A Surprise Offer

karnydoc Dec 2, 2013

  1. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    Less than twenty-four hours later, I am nervous and excited to have a job offer to work as a conductor for a railroad in Pennsylvania, with a start date of February 1. This means an interstate move (I currently live in New Jersey), something all the more challenging without a car.

    While I am excited about the prospect of returning to my industry, my GF expresses concern about her finding a job that pays as well as her present one, where she has been for nearly five years. Furthermore, she doesn't want to live in a small town (where this RR is located), but rather one of the larger population centers in the area...which would require a car.

    Any thoughts?

    Dieter Zakas
     
  2. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    First, congratulations on getting the hire offer. The only thing I can think is that the two of you will really need to look at your goals in life and how this does or does not fit into them. Changing jobs and relocating are significant life steps and do require serious discussion. You seem to have identified most of the issues involved, so it may well be worth looking at the income now against if you do this move, cost of living in the two areaas and an honest appraisal of the satisfaction that your current jobs bring you. Also, try to identify whether the GF's reluctance is based on real satisfaction with the current situation or inertia, as in being nervous about upsettin the status quo. Not real helpful advice, perhaps, but the best I can do...
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Glad you have an offer.

    Tough decision to make, considering the GF factor. Seems like it might be different if married. What if you decline, and some day she is no longer in the picture? Awful to contemplate, but very possible. How soon do you need to accept the offer? Is there some place nearby the GF would consider? I have a sensation here that she really does not wish to move.

    Argh!
     
  4. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    Hoo boy...where do I begin?

    The cost of living, as described by the fellow who recruited me, is considerably lower in Pennsylvania than in New Jersey. Plus, my income would allow us to save for a car in relatively short order.

    Now, as for my girlfriend...

    She is no stranger to interstate moves, as her now-deceased father was in the Navy, which meant frequent moves. (This would be my first-ever interstate move.)

    She currently works at an Italian eyewear company in their call center. In some ways she is not happy (read: not challenged) there, but after nearly five years there, there is a certain reluctance to leave, especially given her medical and dental benefits. Yet at the same time, she wants out, but also making, at minimum, what she currently does.

    I currently work at Walmart, stocking shelves at night. I took the job with the expectation I would eventually leave, as it was simply a means to stabilize our financial situation. (There is also one assistant manager I feel does not like me.)

    While my GF was initially happy for me, she almost immediately began looking at the negative, as she is wont to do. The town where the railroad is small, about 2500 people; being a "city girl," she would prefer a larger city. Slight problem: we don't have a car, so for a while, living in that small town is a given. (Public transportation sucks in PA. It's nothing like in New Jersey.)

    Fortunately, I have until December 6 to decide.

    Dieter
     
  5. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    I accepted the offer!
     
  6. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Congratulations! Best of luck, personally and professionally, with this next stage in your life.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Congratulations! Hope it is a great step in your life. Please keep us posted about working in a new place, etc.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How goes the preparation for your move and new job?
     
  9. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    Update: Although the guy who recruited me submitted the necessary paperwork in time for the 60-day window, footdragging by certain gov't agencies has pushed the start date back a month. The upside: I have more time to save for the move.
     
  10. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gotta love it. You do have to figure that procrastination was invented by a gov't cubicle rat...
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Government= Hurry up and wait.
     
  12. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    An update:

    The carrier for which I'll be (eventually) working has yet to receive its operating authorities from the PAPUC, STB, and FRA. In addition, they have to address certain legal matters which I'll spare the reader. Realistically, startup is now April or May.

    Dieter
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Waiting and wondering. Argh. You don't make much of a living this way. :(
     
  14. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    Boxcab,

    Fortunately, I currently have a part-time job at Walmart, where I stock shelves overnight. Not necessarily what I want to do, but at least it helps with the bills.

    Dieter
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Meanwhile, waiting for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn, yikes.
     
  16. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    Although I already have a railroad job waiting for me in central Pennsylvania, a friend who works for Conrail Shared Assets clued me in to Shared Assets' looking to hire 10-12 trainmen. Think I should apply, third time being the charm? :)

    Dieter
     
  17. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It certainly can't hurt to try. I wouldn't, however, close any doors. It's near an impossibility to predict the future, so the best I can offer is to keep fingers crossed with you. It would be a kick to end up having to choose between offers, though, wouldn't it?
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good question. Need to move? Job stability? Comparable pay & benefits?
     
  19. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

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    The central PA job means:

    (1) Relocation necessary from New Jersey.

    (2) In terms of seniority, I would be #2 in the roster (the fellow who recruited me would be ahead of me).

    (3) My pay would be start at 100% (any railroaders on here would immediately understand that), and I'd have three weeks of vacation, after one year of service. I'd also get full medical and dental benefits. 401(k) is something they're willing to explore.

    (4) The job is already a given, i.e., I'm already hired.

    For Shared Assets:

    (1) I get to stay in New Jersey.

    (2) For seniority, I'd have an unknown number of men ahead of me, meaning I could get the crummy jobs if I were the low man, something I had at CSX early on; some of my fellow new hires lucked out and had slightly better positions.

    (3) While my pay and benefits would be comparable, I'd be starting out at 75% on the pay side, with the benefits after a year.

    On the plus side, I'm already familiar with some of the yards where Shared Assets operates, so that's a plus, as is the fact that I know, and have worked with, a few engineers on CSX prior to their flowing over to Shared Assets.

    One of the negatives: Norfolk Southern's and CSX's employee records are "their" records too, and given that I wasn't an exemplary employee in certain respects during my time at CSX, might work against me, even six years after I resigned from the latter.

    But, yeah, I sure would LOVE to have to choose between the two offers!
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. That PA job seems to have an edge in the decision making...
     

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