.

    In real life, I have seen equipment where the interlocks were apparently designed by lawyers (who had no idea how the machine worked) rather than engineers, resulting in a machine impractical to operate with the interlocks in place. But even in this case the interlocks should not be overridden, the machine should be returned to the manufacturer, or scrapped, and the manager who approved the purchase fired.”

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