This is Part II of three. You can read Part I here.
First of all, on a side note, Lance has demanded that the BF have a name. Unfortunately, I told the BF he could name himself. So, his name is Jake. Honey and Jake…sigh.
Back on topic…much to my delight, this past weekend reaffirmed just how much Jake and I really do get along when he isn’t being taken to the emergency room or drinking himself into a stupor because of work stress. The best part, however, was what he said on Friday when we were having drinks with his work friend, Dick.
As previously mentioned, Dick is almost certainly getting fired in the very near future because he isn’t billing enough hours and his work isn’t of a high enough quality. One of the reasons Dick was upset about this (as if having no savings and a(n) (ex)girlfriend who might kick him out of her house wasn’t reason enough) was that he and Jake wouldn’t get to see each other as often. Then Jake revealed that he had been planning to start looking for another job in January, and that he was only planning on looking in other cities/states. He’s wanted to leave Phoenix since long before I met him…the only reason we ended up in the same place for grad school was that in the end, he couldn’t rationalize out of state tuition.
Dick was surprised to hear this, to which Jake replied, Do you think I’m happy?
Then Jake went on to say the following things to me (which may seem like inevitable outcomes given some of my recent posts, but this is the first time that he’s explicitly said them – and in front of his best guy friend):
- This relationship is more important to me than my career.
- I am willing to take a pay cut to have a more manageable workload and spend more time with you.
- My dad was apparently a normal human being until he got a high-stress job; he’s made everyone around him miserable for the last 25 years since. My greatest fear is doing that to you, and I will do anything I can to avoid it.
- I’m going to wait another month, and then tell my supervisor that I feel like this job is jeopardizing my relationship and that I’m afraid my girlfriend will break up with me if I don’t make a change.
Feeling like the other person probably thinks these things, it turns out, is a far cry from hearing it said out loud. This is right up there with the first time he said I love you (I was crying after he tried to teach me to play raquetball, because I was so terrible at it), or the time that we were at a nightclub in Orlando and he told me he’d almost proposed to me in a club in Vegas four months earlier because that was the night he realized I was perfect.
So, in light of these revelations, we have made a more active plan:
- He’s going to wait a month and see if things slow down (i.e., whether things are going to stay this bad year-round, or whether only summers are this bad).
- If things do slow down, he’ll stay put until January. This was his original deadline because then if he puts employment years on his resume, it will look like 3 years’ experience, which is the best time to make a lateral move in his industry. This also gives him time to get out before the summer rush.
- If things don’t slow down, he’ll go on the job market around October, ideal amount of experience or no.
- He does want to give private industry one more try, in case it is just his office that is so terrible. Originally I found this disheartening, but then he explained that his office has only in the last couple of years begun hiring folks straight out of grad school. Because of this, their payscale and bonus rates are far below industry standard (he’s shown me the statistics and research on industry standard that prove this)…and that was before the economy in Phoenix tanked way worse than almost anyplace else. Also, he can’t afford to take a pay cut until his credit cards are paid off.
- We’ll reevaluate after a year, based on the specifics of whatever new job he gets.
Currently, we’ve decided that he’ll look for jobs in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston, Honolulu, and NYC. We’re also considering adding Seattle, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Orlando to the mix (if I can bring myself to once again live in the steamy pit of tourism and despair that is Florida). We’re aware that the cost of living is significantly higher in these places, but we’re not going to move unless we know we can swing it.
Also, decisions about whether or not an offer is a good fit for us will include being able to pay all our bills on his salary, since we’d be moving for his job and I almost certainly wouldn’t find something right away. In the meantime, however, I am going to put my going back to school dreams on hold and be more aggressive about steady/long-term freelance opportunities (I can think of at least two and maybe three possibilities off the top of my head, and there’s also the possibility that my current freelance gig might put me in the loop for some more things).
My own personal plan is to be as aggressive as humanly possible in paying off my credit card debt. I have about $5800 in credit cards right now. My freelance paycheck is going to be $2500 and should arrive sometime in October, and currently I try to pay $300-$400 per month. If I can stick to that schedule, I should be credit-card-debt-free by early next year (since I get an extra paycheck in January as well). Any additional freelance money I earn between now and then will go straight to debt until it’s paid off, at which point it’ll go into the savings account for moving expenses. I have a little over $4500 saved right now.
Got feedback on our plans (or Jake’s name)? Leave them in the comments below! Then, check out these fine posts: