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I spoke with the company for my potential job yesterday, so I knew that today I would be receiving my offer letter via email.
And I did.
I haven’t read it entirely yet; I’m still in shock at the salary that is being offered to me, at the responsibility of this position, and at the change that it will bring.
I have to sign it today and send it back because I leave tonight for vacation, where no internet resides, except probably in some McDonald’s 20 miles away from the cabin. I have to figure out how to withdraw from school and give back tuition money. I have to figure out where I’m going to live. I have to figure out if the moving company can pick up my things from two locations. I have to figure out how to say goodbye to all things known and familiar to me. I have to pack and organize. I have to change addresses at a million places and open up new utility accounts. I have to visit with people. I have to finish a million things at work.
First, though, I have to go on vacation.
When I spoke with the people yesterday on the phone I asked about their tuition reimbursement program. They also pay 100%, up to $10k a year, for grad school. That sweetened the deal for me and made my decision a lot easier. So, as long as I pass the background check, I’ll be good to go.
Maryland, here I come.
You’ve got to bet on yourself, now star, ’cause that’s your best bet. - 311, All Mixed Up
We were leaving the amusement park for lunch, which we packed in a cooler and was waiting for us in the car. On the way out, B had to use the bathroom. “Ok, I’ll wait for you right here?” I asked, pointing to a bench. “Do you mind coming with me?” she responded, and I automatically understood and agreed. After we were finished I asked her about it so I could gauge her feelings –I wanted to make sure she wasn’t feeling like people were being hostile towards her throughout the day, or something similar, and that that was provoking her wanting me to accompany her to the bathroom. “No,” she said, “having you there just makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”
I was happy to help. And happy that she’s honest enough and comfortable enough with me to trust me with this.
For the past 8 years I have proudly walked along side my butch partner(s). I have held her hand in the car, during a stroll down the street, through the park, or at the beach. I have placed my hand on her knee when we’re out to eat, when we’re riding the subway, or when we’re signing mortgage papers. I have let her do things for me even though I can very well do them myself: open the door, carry all of my bags, drive the car, help me out of the jeep, tend to me when I’m sick, kill bugs, or pull out my chair. I have always tried to make her feel appreciated and wanted and loved for who she is. I am proud of being with her and being on her arm and our relationship is something I like to show off, not hide.
I have felt protective of this vulnerable, yet strong creature that I have grown to love so much, to the point of confrontation. I used to be quite hot-headed when it came to people acting negatively to my butch lover, but I’d say that age and time has calmed me down. My ex rarely, if ever, got upset; even though it was her they were doing or saying things towards, and that really helped shaped me. She taught me to mostly ignore the ignorant people because really, they aren’t worth it.
Still, though, when I’m in the bathroom with my butch I’m prepared. I make her wait ahead of me in line so that she can get in and get out as quickly as possible. Mostly, when people mistake her for a guy, they are polite about it, if not more embarrassed than anything. But I’ll never let my guard down completely and this femme will always be ready to defend – my butch lovers, friends, and partners. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, right?
It has been quite a learning experience, this dance between genders. I am constantly growing and learning and evolving. I am grateful for a lifetime of this.
I love loving butch women.
Thank you all for going into the public bathrooms, the ones with the stick figure in a dress on the door, the ones that don’t quite fit. Thank you for being brave and strong enough and putting up with people’s shit when you have the energy for it, which I understand isn’t always. Thank you for walking down the street looking the way you look, which sometimes is defiance enough. Thank you for being strong enough to be you, but soft enough to let me hold you. I am so happy for your existence.
- Spoke with my current boss to let him know of possible job developments. We talked about what the University could counter-offer, and he no longer thinks they’ll be able to come up with the difference, due to the current economic climate. He’s checking with HR so he can get an estimate of a number for me, but it looks like it’s going to be nowhere near the salary increase that the MD job could offer me.
- On Friday I got a call that could be interpreted as an unofficial offer. She told me they’d be calling on Monday and emailing me over the official offer letter with the exact salary and with all official signatures. One of the key people was on vacation so they were waiting for her to get back.
