five awesome moments from today

Awesome moment #1: my salary counteroffer was accepted. Steve laughed me off for being amazed, but what can I say. People pleaser with self-worth issues gonna people please. 

Awesome moment #2: the regional manager from Company 2 called me, from her personal phone. When she told me who it was I braced myself to be chewed out. I figured she was calling to say thanks a lot for wasting her time, having received my email last night saying I'd accepted an offer from another company. 

But no. She was calling because she was extremely disappointed, wanted me to know how much they loved me, and wanted to know if there was anything she could do to get me to reconsider. In fact, she wanted to know if I would change my mind, if they hired me in for a higher position right off the bat. 

!!!

Mind you, they had not yet made me an offer. I had just assumed that we were about to reach that point, which was why I reached out to her--to save her the trouble. She is a spectacularly cool person that I would have loved to call my boss. It was not an easy email to write precisely because of how much I like her. And she was clearly so bummed. She said she'd wanted to hire me immediately after the first interview, and it seems like maybe she had to put me through a longer vetting process than she would have wanted, had it been her call. 

So I explained about Chicago, and that since I have been seriously wanting to leave California for a couple of years now, I have to take advantage of the opportunity. I touched on my need for seasons and hatred of the heat, and told her how I've been aching to get back to my Midwest roots for most of my life. She was lovely and gracious and told me if anything changes, if the move or the position falls through, to please reach back out and I'll have a job waiting. And talking to her for those few minutes was like talking to a friend. It felt personal, not professional. In fact the call ended with her advising me on coats and footwear, because she lived in Chicago for a while herself. 

And what's crazy is I've been her. A few times in my years managing restaurants, I've had a candidate (always a really skilled line cook) on the line that I knew would slip out of my fingers if I didn't act fast and decisively. I've lost great candidates because we moved too slow on hiring, or because we couldn't pay them what they wanted. And I know that bummer feeling of Goddamnit. 

So that's it. We are done with imposter syndrome around here. We are packing that shit up forever, goodbye, do not need you, you do not serve us. BUHBYE.

Steve gave me hell for not at least entertaining the offer, and I got a lecture about "this is why we sit on offers, in case other offers come in that we can use to negotiate" but I am 100% good with how everything went down. Even though they are the same role in the same field, my responsibilities in Chicago are going to be unique in that I'll have one sole client to attend to. (They have no idea how much they're gonna love me.) So it's really apples to oranges. 

Awesome moment #3: I found an apartment, and it's way, way nicer (and closer!) than what I thought I'd be able to afford. I spent all morning and most of the afternoon trying to find the perfect place to live. I narrowed it down to four places:

A super cute older building in Goldcoast with a view of Lake Michigan and a cool, retro layout/look. Eliminated because it's a full 45 minute walk from my work and has terrible recent reviews.

A fairly modern and clean spot very close to my work (11 minute walk). Eliminated for very bad recent reviews (and lame responses from management) and kinda meh finishes (floors and cabinetry are a bit too 2005).

A nicely renovated very close spot (15 minute walk) with really cool looking, nicely finished units. Eliminated for horrific reviews from tenants still there. Ongoing construction, loud neighbors, no-smoking rule not being enforced, unresponsive management. And it's a massive place. Sounds very understaffed for the issues they're dealing with.  

And the winner is....a small but sparkling clean, ultra modern studio in South Loop. Won due to price, immaculate look of the unit and building, amenities, and excellent reviews backed up by how incredibly responsive, friendly, and communicative the leasing team was today. From the second they got my inquiry, it was RENTAL AGENTS ASSEMBLE. They were FaceTiming me with open units inside of ten minutes.

The building is two years old, very modern and chic, and has everything I could possibly want. Gym, pool, spa, massage room, pet run, pet lounge (!), human lounge, outside game area. In-unit washer dryer, dishwasher, heat/AC, microwave, bluetooth temperature control (which I'm hoping means I won't have to get out of bed to make it warmer/colder). And the clincher, for me: glossy white and grey cabinets, pretty white backsplash, and wood floors. Most of the units have a greyish floor, but mine looks to be more of a honey color that I think will make for an interesting contrast to all the cool colors of the finishes. (Either way it's gonna be rug city, because I know the floors will be freezing otherwise.) 

It's super clean and per Cam, super me. And it's a 15 minute walk from my work. I am stunned, truly, that I can get a place within walking distance at all. I figured I'd have to get something on the fringes of the city, in order to even afford living there. 

It's small, but it's a divided studio. So I have options for layout. And I think having a partially walled-off inner bedroom might be nice for the sake of darkness and better warmth? The entire outside wall is windows, so that would be cold to sleep beside. But we'll see. 

I haven't signed the lease because I barely got them the last thing they needed for approval right before close. But my credit is solid and between my recent pay stubs and letterhead job offer, there shouldn't be a problem. But I'll wait to show you photos juuuust in case.

Awesome moment #4: I put a soft lock on movers, and the quote came in at the lower end of what I was expecting. My company is reimbursing me, and though I know they'll do so immediately, it's nice to not have to lay out quite as much as I thought I might have to. 

Awesome moment #5: Matt, of Dreamstate fame, sent me his own blog post about what happened. (He doesn't have a blog. He just wanted to "speak in my language".) Don't worry, you're gonna get to read it. I've been in touch with both him and to a lesser extent, Amit since the weekend, reflecting on how epic it was and doing mini post-mortems. And Matt decided he wanted to tell his version of events, and wrote up an awesome piece of his own--and he gave me permission to share it with you.

The story shall be told, I promise! Life changing interruptions will not thwart me for long!