Friday, March 1, 2012, marked an end of an era.
It was Andy's last day at his job.
This job was his first full-time job. He was hired 40 years and 5 months ago. He was 19 years of age at that time. This job took him from his home state of Indiana to mine, Virginia, where we met.
Since I started writing this blog in 2006, some of you might remember the story. In September 2008, Andy's employer (who bought his original company in the early 2000's) issued a notice that they would be closing the Virginia plant. They made Andy an offer - the only one of 52 employees who received the offer - to keep him if he agreed to move to Ohio. They moved him from Virginia to Ohio January 5, 2009 where he stayed in first one apartment then another. For months, he spent 10 days in Ohio and would come home for 4. Andy worked to start their plant in Miamisburg, OH. In June of that year, I paid a visit and, since it didn't look like we had any options, we decided to move to Ohio. We sold our 1790 Virginia home, left our children and my parents, and moved to Ohio. In 2011, Andy's employer closes the Miamisburg plant. Then, they worked him in Virginia. Yes, back at the plant that they moved him from in 2009 and said they were going to close.
Over the last 10 or so years, he'd put up with a lot of stuff from this employer - worked seven days per week for months on end with no breaks, no raises for years and years, pay cuts, traveled back and forth for almost a year, etc. But, it was a job. The only one he'd had since age 19.
The employer has been trying to sell the Virginia plant for months now. Will it be sold and continue to operate? OR Will it not sell and close? And, where would either of these resolutions leave Andy?
One Saturday, I was at knitting and going over all of the above when one of the knitters said, "Have him send me his resume. He sounds like exactly what we're looking for." Turns out, she was the CEO of the company. Andy sent his resume to the HR department and after a couple of interviews, he got the job.
The past several years have been a roller coaster. So many up and down feelings for both of us. Andy ended a job on Friday that he had all his adult life. He knew that job as well as he knew how to breathe. He said good-bye to people he had worked with for over 30 years. Each trip Andy made to/from Virginia took him through Danville where my parents live. Giving up his job meant he no longer gets to see / check on / deliver to or pick stuff up from Mom and Daddy. It meant that he would no longer be in the same state as our children on a weekly basis. Living in Ohio means that we only get to see our children and grandchildren 1-2 times per year.
But, a decision had to be made. It was a tough one for him --- for us.
Do you stay with a job that you know as well as your own name but with an uncertain future? OR Do you take the leap into a new position with a new company?
Friday, the Virginia crew had a lunch and a nice send-off for him. They truly appreciated him - his knowledge and his willingness to always help. He didn't completely sever ties as he kept his cell phone and computer. We'll see how that works out.
Andy starts his new job on March 11th. He feels good about it - likes the people and the company. It will be different - he'll be hourly instead of salary, will have only 8 hours of vacation the first year, no sick time, etc. On the flip side, they offer perks that he hasn't had for years like raises and 401K match. So, there's good and bad. That's life, isn't it?
The new job is in Piqua, Ohio - about an hour and 15 minute drive from our home. Andy has a 1997 Chevy pick-up truck with over 300,000 miles on it. Needless to say, the truck doesn't get the kind of mileage you want from a commuter vehicle. My car has 245,000 miles on it and gets about 22-23 miles per gallon - not too much better than Andy's truck. So, off we went on a car search.
Here is Andy with his new car - a Prius C. Let's hope it gets excellent gas mileage and lasts a very very long time.
To make up for the little bit of whine in this post --- there are a lot of good things about our move to Ohio. We love where we live! I love the weather, the thousands of things to do, all the outdoor opportunities, and the many activities / shops / guilds that relate to what we both love to do. And, then there are the many many wonderful friends we've made here.
The only thing bad about living in Ohio is that it's so far from Virginia. I miss my family on a daily basis.
Sigh........can't have everything.
This week coming up, Andy has appointment after appointment. He's getting things taken care of that he won't be able to do once he starts his new job. He'll have a very busy week!
So, wish him luck as he embarks on the next leg of his journey. Hopefully, this will turn out to be an excellent decision.