"There's no easy way to say this.... the design hub is being move to Austin," our boss told my co-workers and I in a June meeting. I had been sitting in a desk all day, and had elected to stand during the meeting.
I wanted to crumple to the ground. Instead I buried my head in the filing cabinet next to me. Not this again. You see, last year, our company had the same conversation with us. Last year, I faced a bit of a career crisis.
I had moved to Florida in the February 2015 to take a newspaper job. I love page design, and after five years of customer service jobs and monotonous third-shift job, I was ready for something better paying and fun. So our family packed up and we went off to The Sunshine State. A few months into that job, the corporate moustaches announced that they were moving the page design part of the newspaper to their headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Should we stay or should we go? We prayed about it and in early Fall, when the company decided to reverse course and keep the design jobs in Florida, we were relieved. We still could have gone to Austin, but felt at that time that a move was the wrong choice to make.
After we put that to-move-or-not-to-move episode behind us, our son, who we knew was having development issues, was finally diagnosed with Koolen De Vries Syndrome. It's worth reading about, but it is a developmental delay and mild to moderate intellectual disability.
In hindsight, I'm glad we decided against that move, as having to find new doctors to keep monitoring him could have delayed the discovery of that diagnosis. It was stressful enough finding out that our child had special needs. Add being in a new place and a new job to that, and I probably would have exploded.
Also one benefit to not moving last year was getting more experience at my current job. Without an extra 11 months of work, I don't think I would have succeeded as much in a new environment.
However, the past has a way of repeating itself, even when you don't ask it to. The meeting we had in June that I spoke of at the beginning of this piece had no air of optimism about keeping our jobs. Last year, there was that faint chance that things could be reversed. Not this time.
I always had a feeling that our jobs would be moved to Austin at some point. I just didn't expect it this year.Thankfully, I left a good impression on the folks in Austin when I interviewed for that position that I didn't have to interview again, and ended up being offered more money than I would have gotten last year.
After our summer of prayer, my wife and I decided that moving was the best option for our family. For one, all of my son's specialists are in one city. Right now, my wife has to take Neil Flynn to Pensacola and Gainesville, all places nearly two hours away. Those drives can get tiresome when presented on a regular basis. So that's a benefit.
There are other benefits, such as a pay raise, living in a cool town (no beach but OMG retro video games abound!), but the one benefit will be living closer to my family. Especially my grandpa. He's 78 and has a history of bad health problems. He could conceivably die tomorrow. In Florida, they live 13 hours away. In Austin, they'd be 7 hours away. It's not like they'll be living next door, but we could see them on a weekend, or my family could meet us halfway, without me having to take time off of work. Austin is also only 13 hours away from Neil Flynn's godmother, and my podcasting co-host James Ryan.
Austin sounds really cool so far. I know there are some doubts, such as the financial hit we're taking to move again, but long-term I think we'll be better off.
I just hope I'm not writing this same article a year from now.
I was born in Texas. I might as well die there.