Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015: A Soul-Searching Odyssey, Part 4 -- Blizzards and Negotiations

When we last left me, I had just been contacted by Company B to interview with them.

I've interviewed with Company B on two other occasions -- in fact, one of my earliest blogs was about my 2011 job interview with them that ended rather bizarrely. I interviewed with Company B a second time in 2013. This time I was offered a job, but I didn't quite feel like it was the right opportunity, so I turned them down.

Now it's 2015 (apparently every two years I have a job interview with Company B). We set an interview date a week in advance. The Winter of 2015 began to grab hold of New England, and as Interview Day approaches it looks as though we're going to get a blizzard the afternoon of my interview. But nobody calls to reschedule the interview, so that afternoon I leave work and head to Worcester. I left early, taking into account potential rush-hour traffic and crappy weather, and I get to Worcester very early, so I have time to kill. By the time I pull into Company B headquarters, some light flurries are touching down.

Not sure if the person I interviewed with really liked me or simply wanted to get home before his car was buried in snow, but within 10 minutes he's offered me a job as Store Manager Trainee. And offered to pay me more money than I'm making at Company A. Outside of having to drive home in a blizzard, this day has gone better than my wildest dreams expected. And the next day, Company A calls me back and actually sweetens the pot by upping the offer by an extra $25 a week.

More money, a chance to return to Massachusetts. Seems like a no-brainer.

But it's not quite that simple. I do have a certain amount of loyalty to Company A. They saw potential in me and I've always appreciated that. I get along well with just about everybody here. It's always awkward going to a new company and learning new policies and procedures. My boss at Company A is a great boss, he's always backed me up, a couple of times even taking a bullet for me when I screwed something up.

So I sit down with my boss and explain to him that I have a job offer from Company B, and the benefits of that job offer. He talks to his boss. The three of us get on a conference call. It's kind of an awkward conversation. But they ask me if they can try and come up with a proposal that would allow me to stay with the company, and I say yes.

A couple of days later they get back to me. Unbeknownst to me, the day I approached my boss about the offer from Company A, the manager of another store in the district resigned to take a job in another industry. Suddenly, there's a manager opening at another store in Company A, not far from my old store in Marlboro. They offer to transfer me to that store. I can move back to Massachusetts.

But... pay raise.

Well, that kind of makes my decision for me. Yes, I understand their rationale. It's a smaller store. They've given me two large pay raises in a very short period of time -- my annual pay raise last November, and another one for transferring to a bigger store. Asking for a third raise is four months probably, well, unprecedented. Still, I have an opportunity to earn it somewhere else. I have to do what's best for me.

And so I give my notice. I offer to stay until the end of the month, for a variety of reasons (allows for a smoother transition with my successor, puts me in line to collect one final monthly bonus check). I never thought I would say this four moths earlier, I'm leaving Company A.

But I get a chance to move back to Massachusetts, be closer to friends and family, earn more money. It's a happy ending.

Except this isn't the end. Just when I was about to ride off into the sunset, there was a new development.

Stay tuned for Part 5: The Rest of the Story

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