Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yet Another Transition: Boston Bound

When I first started working for Astadia a little over a year ago, I was grateful for having a job. As I became more competent and comfortable with the work, I knew I had made the right decision to go to work there. Not that there was a choice, remain homeless and jobless, vs having a job and a home, however temporary.

Then the news came that the client I worked for had decided not to renew their contract. Doubt entered my mind, old fears of shelters came back. And the shelter in Raleigh had changed. No more Mr. Nice Guys at the shelter, and only two weeks to find a job, if that much.

But the contract wouldn't end until the end of the year, and I had time. The client had chosen another company to provide support and I gave serious thought and considerable effort to getting a job there. It would mean a move to Pennsylvania, but I've never been afraid of moving to start or keep a job.

I did it first when moving from Denver to Omaha while working for US West. I took another chance when I took a job in Lynchburg, VA.That didn't work out as planned. I moved again to Blacksburg, VA to work for Dish Network.

I left that job voluntarily (burned out because of non-stop calls) and spent a few months jobless and homeless in Roanoke. Then came the opportunity to move to Raleigh. I had enough money to take a bus there, stayed in the shelter for a while before I found work with Sento.

I have stayed in Raleigh pretty much the whole time, except for when I was flush with cash from my accident settlement, and took a chance to travel around the country, creating videos that even now get hits on Youtube. But the money ran out, and instead of settling someplace else, I returned to Raleigh, where I was familiar with the lay of the land and the people in it.

So I'm no stranger to moving around. Moving to Pennsylvania made sense. I knew the client, I knew the systems and I could just slip right into the role.

Then I heard about a position with Astadia in Boston. I have to admit Boston appeals to me on so many levels. It's a big city, with professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football and hockey.  There's probably a soccer team there too.

Boston has a transit system that makes Raleigh look like it's using horses and buggies. It takes me 2 hours to get to work every morning and another 2 to get back home. In Boston, I hope to cut that in half.

And I have family in Massachusetts. It will be nice to see my daughter on a regular basis rather than once every few years. I think that's the biggest draw.

Another draw is the difference in pay. The Pennsylvania job gave me a preliminary offer of $11/hr, plus benefits. I was waiting on a final offer that might have equaled what I was currently making when I got wind that the Boston job was almost a certainty, just waiting for the approvals. I knew I'd make more in Boston, it was just a matter of how much more. Before I even got the Boston offer, I turned down the Pennsylvania offer.

I've spent the last month and a half getting the initial training in Raleigh, working the phones in a familiar setting before I go to Boston and the setting changes. I've looked into finding a place to live, but was waiting on a bonus from Astadia to make a firmer commitment.

I have that bonus. I have made a reservation on Amtrak to start heading to Boston a week from today, arriving a week from Sunday. I still do not have a permanent place to live, but then I've been living out of a motel for the last year, so for me to find someplace similar in the Boston area will be fairly easy.

And so we're back to the transition. I'm looking forward to it more than anything else in my life the last 3 years. Let the leaves fall where they may. I'm ready for change.