This is the post that I have been dreaming about writing. I have waited and waited (sometimes more patiently than other times) to be able to put an end to our recent drama. HOWEVER . . . unfortunately the story is continuing but just in a different way. If you are interested and want to hang on, then I give you the saga of the McNamee unemployment (has also been referred to as a soap opera if that is more to your liking):
Our story began on February 28th. I have to say that those first 2 weeks were rough, especially for Dave. I mean how could it not be – his ego, meaning and pride had been crushed. And of course there was the stress of how we would survive and what was next? Looking back, that stress was NOTHING compared to what was coming. Turns our the last 2 weeks around here have been the worst thus far.
We’ll jump ahead. Dave interviews with a company (we’ll call them company X) based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He does several phone interviews and they ultimately fly him out there. At about the same time he interviews with another company located in Orem (we’ll call them company A). He also does several phone interviews and then has a few in-person meetings as well. We received word back from both companies that they both want him and offers are coming. At that point we were pretty excited to think that our trial was nearly over (this is in late March/early April). And we couldn’t wait to hear these offers, decide which one would be a better fit and then ultimately play the offers against each other.
Three, very long, weeks go by and company A continues to tell us the offer is coming; there is some hold up in HR. Company X comes to us with an offer. The offer includes moving. Their first choice would be to Little Rock, their second choice to any other approved states. Let me explain. Company headquarters are in Little Rock, but they have about 15 other states where it is approved to work from home, or in offices they have located in those states. We ask them to give us the salary options for Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco, CA because those were the two closest locations. About 2 weeks later we learn that California is out of budget, so it is between Arizona and Arkansas. For about a week we think that Arkansas would be best, because that way Dave would be working in the actual office with his fellow co-workers. Of course it is extremely far away and, quite frankly, not near anything else :-). We begin looking for homes and quickly learn that basements do not exist (and very few 3-car garages). Uhm, where were we going to put our food storage, treadmill, many outdoor toys, etc. It just started to feel less and less ideal. We were still waiting for them to get back to us on the possibility of just staying put in Utah somehow (they had to talk to their legal dept and look into the details).
In the interim, we decide we better get the skinny on our current home. How much could we sell it for? Our neighbor happens to be one of the most successful real estate agents in the county and he prepared a very thorough and extensive report for us. The result: NOT good! I mean I knew the housing market was struggling, but had no idea. It was like getting a punch in the stomach finding out that all the money we put down on our house was completely gone. However, it is reality and we needed to know. And it dramatically changed our thoughts on moving.
So here we were. Still waiting for Company A’s offer, knowing accepting company X’s offer means a move, and not being sure our house would sell for enough. Like I said, the first 2 weeks of stress were nothing.
FINALLY we get word from company A. Unfortunately, because of the tsunami in Japan they had put a freeze on hiring. They do a lot of business with Japan and were being overly cautious. Naturally, we were extremely frustrated that it had taken them nearly a month to tell us this (also, of course was sad for those folks in Japan, but never thought their tragedy would effect me personally). They were upset about it as well. But at least we had an answer — company X it was.
We had heard back from them that there would be no way for us to stay in Utah and have him work, so we knew were facing a move . . . . well, there was one other bit of interesting information. Along with the initial offer, they also included a 6 month contracting offer. Basically, Dave would just be hired as a contractor and could stay put for 6 months. We did not want to go down that road again (remember Dave was self-employed 2 years ago and although it worked out well for us, it is not ideal), because we were both excited to be working for a big, successful company. A company who has awesome benefits, and is relatively low-risk. We tucked that option away just in case, but weren’t really interested. I have to interject a very clear memory here. On a Thursday morning, I was getting the kiddos ready. Dave comes in with a piece of paper. This piece of paper was the written offer. I read through it and I absolutely knew that this was right. I remember the feeling I had — it was a bit of relief mixed with peace mixed with fear :-)! But holding that paper felt like holding the answer.
And then the details started to swirl around my head. Moving? What? Where to? How? What about X, Y, & Z? It was too much and I broke down. But in the midst of crying, I knew it was right.
Oh…..just when the story sounds like it is coming to an end, nope! Enter company A again. One day out of the blue we get a call from one of the people Dave had met with originally. There was a much higher level position open and they thought Dave would be a great fit (it was not part of the hiring freeze). Of course Dave reminded them of what we had been through with them and that he was not interested in another long wait especially because we had this other offer we were required to accept within the next 5 days. They arranged some phone interviews for Friday – once again they loved Dave and told him he was the perfect fit. Dave felt the same way – he really wanted this job! We had until late Monday morning to respond to company X and company A said they understood and would get back to us ASAP! That was over 2 weeks ago (are you beginning to see a pattern here).
No word from company A meant we accepted company X’s offer and told them we would relocate to Phoenix. And so began the house hunt. Of course there was still the unknowns —- would our house sell, would we have to rent it, should we rent in Arizona and plan on moving again when we could buy, where would be the best place for our kids ? ? ? It was a lot but I wrapped my brain around it and starting deciding what stuff we would give away, leave behind and sell. I was planning out how in the world I would keep my house clean enough to show it. And I was working through all the details of finding new schools, doctors, and all the details of normal life.
At this point we weren’t telling a whole lot of people because we were still holding out hope for company A (and because it is quite a confusing story to tell). That was Dave’s #1 choice and of course would mean we wouldn’t have to move (just that Dave would have a one hour commute each way every day). We spent last week looking at houses, researching Arizona and spending lots of time on Googlemaps. Then comes Fast Sunday. I knew that I needed some sort of answer about what we were doing. This was a MAJOR life change and decision and I didn’t want it to be the wrong one. Sunday was awful. The kids were extra rowdy and loud before church which made Dave and I extra ornery. Audra was a pill during Sacrament Mtg and I ended up taking her home afterwards for a nap, so I didn’t even get to attend the one place I really felt like I needed to be on that day.
Dave and I ended up talking quite a bit about EVERYTHING this move entailed and we weren’t so sure it was the right thing after all. With a start date of May 9th, we had to let the company know ASAP if there were changes. On Monday morning we decided that taking the contracting job would be the best. At least then we could have some income while we continued down this road.
So . . . . . as much as I wanted this story to have an ending, it doesn’t. It has a ….TO BE CONTINUED …. For now we are staying while Dave works as a contractor for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months he can either sign on as a full-time employee with company X and we will move, or we will have found something else.
If you are still with me, then I think you’ll see how up and down this has been. And this isn’t even the entire/full story, just the key points. And if you are still reading, you probably care enough to stick with us and find out if this story ever comes to an end!