As this year comes to a close in roughly 2 days time, It’s time to think back on what you’ve accomplished this year and if you’ve had the life you wanted to live… and it’s okay if you answer “no.”
My fiancé and I moved out here in December of 2017 right after Thanksgiving with our families, so I kind of count that as being in this past year in a way since we really started life out here in January when everything was settled in and ready to go.
This past year I’d like to say was a lesson. A lesson in really looking to what you want and what you hope to accomplish, and a lesson in not accepting a contract position with a terrible company while moving 2,900 miles away from home when that contract can end abruptly, anytime, and without warning. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.
I took a position with my company I was with in PA prior to moving to WA, knowing I would have to relocate because that’s what they wanted from me. I could have easily stayed in PA and worked remote for the entire time, but I (along with the primary contracting company) knew they wanted me out here on site with the company I was servicing. Fine, no harm done, the fiancé wanted to move out here and live in the PNW anyway at some point and what a better gateway than to go right then and there (after some planning of course.)
We got ready, packed, sent our stuff away in a POD to WA (which was late arriving, BTW to start the whole process off wrong and irritated) and took off to WA by car on Black Friday last year right after Thanksgiving. The hardest part for both of us was leaving our beloved pets behind with our parents. His puppet would have never made the trip with us, we had no room, and she wasn’t with us much longer after moving anyway. My cats… still with my mom at her home in NJ. She’s had them for about a year and a half now.. and that’s just too long. (More on the pets later in the story though.)
Fast forward to moving in, living and working: it took my fiancé FOREVER to find a job in the area. There’s something about this area that doesn’t seem to notice a good hard dedicated worker when they see one. It seems WA is afraid to take a chance on someone to just moved to the area, even if they have years and years of experience in different things and he wasn’t able to find a job until September. SEPTEMBER! You have got to be kidding me Washington. The saddest part is I think is that his old company (Panera) was looking for a manager right around the corner from us, and he was the GM back home in PA for Panera, and they never even called him. I knew that right there, that hurt him and his ego to pursue further. How can you pass up someone who knows the company, knows the business and doesn’t need training at all? The company made more work for themselves, and I hope it didn’t bite them in the ass. He even had a referral to the company from his old manager. If that doesn’t work, then I’m not sure what the problem with the company was. They passed on someone who knows the business and the background of the company and a great worker. That would have set me off right there.
From January-September, my fiancé was tough into the depression movement. He went to the doctor (finally!) for his medication and to be put back on what he was taking for depression before. I’m not an advocate for medication, but it’s what he wanted, so I wasn’t going to argue with him if he felt it would make him better. I was never in a relationship where someone had to take medication to just live day to day, and if someone needs to take meds to be with me and maintain a happy life, something’s wrong there… But it’s not an argument post right now. I was working my ass off, and he was working his ass off to try and find a job or change professions so we can still have time off together, and it was a rough half of the year. We had some great adventures and went out on date night still when we could, I was making enough for us to do so and paying everything I could. That’s when my depression started, I think.
August rolled around, and talks are my job were getting odd. Our project manager of our primary company sounded like she didn’t want to be on the project anymore. She paid less and less attention to our project, even though she was the head of it. She was never there to answer questions, and when she was, she was never there for me, but my co-worker instead. I would have to go through him to get most answers, as they were “best buds” it seemed. My direct manager at my company (I was a sub-contractor to this job) was getting much conflicting information about how the project was going forward, the primary contractor were nothing but “tattletales” and felt that they needed to know EVERY SINGLE THING that went on over here. I stopped going out to eat with them when they came over for the presentations quarterly we had to do – I just wasn’t into the company anymore. Just like they apparently weren’t into me either.
End of August comes around, and I was working my ass off to get things done, managed the photoshoot for the primary company since they didn’t have the “manpower hours to put into it anymore’ even though they knew LAST AUGUST they had planned to do the photoshoot. I executed it with PERFECTION. Absolute perfection, and it wasn’t even in my job description to take on projects like these because I was strictly content writing and marketing. Because I had the background in Photography, I offered to help and head the assignment. (I quickly found out from my direct supervisor, I shouldn’t have done that because there was no more compensation to go around for me when I took it on, and it was taking a lot of my time.) I also quickly learned that I was never really even ever given any praise for the tasks I completed.
Work had consumed me, I tried doing things my way to get them done, working with the people on the military base that I was supposed to, getting things done quickly, and there went the primary contractor sticking their nose into everything, trying to be a part and slowing the processes down that I had gotten down pat.
August 29, my direct supervisor called me and said, “Are you aware you aren’t on the contract going forward? I just found out 10 minutes ago, and I’m completely flabbergasted and furious with this company for not giving any notice to myself and you, the employee.” She and I have always been great, and she helped lend an ear when I was telling her about the things the primary contractor was doing wrong. She agreed with me 100% on all of the things and how they ran their business. Of course I didn’t know I wasn’t on the contract – it was supposed to renew THAT DAY and my on site co-worker had no idea either.
I burst into tears.