- After a long week of thinking and searching and contemplating, I decided to take the job if it was offered to me. On Friday evening and all throughout the weekend I was feeling better since a decision was made, a decision I knew I was happy with.
- On Monday I got a call, however it wasn’t the call I was expecting. The HR person I’ve been speaking with informed me that two internal employees expressed interest in the position and they are interviewing these two people to show good faith and follow proper procedures. Ugh. My heart dropped. Before I could say much the woman said to me that she REALLY feels like they are doing this just for protocol purposes and they still intend to offer me the position, but they want to be “fair” to these two people. I expressed my doubt to her, saying that usually companies hire within and are mostly loyal to their own people. She agreed, but said that since this position is such a specific skill set, and she’s familiar with the other candidates’ skills, they are set to hire the experienced person, the person with the skills that are needed for this position, which is me. We both agreed that nothing is guaranteed, but still, she seemed pretty sure that this was just a formality. I told her that if I’m not offered this job / don’t accept this job, I’m going to grad school and that starts in two weeks, so I’m under a time crunch. Basically, I need to know what’s going on so I can move forward either way. She was very nice and was very understanding and told me she’s scheduling those interviews for this week so that at the beginning of next week things can be settled. Needless to say, I’m not happy. The thought of waiting another week is torture, and it’s a fucking emotional roller coaster to begin with.
- I’m now not so sure about things and I hate that. I hate the uncertainty. I basically feel like I’m not going to be offered the job now, but really, I just have no idea. I also have no control and I should learn to just let go. What will be, will be.
- Easier said than done.
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
Seriously, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
What is this life / universe trying to tell me? So many wrenches have been thrown into my life over the past year that I can’t keep track. Why not give me another one to really spice things up?
The shortest version of what’s happened to me over the last two days is this:
Remember that job in Maryland I applied for and did not get back in the Spring? I found out in April that I didn’t get it and so then I started thinking about how I wanted to move forward in life. I wrote about it a bit here. This ultimately led me to apply to grad school and stay in this area for a while. Back during the post-interview period for this job, things were looking hopeful but of course I was still uncertain. The interview went great and they were doing a background and credit check on me which is usually a good indicator that your a strong candidate for the position. So that happened but I still didn’t get the job. I thought it was weird after looking so good, but what can you do?
So yea, then I apply to grad school and actually get in. Then B has a very hopeful interview which goes well for a great job in this area, which we are still waiting to hear back about. Life moving forward.
Then on Monday evening I listen to a semi cryptic voice message from the company I interviewed for back in March, the one that did not give me the job, saying that they’re interested in speaking with me about this position. I speak with the woman the following day to find out that the position is opening back up because the person who took the job has been offered another job. Am I interested?
So the basics are: I am the only candidate they are pursuing, they would like to move forward in possibly offering me the position should everything come back ok. We spoke a bit about salary: they would like to be in the ballpark of a figure that is currently MUCH MUCH MORE thank I am making now. A 41% increase annually in pay. Are you fucking kidding me?
This amount of money more a year would be seriously life-changing for me, as I assume it would be for a lot of people. A little background, before I begin, on my finances: When EJ left me, she left me in a very bad way financially and without getting into detail, it was just plain fucked up. And on top of that I have debt – some credit card debt which I’ve been trying to attack ever since I sold my house and a lot of student loan debt – a grand total of $99,000 which I started paying back only about two years ago. So, needless to say a very large part of my meager income goes to my student loans, and I hate it. I try not to bitch too much about it because really, I made the decisions I had to and it is what it is, but still… what a downer.
So now I am faced with a life-changing, important, difficult decision to make. I’m speaking with the HR person again on Friday, as in two days from now, where I’m basically going to give her the go-ahead or not to make me an offer.
Obviously I have a lot of things to weigh.
One. There is a very very very good chance I’ll get a counter offer from my current place of employment. When I had a conversation with my Director the last time I thought I had this job, he basically told me they would fight to keep me, but he probably couldn’t go over 10k more on my salary. So I could possibly be making a similar amount of money if I stay where I’m at. Both of these salary increases would be amazing and life-changing for me.
