Saturday, May 21, 2011

When it rains, it pours...

Okay, so after nearly a year and a half of not having a job, I got a job offer as an executive assistant for a couple  who teach leadership and communication skills along with team building to corporations and other high-profile clients.  They've been doing this work for 18 years and they're very successful.  They've authored several books and run workshops all over the country, internationally, and over the internet as well.  I can't even begin to guess how high their IQ's are, they are both brilliant though the wife seems somewhat smarter than the husband.  Either that or he is hiding it. They run the business from their home, where they live with their daughter.  

When I applied for the job, it was almost an afterthought.  I normally do my applying from jobs listed on Career builder, USA jobs, and the Colorado Workforce websites.  Now and again I won't have enough applications in for the week from those sources (I have to have five contacts per week) so then I will check places like LinkedIn and Monster.  This particular job was posted on Monster, and this was the last day that applications were being accepted.  I hurried and sent in my resume and the very next day I got a  call requesting an interview.

I went to the interview and I thought it went pretty well.  I found out that there were about 300 applicants for the job.  (From what I've seen this go-round, that's typical.)   Anyway, they weren't interviewing many people.  And they actually needed someone in the position several months earlier but they hadn't had time to go through the process of getting the position filled.  They still didn't have the time, but they had gotten to the point of desperation.  I let them know that I had another interview in one week, a second interview with CU, and they assured me that they would let me know before that time if I was successful.

A day before my CU interview, the man called me.  He told me that although his wife liked me, he liked someone else a little more and his judgement prevailed.  I was a little discouraged, but I figured I would just go to my interview with CU the next day and do my best.  I was a little worried about that one because I didn't think that they would offer what I was asking, but I figured the interview would be a good experience and I liked the woman who was the hiring manager there.

The CU interview on Friday was actually three interviews in one: the first with the hiring manager, the second with HER boss, and the third with another person who would also be someone I would support.  All three of the interviews were pleasant and I enjoyed them.  Afterwards I drove over to Gary's office and we went to lunch together so I got a bonus date out of it.

On Monday I was doing some shopping at Office Max and I got a phone call.  It was the husband/wife team from the job that turned me down. They wanted me to start immediately since their first choice hadn't worked out, and they offered me $2 more per hour than I had asked.  I had scheduled a vacation with Gary the weekend coming up so I wouldn't be working the full week (or the full week after that) but they wanted me to work as much as possible up till then.

After my trip, I returned to work (I brought some little souvenirs for the family) and on Thursday, about 10:00, I got a phone call on my cell, which I went outside to take.  It was CU, and guess what?  I was offered the job at the university.  They didn't offer as much per hour as the job with the husband/wife team, but there are a lot of other perks.  First of all, they offered a tad more than my original asking amount.  And they match contributions to a 401K (not sure what the cap is) so if I contribute the max, I'll be back up to what I was getting with the husband/wife team, maybe a bit more.  Second, the university gives 13 point something hours of vacation per month (pro-rated for me, since I will work 3/4 of a full-time schedule, every Monday off, 30 hours per week) which works out to over 4 weeks of vacation per year, a lot more than I would get with the husband/wife team.  I'd also get sick time and holidays.  Also, and this is a biggie:  although currently the university gives tuition credit to the employees only, they are going to extend the benefit to the spouse and children as well.  Because it felt right, I told CU that although I had recently accepted a job, I really wanted to work with them and they said that I could think about it and call them back.

I went back inside and continued working, but it was a very long day.  On my way home from work  I called Gary and talked to him about the situation, and then I called CU and told them that I accepted their offer.  They asked if I could start June 1, or if, due to my having a job at this point, I would need to wait until June 15.  Since I had only worked 5 days at this point I really couldn't see the husband/wife team wanting me to stick around.  In fact, I was fairly certain that once I told them that I had chosen to leave for a different job I would be asked to leave.  Anyway, I told CU that I would let them know as soon as possible when I could start.