I had called my co-worker outside to talk to him because he had no idea about this either – even though he was the primary’s “best bud.” He was always my go-to because we were on the same company contract and he believed anything and everything I tried to do for the work and task at hand. The project manager on site for the primary had no idea even. Talk about communication problems, for being a communications company, I expect better. My supervisor wasn’t too impressed wither with my company – and she vowed to me that she would never have her company work with this contractor again because of their poor management and I completely agreed, and hoped she kept her word. I will never, and forever, never work for that company again, and remember to tell anyone and everyone I know about them and how poorly they treated me.
I moved 2,900 miles across the US for this position that was supposed to go until August 2019 and if I had waited; I wouldn’t have needed to spend the money of our families and stress of getting here. I wouldn’t have needed to have my fiancé leave his awesome Panera job back in PA and we would have been earning so much and have had a home by now. I feel as if everything was on me, and I did something wrong. I felt like I let down my fiancé, made him depressed and made him leave his home and life in PA we both loved so much.
But it wasn’t me – it was a pretentious lead project manager who is afraid of other women leaders stealing her thunder in the business because she wanted to be in charge and didn’t like the way I did things, even after agreeing to take on a project for THEM that they didn’t have the power to complete but it was part of their goals. I put all the leg work in – finding talent, volunteers, photographers, budgeting EVERYTHING. And I knew nothing about it going into it and it was praised over and over again by the chief of staff for completing it. Not to mention that I took 5 days of my life traveling to San Francisco for an event that we had to staff to talk about what we did for the military and when they told me I had no job, I wasn’t even paid back for the expenses incurred for that trip. Can you say “not organized?!”
Fast forward to now.
It’s now the end of December, and I have yet to find a job. I am having the same issues that my fiancé had in the beginning with finding a job. I fear unemployment will end soon (6 months in February…) and this is the longest I’ve ever been without a job. I have never had a problem finding a job than I am right here in WA, and I’m sure neither has the fiancé. He’s getting worried about his job because he knows he can sell cars (he got a job as a salesman for cars…) but the company was going through a re-vamp, and there is literally only one person a day coming into the show room – they’re not paying attention to their internet sales and putting money behind marketing to get people in.. and I cant help them if they wont hire me.
He thinks he’ll lose his job because he’s not selling, and honestly, how can the company expect someone to sell a car when they get 1-2 people in a day and the internet part of the company isn’t passing out internet generated leads? It’s unethical to let someone go because MANAGEMENT is piss poor at their job and not bringing in the leads they said they were going to. I try and tell him that it’s not his fault at all (because it’s not) and if the company lets him go because THEY don’t have their shit together, they’re going to have a lawsuit on their hands because I don’t take that shit. He’s a good hard worker and loves to help people, the company should to their job and start advertising more.
More depression ensues.
I’ve had about 17 interviews (no lie, I’ve had that many) and no offers. What’s wrong with me? Am I un-hire-able because I don’t have much time in WA still? Am I not desirable? But then I realized, it’s not me, it’s them. I AM highly desirable and highly motivated to work for any company that wants me and will do what I need to in order to have a job. I can’t even take a position online because it doesn’t pay more than unemployment right now… I need benefits and need to find a position before we get married in May so we can pay for things we need to for the wedding. It’s less than 5 months away and we have so much to purchase and get ready still and well, I cant if were scraping by just to afford rent and living in a place we thought we’d be staying forever.
Now there are talks of going back to the east coast in March before the wedding in order to make the best of it, but even going back home will be VERY costly. 3K just to get out of our lease we signed for another year, 4K for another moving POD if we want to keep the things we bought and own, and another 1K for hotel gas for 2 cars and time to get back to the east coast. And to be honest… I miss “home.” I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss knowing everything and living in my shitty little valley and being happy with my fiancé. Since here, and all the shit thats going on, it hasn’t been a very happy time or relationship, and it’s neither of our faults. Life decided to deal us a very crappy hand, and now we’re left to deal with it the best we can. If he loses his job, depression will ensue again for him, making it worse and we will have no choice but to go back to PA and stay there and try to move again when we have more money.
Thankfully though, through all this, I have him. We have each other, and he’s determined to not give up. I think that’s great, honestly, but if neither of us can find a job that will work for what we need, it’s not going to work here and we’re going to start marriage going into debt and I don’t want that for us.. I want a happy marriage and good times for everyone… even if that means going back home and being with those who love and support/supported us all this way. WA isn’t going anywhere, and I know we can make it work even if going back home then coming back. We have friends here that know what we want, can help us, and get us into a home once we make the money. Or we spend our life traveling the country and living how we want and loving each other.
So the answer to the question?
No. No it hasn’t been the best of years, we’ve made it work, but I fear it’s coming to a close in the place we like most because no on in WA is willing to take a chance on either of us when we are both great at our professions, respectively. No, it wasn’t the life we wanted to live. We’ve fought more, and hurt each other more, and I don’t want that for us when that’s not really who we are. We were happier in PA, while enjoying our friends and family together. I understand where he’s coming from, and why he does not want to give up on any of this we worked so hard for. But like I said, WA isn’t going anywhere – and neither are we for awhile. It might take some time, but I know whatever we choose, it’ll be the right thing.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?