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The move: March-May 2015

About two weeks later February was nearly over and I was sitting at my comfortable desk at the office where I work in Woburn when my phone rang. A lovely woman named Carol inquired, "Are you still looking for opportunities in Los Angeles?" My pulse doubled in an instant as I stood and considered closing my office door, instead walking out of my office toward the door to our suite. I replied, "yes, I am...just one moment as I get some privacy."

As I hustled to the lobby and toward another floor to ensure that I was not overheard, my mind reviewed the various other phone screen calls I have had over the years. The mistakes, the miss-steps, the small wins, the clever framing, the candid admissions. "Thank you for waiting for me. I'm in a better place to speak," I said, with a tinge of guilt to my employer, a long term friend and compatriot who knew of my stated desire to move to California.

Carol, the recruiter, was reassuring, impressed with my bonafides (to my surprise) and nurtured and tended to every concern I had about determining whether this was the position for me. When the call ended I was confident, but also convinced this would be another of the sought opportunities that would not result in a new job with me moving. Sure, she knew my state of residence and considered it to not be a problem. Sure she complimented the skills I had. But this was just silliness.

What followed were several multiple hour Skype interviews with a variety of individuals. My skills were interrogated closely. My experience was queried and questioned. I coded for them. I wrote simple database queries. I showed them how I might write a test case for a particular page in their application. After another four hour call for which I felt my post graduate experience had only just prepared me, I signed off to a smiling wife. "You ought to start thinking about how you're going to negotiate the offer." She was convinced one was imminent, so I had to come up with realistic responses in a negotiation.

But first there was the matter of the various costs.

A chaotic, lightly redacted, list of the things that needed to get done

Fix water damage in the front hall
Fix water damage in the bedroom
House has to be broom clean by May 14 for walk through
Rubbish removal
Turn off RCN (cable)
Find a trash removal company
Clear out/clean stuff that is going to friends
Send out new address
Smoke Certificate
Tony's License has expired - update to CA.
Kirstie to update license to CA
Buy plane tickets for final move
Scheduling a moving van/ moving date
Scheduling flights for the cats
Cat supplies for new home
Cat move considerations (research, planning, medications, pharmacy, etc.)
Vet records/assist
Get for flight certificates for the cats (needs to be within 10 days of traveling. Munny needs a distemper shot)
Need to pay water bill at town hall before we move
Price out the physical move
Price out airline tickets
Doctor records - Kirstie
Dental record - Kirstie
Doctor records - Tony (new pharmacy, updated persciption for all those move related flights)
Dental record -Tony
Insurance - Auto
Utilities - Start up LA
Utilities shut down Somerville
Update Insurance coverage and address - life
Update Insurance coverage and address - car
Mail forwarding at post office
Change Credit Card Addresses
Change Banking Addresses
Change address Credit card - Simmons
Bank 0f America
Find housing in LA (temp)
Come up with a list of housing needs.
Find long-term housing in LA
Buy new bed?
Land line phone?
Pack shoes - Kirstie
Pack shoes - Tony
Pack/sort basement
Clean up the hallway
Kirstie confirm that she can work from CA.
Sort out offers, pick one offer.
Accept offer
Fix wet spots/crack on walls
Notify Aveniros
Notify family
Post office change of address cards
Close safety deposit box
Update all bank
Get a real estate broker for house sale
Packing up/donating stuff
Price out moving the Jeep
Unit deed and Power of Attorney
Pay VIP balance for cats
Boxes/bubble wrap and tape
Pick a mover for May 13 ASAP
6D Condo document from Judy
Life Insurance
Build crates and get newspaper/ bedding
Gas dryer needs to be disconnected
Thank you gifts for Judy and Shelley
Complete VIP questions
Salem Five
Fire inspection

As you can see, there was much to be done before we could start our new life on the sunny left coast. But we had just shoveled about 22,500 cubic feet snow of snow in a matter of a few weeks. We're americans; we were nonplussed.

Estimated Costs

Cost Low Cost High
Airline Tickets $500 $1000
Pet transportation $500 $700
Mover - home goods $6500 $6800
Mover - car $1500 $1500
Totals $9000 $10000

Now I had a sense of what effort was going to be involved, and which of those items had an estimable cost. With that list of items that I could estimate costs around, I was able to think about the cost of relocation.

In summer-y

At the end I had an offer. Defy Media would cover the cost of my move. I fairly pestered them to speed over an offer letter to detail the opportunity. Having worked with the same people for 15 years, it was very sad and stressful giving my notice. But, as it turned out my employer matched the offer and made other accommodations that essentially allowed me to work from California. This was absolutely the best of all possible outcomes. I could continue working with people I enjoyed thoroughly and appreciated and with whom I was comfortable while escaping to a new adventure.

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