The next morning when I arrived at work, I immediately told my employers of my decision.  Surprisingly enough, although they were astounded that I was leaving the job, they understood (especially when I told them about the tuition benefits and the fact that I have several family members who could use that.)  Even more surprising, not only did they NOT ask me to leave immediately, they asked for not just the full two weeks notice, but anything beyond that which I could give them.  (They have a book due on June 6.)  Since CU was willing to wait until June 15 (CU hires only on the first or the 15th of the month) I will work for them until I start for CU or until they don't need me, if it's before that.  The way I figure, it's the professional thing to do and they do pay well, so I'll do my best for them.  And actually, I have to say that they have both been very gracious about my leaving the job (which I felt terrible about, after all.)  I even got a "thank you" email, which I thought was above and beyond what was necessary, thanking me for giving them the extra time to work on their book.

Okay, that's the whole job story, whether you wanted to hear it or not.  :)  I'll let you know how the CU job goes, but I think it will be wonderful.  My new boss's name is Emily and she is a very nice woman.  She knows I will have "grandma duty" when Isaac is born and everything.  Yay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We did it!

Well, we did it!  Gary and I went to spend a few days in Orlando together, visiting my friend Mickey and enjoying one another's company.  We also figured we'd touch base with the realtor to see what was going on with that town home we put an offer on months ago.  (FYI, "short sales" are not for the faint hearted...)

Our New Home
Anyway, we had some spare time on Saturday, so D'Anne (the realtor) took us to a few places we hadn't looked at before and we saw a place that had just been reduced in price because the owner was getting pretty antsy to sell.  Since our previous offer had fallen through (the owners decided to take it off the market and just let the bank repossess it) we were a little skittish towards anything bank-owned or labeled as a short sale, so since this wasn't either of those that was a big plus.

Also, since it was a vacation rental,, that was a plus to me.  I know that this is a tough time for a lot of folks and it's nothing personal and all that, but it's nice to know that I wasn't yanking someone's primary residence away from them while they went to live with their parents or whatever.  Also, since it's a vacation rental, all of the furniture (right down to the linens and kitchen items) are included, so even though I might want to replace items, I don't HAVE to buy anything in order to make it useable.  

Living Room
The picture above is of the exterior of the condos.  We have a unit on the ground floor, no stairs.  (That made Gary happy.)

When you come in the front door and look to your left, this is what you see.  The couch (which is barely visible in this photo) is a sleeper sofa.

Living Room

This is another shot of the living room area.  The dining room table seats six comfortably, though the condo sleeps eight.  (two in the master bedroom, two in each of the other two bedrooms, and two on the sleeper sofa.)  Plus there are two porta-cribs and a high chair.

The second and third bedrooms each have two twin beds rather than having a full sized bed.  They also have fairly ample closets.  One has a walk in closet, the other just a regular closet.  One is decorated with Disney bedspreads.  :)

Kids' guest room

There are two bathrooms, the one in the master bedroom has a tile shower, the one in the hall has a tub/shower combination.  Both have single sinks.  There is a closet in the hallway with a full sized washer and dryer.  The kitchen includes the fridge, stove, and dishwasher.

Adults' Guest room
Behind the front door is a securely locked, heavy duty closet called the "owner's closet."  This is a closet that the owner can use to store personal items so that when he or she uses the condo for their own use they have a place to put things they don't want renters to have access to.  (clothing, personal items such as curling irons, cosmetics, etc.)  It's not a huge storage area, but it's nice to have some space to put a few items, especially since Gary and I fly standby and the amount of stuff we can take with us has to fit in one carry-on suitcase.  

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom
Currently, the condo has some summer bookings that we can either keep or the rental  management company will re-book them elsewhere.  I think Gary and I are going to let them rent the place out for the summer.  For the most part, I don't go to WDW in the summer for 3 reasons:  first, it's too hot and humid.  Totally miserable.  Second, it's too crowded and too expensive.  It's Disney's peak season (which should make it easier to rent, too.)  Third, it's horrible to try to fly standby. Summer travel to busy tourist areas = headaches all the way around.  Since I don't plan to use it this summer, why not let the bookings stand and perhaps see if this is something we will do each summer to offset the HOA fee?

The last two photos are of the master bedroom, which also has a small TV. (There was a TV in the living room, too.)  Gary and I will replace the bed with a king, but not until at least after this first summer of rentals.

Anyway, TA DA!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Guess what?

I found out today at 2:30 that I have a new job.  :)