Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,
Thistle
thistle_chaser

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Happy California-Birthday To Me! (RL)

Six years ago today, I moved to California! It was nearly a spur of the moment decision, too. (A lot of my over-the-net friends lived out here, and all said it was a good place, so I wanted to be here, too!) Three weeks before I moved out here, I made the decision that I wanted to come. Luckily I had two weeks of vacation time scheduled, so I flew out here and looked for an apartment and job, and went back home with both! The remaining week was spent frantically packing and buying more airline tickets.

The most fun part of the flight was that I had my cat with me as my carry-on bag. It was a long, long flight (nearly overnight, we landed in San Francisco at 2 AM). At 3 AM (feeling like 6 AM East Coast time) I was on roads I had never seen before, making the long trip to my apartment. Luckily I had planned ahead on my vacation and bought a bed, as well as setting up a litterbox for my cat. I arrived just as the sun came up, and crashed into bed.

Whenever people ask me what my best job had been, I always say the porn one. However, my first job was a really, really close second. It was doing tech support for a software product used only by teachers. I started the job on July First -- no teachers in sight! We worked 3 12 hour days a week, so I had a 4 day weekend every week! And even better: There was not even one moment of work to do! For two months, the company got zero support calls. So for your shift you could do anything (many people slept!). It was quite an amazing experience, and gave me plenty of time to get settled. (No one ever bothered to train me or anything. They kept saying 'next week, next week' or that I'd learn when the calls started coming in.)

The whole 'You'll learn when the calls come in' thing made me nervous, so when AltaVista made me a job offer, I took it. Ha ha on the first company, I left right before schools started reopening! *snicker* At first the AV job wasn't great (tech support and all), but then another department stole me away and the job turned amazing: Spam defense, yay! The "porn job" I always mention to folks. The group I worked with was the best group I've ever worked with in my entire work history, and the job was easy and fun.

Unfortunately AV never made profit in years and years, so they had many rounds of layoffs. I made it right to the end. :/ I interviewed a couple different places, and the best job looked to be some other search engine up north. I did a day-long interview with them (spoke to 8? 10? different people) and they seemed to like me. I interviewed with a couple other places as well, and got an offer from where I am now. I kept dragging my feet though, wanting to go to that other search engine. Finally I accepted the offer from here, thinking that it would just tide me over till that other place made an offer. Unfortunately a couple days later that search engine did major layoffs, so... Bah.

Lately I've started thinking that I need to put down roots. I've always rented apartments and never bought because I figured I might want to move again, but I really do love it out here. (I never, ever, ever, ever loved it back east. I didn't even like it.) It's been six years, and the place still makes me smile. The weather, the people, everything.

While a spur of the moment decision to move across the country could have gone very wrong, it turned out to be one of the best things I've done in my life. :)

And how's this date so easy to remember? My sister went into labor with my first niece just as I was getting on the plane to leave, and had the kid soon after I landed. She threatened to never forgive my timing!
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