Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Beginnings

It has been a tough year.  Being laid off from my very good job was devastating.  Not getting a new job right away was crushing.  It wasn't until I was laid off one whole year to the date, that I was interviewing with yet another company, that I seen some hope for employment.  This has to count for something, right?  They say patience is a virtue and all things happen in God's time, well, I was getting desperate and growing weary of waiting for the right time.  One year to the date of my lay off, I was half way across the country, in a state I had never been before, interviewing for a company I had never heard of.  I sat there completely out of my comfort zone and tried to align my experience to the requirements of this all new position I was interviewing for.  The company was a blue collar factory, I was interviewing for the Quality Manager position.  I had no previous titled 'management' experience.  I had led teams and I was the president of several organizations when I was in college decades ago.  I was up front and honest, I had nothing to loose.  I was at the end of my rope.  Out of work for 1 whole year, out of unemployment, everything was running out, I was in need of a miracle.  I figured it was out of my hands, I did the best I could do and all I could do is wait.  My flights were all messed up returning home, and I ended up staying over night in Dulles, VA, on the airline's dime.  I finally got home on a saturday, to a huge snow storm.  What a finish to a crazy interview.  

I waited and waited.  Finally the phone rang and it was the golden offer of a real job.  With this last company I interviewed with, on the anniversary of the lay off date from my previous job.  We negotiated some things and other things were clarified for me and the real fun began.  I had 3 weeks to pack up my whole house, and move to New Mexico!  This was insane.  We packed and packed and got more boxes and packed and packed.  We did not get it all.  We packed up two 24 foot long moving trucks, loaded my little car on a trailer, packed up the pickup truck and headed west!  We gypsied across the country, sleeping in the trucks, eating peanut butter cheese crackers, and M&Ms.  We pulled out of the yard and hung the for sale sign as we left.  We left late Saturday night.  We only slept at the rest stops for a few hours a night and we arrived in New Mexico in the wee hours of the morning on a Tuesday.  It was a scary last ditch effort to make it into town.  We drove the last 1000 miles in one shot, only stopping for gas.  I was driving one of the big trucks by myself.  I did not have anyone to talk to in order to stay awake.  The last leg was tough.  We made our last stop in Santa Rosa, NM.  I do not remember driving from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque....not one bit of the drive.  Talk about scary! I want to go back to Santa Rosa or ever a little past that to see what all I sleep-drove through.  I do remember smelling a skunk but I have no recollection at all of that 200 miles.  We arrived safe and sound in one piece at the hotel.  We all showered and stretched out in the beds and caught a few hours sleep.  

After about three hours sleep we were all back up and at 'em.  We had to unload the moving trucks and get them returned.  One thing I did not realize about living in the dessert, is that it does not really rain, instead they have sand storms.  We unloaded all the trucks into a rental storage place and there was so much blowing sand you could not see!  It was terrible!  We managed to get everything squared away and secure.  Back to the hotel we went for another shower before we scouted around the small town south of Albuquerque.  

We arrived on a Tuesday, and I started work on Wednesday.  I was exhausted and excited all at the same time.  Work was going to be a challenge, I knew that from when I was there interviewing.  Adjusting to the 2 hour time difference has also been challenging.  I find I am up with the chickens and ready for bed by time the evening news comes on.  Also our favorite TV shows are on at strange hours out there!  So much to adjust too!!  The food, oh my, the food is also a serious adjustment.  This state throws green and or red chillies on everything - pizza, burgers, you name it they smother it.  The bread isle at the store had more kinds of tortillas than actual loaves of bread.  I had no idea there were so many different makers of tortillas!  All I will share with you all is that my body does not like green or red chillies....enough said....ugh.

We lived in the hotel for two months.  In that time we searched for a place to rent, hoped that our house would sell back home, and tried to adjust to living in this strange land of enchantment.  We found a house to rent, and we are now moved in, still settling in, but getting there.  Work is still as challenging as ever.  I have been there long enough to know the ropes, but now I have to get my arms around it all and make improvements and pick up what was ignored or forgotten about.  I like my work, I like my new position as a manager.  The folks that report to me are great people, each unique unto themselves, but dedicated to doing the right thing.  That is so important in my department.  I also have some wonderful co-workers and fellow managers.  They have mentored me and continue to teach me things. They let me fly on my own and sometimes I crash, but I deal with it and own it.  I look at everything that needs to be done and think - challenge accepted.  Now I hope I can get the cooperation to get some needed resources in to make things more efficient and better all around.  We shall see.

We are embarking on a whole new beginning.  I have a new job, in a new state, a chance to rebuild and start over.  A time to learn new things, and make new friends.  My son loves it out here.  It is uniquely beautiful, and nothing like I have ever seen before.  We have a lot of exploring to do and that means new topics to write about.  

The guy who we are renting our house from said I can have chicken here if I want them.  They would have a field day with all the ants and lizards here!  I am not sure if I am ready for chickens again.  I may wait and see how this positions with this company evolves.  How we fit into this state and some other factors.  There are a lot of chickens around here and I hear a rooster crowing every morning off in the distance.  I loved my chickens and I do feel a void without them, but we have to see how things pan out before we get that settled in out here.