So I’ve been here (a little over) a week, and I guess we can say the relocation project is complete! I was offered a cool new job, negotiated my salary, found a place to live, decided how to use my relocation funds, figured out how to replace my husband’s student loans, and dealt with a rent increase. And moved! Now, we’re here. 🙂
I started the new job last Monday, and I love it! Because we’re a brand-new team, our first order of business is to create a plan for what our team is going to do (due by the end of the month) and then, well, we’re going to do it! In addition to my boss and myself, there are three more people coming. I was the only one who started this week. The other three start tomorrow. So I was really glad to have a week head-start, to get to know my manager, Lily, and our Associate Director, Grant.
My goal here is two-fold. Of course I want to really shine with this new program we’re implementing, but I also want to well-position myself to continue advancing my career. I’m hungry for it now. No time for nonsense! VW has a policy that you’re not eligible to apply for new jobs if you’ve been in your current job for less than a year. That is to say, in July 2016 I can move up again, and I certainly hope to.
I don’t want to rush things or make it seem like I’m disloyal to our cause, but within our team, our organization, I want to continue advancing. And this is a great team to do that with.
So yes, with the job, I’m happy!
The house is nice. I’m definitely glad I have the master room. Having my own bathroom in the room is super comfortable. My roommate lady, is well, fine. She’s a cat lady. She doesn’t work, so she’s home watching TV all day, but she’s not in the way at all. I’ve gotten back to cooking and I love it. I’m really happy Michael is here with me.
Let’s talk about New Jersey
Ummm… I think I was expecting this:
But really, it looks like this:
No, seriously. It’s beautiful. Maybe some parts of this state are terrible, but I haven’t seen them yet. Where I am, it’s all million dollar homes and old people, rolling hills and deer. I love it. I think Michael thought I was going to plop him in the middle of NYC, and well, he’s a small-town boy at heart, so he loves it here, too.
Unfortunately, one stereotype is all too true. People are very… cold here. It’s been a jarring transition for me. To me it feels like they’re really freakin rude–but I know they don’t mean to be. So I’m having a hard time telling if someone is actually rude, or when if they’re just Northern. I really can’t tell. But I know I’m spoiled, being from the South–where everyone is super nice and friendly all the time. It’s just… culturally different here.
So here are a few things that have been surprising here:
- It’s cold. Like, it’s in the 70s. This weather is basically winter where I come from. Haha! It’s actually cooler outside than it is in the house. In the summer. I mean, it’s nice but… I’m never going to make it through winter, am I?
- Someone at a counter said, “hello.” I said, “hi. How are you?” and the man was stunned by the question. “Huh?” “How are you?” I said, hesitantly. He stopped to think about it. “Oh. Huh. I guess I’m okay. A little tired.” Like, um, I guess no one says, “hi, how are you?” here.
- Waiters and waitresses don’t approach you and say, “hi, my name is Sue. Welcome to XX. What can I get you to drink?” Here, across the board, every last one of them approaches the table and says, “you all set?” IT’S SO BIZZARE. No hello, no welcome, no drink orders, no specials, no answering questions. Just, “you all set?”
- We get carded everywhere. I hadn’t been carded for a drink in NOLA since I was like, 15! Haha!
- Nothing is spicy. Just for fun now, we order the spicy everything, and well, it’s indistinguishable from non-spicy. Totally and utterly.
- We went to church and well, the Catholic community is small. Haha. I know New Orleans is an anomaly in that the population is overwhelming Catholic, it was just weird to walk into such a small space with ample parking this morning.
In the short term, we’ve been scouting out apartments for me to move to when my 6-month lease here is up. I really don’t want to keep paying $1275 if I can help it. We’ve already found one that’s only about 20 minutes away and is $990. But we’re going to keep looking at lots of options.
Also, over the next couple of weekends, before Michael goes home, we plan to take some day-trips or maybe overnight trips to nearby cities. We want to visit Boston, Philadelphia and DC. When he moves up here next year, we’ll definitely add Quebec, Toronto, and Niagara Falls to our list, too. They’re all so close!
And so the adventure continues…