Two. I currently live very cheaply with one of my besties until I can get my debt paid off. Staying here, making more a year would allow me to continue living cheaply with way more money to put towards my debt which would allow it to be paid off much more quickly. The bad part is that I’d still be renting a room and not having my own place. On the other hand, making 41% more would still allow me to put more money towards my debt as well as allow me to live on my own again, in my own place. This is extremely appealing since this is the first time I’ve had to rely on and live with anyone except my partner since I’ve been 19.
Three. Staying here at the University not only would give me a salary increase (if they offered it) but I get tuition paid for, minus taxes. I’m not sure the exact cost of a part time graduate student would be per year, but I believe classes in my program are around $4k each. So if you count that, my salary here would actually be more. On the other hand, I could always go to grad school at a later date – just not for free and just not at this University. I want to go to grad school to enrich my life personally and was hoping that getting a master’s, even though it’s not in a field that would directly affect a career, would enable me to get a “better” job, earning more money. So I love the fact that I got in and that it’s such a prestigious school, but I’m just not convinced that the value of getting this masters degree right now is more than a new job with possibly more opportunities at a much larger salary.
Four. Living with B. If she gets the job, she’d be moving to the area I currently live. If I take the MD job I’d be moving away from her, so again, we’ll be far away. If she does get the job and I stay at University, we still probably wouldn’t live together because I wouldn’t want to get my own place until I paid down some debt. If she doesn’t get the job and I go to MD, she’d come with me, my favorite option. If she doesn’t get the job and I stay at University, then she’ll stay where she’s at in PA. I even confused myself there so I don’t expect you to follow but that’s a lot of if’s. Sigh.
Five. Friends and Family. If I move it’s scary because I don’t know anybody and don’t know the area and I’ll be without my friends and family, all of which are a big support system for me. On the other hand, I might love meeting new people and find a lot of value in new relationships. I’d be about a three hour drive away from my hometown – sometimes that seems close to me and other times, especially when I think about my daily life and what my activities consist of, it seems very far away.
Six. What if I suck at my job? I don’t care if the company has enough faith in me that they hire me – I still have to do a good job and a large part of me thinks I can’t do it. This job is a step up from what I’m currently doing – what if I fuck it up? It’s a completely new program so it’s not like there’s already established policies and procedures and training. So much responsibility to run a successful program would depend on me. I don’t feel experienced enough! On the other hand, what if I do great and it enhances my career in this field and I have the potential to move up and expand? Then that would be great.
Seven. What if I hate where I live at? There’s a lot of comfort for me right now, living where I’m living. This is so completely new and foreign to me. AND it’s below the Mason-Dixon. What if I hate it? What if I’m so lonely and bored and just not interested in what’s going on there? On the other hand, what if I love it? I may love it too.
Eight. Opportunities. This seems like it could be an amazing opportunity. How often do offers like this happen? It seems like there is a lot of growth potential there. And while I love working for the university, their salaries are more along the weaker end, making up for that by offering wonderful benefits. I feel like I have no idea what kind of advancement is possible at this new company, however I do know that with the University I at least have the chance to earn a degree. What is a better opportunity for me?
In summary, I have to figure out and choose what I consider to be more valuable, especially if the salary is comparable. Also I’m obviously very afraid of change and of failure. I’ve had a million changes over the last year and a half and things just started coming together – I’ve finally felt like I was off the path of recovery and on the path of moving forward. And now, another twist.
I’m grateful for this potential opportunity, but shit, did it have to happen now? Why couldn’t it have happened before I went through the process of applying to and accepting a slot in a graduate program??? I’m always going on and on about how things happen for a reason, and I really believe they do, but what is THIS reason? It feels like a cruel joke.
So seriously, I just don’t know what to do. I really don’t. And the worst part? I have to make this decision all on my own.
And how about me, writing a few days ago about my last summer hurrah and everything? Talk about life changing in a minute.
I wish someone could tell me what to do, what’s going to be the better decision. I haven’t felt in a long time that such a decision would drastically affect the rest of my life so much. It. is. daunting.
This is enough crap out of my brain and on paper for one day. If you’ve read this far, bless you. And if you’re psychic, please tell me what to do. Thanks.