Back in the Saddle, Again

Rich Durbin Rich Durbin
January 24, 2011
Company News , User Experience Design

So, I’m the “New Cuber” at Roundedcube. It’s been 2 months and I’m starting to find my groove. It’s late in the evening and sitting here by myself has me thinking back 13 years.

I started working as a production artist in a small agency in downtown St. Louis. It was an interactive agency (“Interactive” being a big buzz word back then) on the top floor, the 19th floor to be exact. We could see into the old Busch Stadium (the old stadium of the St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball team). The office space had curved, multi-colored walls, bean bag chairs in the conference rooms, and a roof-top bar for the occasional happy hour.

I took the Metro Link into downtown and walked the three blocks it dropped me from my building. During the rain and snow, I learned a route that took me under overhangs as much as possible. I wasn’t one to carry an umbrella.

We had big name clients (especially some of the big players in St. Louis), demanding work loads, and some really talented people. Under the tutelage of these talented people, I worked my way up to Web Designer and was doing some decent work for those big name clients. It was a good job for a young professional, a year to two out of school, and not yet married but with the girl of his dreams.

But it was not to last, the job that is. After 10 months, a colleague moved on to a small start-up company that was a growing hosting and software business. Yes, it was 1999 and they were an internet company and business was good. He became the 25th employee and lured me to becoming the 26th employee. By the end of 2001, the business grew to over 100 employees and was acquired by a larger company. And then POP! – The bubble burst.

With the knowledge and experience I gained, I spent the next several years in corporate settings as a user interface designer, a senior media designer, and the manager of a creative services team.

As 2009 came to a close, I found myself without a job. Not a good thing when the economy is soft and the job market is saturated. For the next 10 months I would do what I could to land permanent employment, while taking freelance projects here and there and even the occasional odd job. I think my uncle’s rental house turned out really nice.

It ends up; one of those freelance projects was for Roundedcube. It was a contract to hire gig that turned out to be more like a contract to wait and see deal. But hey, good things come to those who wait, right?

Well, I’m now part of the team at Roundedcube. The walls are multi-colored, there’s a lime green couch at the front desk, glass panels are set-off from the wall for whiteboards, the president brings his dogs to work, and I can neither confirm or deny there is a ping-pong table in one of the meeting rooms.

I’m back concentrating on web design, doing a little front-end development, using content management systems, and best of all working with some really talented people, who happen to be some really great people.

It’s good to be back in the saddle, again.

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