Today is officially one year of working at my job. I can’t even begin to explain the range of emotions I had leading up to my job and my first week of work, so instead I’ll just tell you what happened.
I interviewed for my job in December, while I was still living in Wisconsin. I had done an initial phone screening with the recruiter and was convinced he hated me. He was short with me and was very vocal about his dislike over even interviewing me since I didn’t already live in the Bay Area. I was also interviewing for another position at the time in the city and wanted a job downtown anyhow, so I dismissed it. The recruiter of the second job also did a phone screening and loved me and wanted to get me in front of their hiring manager ASAP. As the week went on that recruiter didn’t call me back. I finally followed up with her and learned that the hiring manager didn’t feel my bovine industry background would be relevant in the tech industry. I couldn’t really defend that.
Because my first choice job fell through I entertained having a second interview. This time my interview was with my future boss, not the recruiter that hated me. She was very casual and asked a lot of questions. I was trying hard to feign excitement for the position and weigh out the pros of working there. My biggest hesitation was that I would no longer be heading up the training department, even though I’d now be holding a manager title. And, I wouldn’t be working in the city, but rather commuting 40 miles one way for the job.
I guess my future boss was impressed with me and really wanted me to continue on in the interview process. I somehow convinced the recruiter that since my job would be to work with the sales team, who were all remote, that a Skype interview would be a good test of how I come across in a virtual environment. Really, it was because it was approaching Christmas and I already had plans to go to Vegas and Colorado between Christmas and New Year’s, immediately followed up with a work trip to Nebraska. How would I be able to fit San Francisco in there and afford the inflated holiday airfare costs?
For my interview I had planned to go into a conference room at my current employer’s. As fate would have it we ended up with a blizzard that day and our office was closed. It was a good thing, too, because I ended up spending four hours interviewing . Their computer audio didn’t seem to be working, so it ended up being Skype video on a computer they set up in a conference room and then audio on a speaker phone. I interviewed with the recruiter, the recruiter’s assistant, my future boss, my future boss’s boss, a superior that was in the same department, and the VP of Client Marketing. It was a long day, but as the day went on my excitement over the job grew. Or at least until my last interview. My final interview was with the VP of Sales Operations (my boss’s boss) and he seemed even less interested in me than the recruiter was. He asked me tough questions, seemed distant, and never smiled. My heart sank as we were winding up the call. When we finished we hung up the Skype portion, but I had forgotten that we did the audio portion separately on the phone. A couple seconds after I ended Skype I grabbed my phone to hang up…just as the VP said to the recruiter: “Hire her!” I immediately hung up the phone in fear they’d realize I had still been on the line and had blown my chances. I raced downstairs and told my KISA the news.
As we were out in Colorado I finally got the official job offer. I couldn’t get the extra week of vacation I wanted and instead negotiated for more pay. We had officially decided that I would start on January 22, 2013, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. day, since it was a holiday for them. I then started working backwards on the dates: if I started the 22nd I’d need to be out there the 20th or 21st. I’d need to give at least two weeks’ notice to finish up my work at my present job. I had a work trip to Nebraska I would be leaving for on January 1st from my vacation in Colorado for the remainder of that week. Oh, shit. I realized my next day in the office I’d have to put in my resignation and move in less than 2 weeks.
On January 7th I put in my resignation at my job and also got our house listed on the market. It was now becoming a race against the clock. We wanted to go back to my hometown at least once to see my family before I left. We needed to figure out how we were moving our stuff out there. I needed to book a flight out to San Francisco. I needed to find a rental car and a hotel to stay at while I looked for a place for us to live. I was in charge of finding us a house out there until my KISA could join me at the end of the month, so I started researching apartments. I had so many loose ends to up wrap up that I started to panic. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for a cross country move. The day before I left I went through all my things and packed everything in boxes. I also packed a checked bag of things I’d need for an indefinite amount of time. When I left I never expected it to be the last time I’d ever walk in our house.
Thankfully our house sold in four days, so the biggest hurdle was taken care of. I planned my return flight for February 1st and my work had agreed to give me time off while my KISA and I finished packing up the house and driving cross country with a U-Haul and our car. I was also going to sign the closing papers in advance and have everything taken care of. I was actually excited and looking forward to the drive cross country as I’d never done that before.
The evening between my second and third day at work I got a call in the middle of the night from my KISA. He’d gotten into an accident with my car. Thankfully he was ok besides a mild concussion and some stitches. The car was less than ok. I spent the next few days looking for an apartment, getting our credit information, bank stubs, and my offer letter in line, and dealing with the insurance company as well as the car repair shop. They determined that my car was totaled and not salvageable. I was crushed. I traded in my return flight ticket for one for my KISA to fly out, realizing I wasn’t going to get to officially say goodbye to my family. The only reason we’d planned the cross country trip was because of the car, which we no longer had. We started researching moving companies and opted to have a moving company take care of loading, moving, and unloading our furniture. And, that was the end of my first week at work.
When my KISA got off the plane on February 1st he had a suitcase with our air mattress, blankets, and a couple of pillows. I met him at the BART stop and walked with him with our keys in hand to our new apartment. We had four days until the movers would come with our stuff, so we planned to camp in our apartment as we began our life in San Francisco.