Thursday, October 12, 2006

on the road, nyc groceries and letting the job offer process move forward

I've been on the road travelling all of last week, virtually of this week and a good portion of next week. Not so much fun when your children and wife are at home - especially with a new born. At least we travelled together last week.

This week is NYC. I'm quite amazed how expensive groceries are here. Living in the rural south, one of the last things you want to do is drink the local tap water. Not so in NYC, everyone drinks the tap water here. Out of habit, I bought a six pack of bottled water (pint size), the price was nearly $10!! Apparently the store charges the same single bottle price for larger packages. Even in our overpriced supermarkets in rural NC a six pack would have cost 40%-60% less. Now I understand the difference in cost of living. However a few other thoughts came into the picture:
1. You can't really park in NYC - if you buy six to eight bags of groceries - how do you get them home? I think most people walk, carrying what they buy, which emphasizes small quanity and small size purchases.
2. There are no bulk shopping discounters here. No costco, etc.... Apparently it would have been located very far away as well.
I suppose options exist for delivery or taxi, but catching a cab in NYC when you want it seems fairly random.

I thought it might be interested to purchase a few comic collections while I'm out here, but felt the effort to ship them to NC would be time wasting and unappetizing - let alone the cost. Comics are heavy.

I'm still waiting for the written offer from Big Company. Meanwhile, several of my friends have forwarded recruiting contacts and names of firms hiring similar executive positions. With so much travel, I may have to wait until next week to follow-up. That will give Big Company enough time to get me my offer. Hopefully, I'll have Internet access to view it.

Last week was spent filling out a formal job application. I had to be exceptionally careful that everything in my resume aligned exactly with my application and that all were factually correct. This represents challengs over little things, such as remembering the exact month you started a job 6 years ago when your resume lists only the year.

As a matter of fact, my application was rejected over the weekend. Despite my best efforts, there was a typo in my years of service with a company, which they asked me to not correct, but fill out an entirely new job application. After which the application would be processed, the written offer would be reviewed by legal and the high-ups and then sent to me. I'm still waiting. Apparently the legal department reviews everything. However, everyone working there assured me they processed things quickly (within 1-2 days). Internal controls work when they don't destroy your ability to service the customer.

Over the telephone, we verified the terms of the job offer. Most sounded reasonable. They did ask if they could cap the relocation by June - frankly I would have preferred later in the year in order to put less pressure on my wife, but after a planning conversation with my wife, we agreed to June. It's also possible that her future employer will provide a relocation package as well. I'm still waiting on the other terms, such as sign-on bonus.

If they can arrange a sign-on bonus (such things seem mercurial within Big Company), I'd like to put it all ASAP into a 401k. My goal, if the job happens, is to put as much as my initial pay into 2006 401k contributions as possible and max it out before year's end. Even if I have to dip into savings to cover living expenses. We'll make up the difference with our combined incomes early next year.

I received a detailed relocation handbook with various rules, etc.... Big Company will cover the first 15,000 pounds of goods shipped, including packing and up to 1 month of storage, which is very nice. Packing can really add to the expense. Then they provide some additional money that can be used to:
  • transport cars
  • pay for closing costs
  • i think pay for additional shipping and final move related expenses
  • pay for air transport for the family

Big Company does not want the money spent on house hunting. This is absolutely ridiculous!!! They want me to move over a thousand miles and don't want to help me find a house? What foolishness! What happened to the good old days of corporate relocation where they would help you buy a new house, managed the sale of your old house, etc....

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. The details still need to fall into place. I need to receive and accept the offer. Bottom line, so far terms and relocation details seem like things we can live with.

If the offer comes through I'll post the 9 month strategy my wife and I worked out in order to:

  1. get her a job in Chicago
  2. find a house in Chicago
  3. move to Chicago
  4. leave her current job
  5. sell our house
  6. anticipated expenses

I'm tempted to contact Big Company and let them know I'm waiting. Then again, it might be best if I played things cool until Thursday or Friday.

Have a wonderful day,


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