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The Games begin in earnest - The Stylish Musings of Stevie Z [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stevie Z

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The Games begin in earnest [May. 31st, 2010|12:21 am]
Stevie Z
Well, folks, after years and years of struggle and worry, I've caught a break.
I scored a job at an events space/club down in NYC, right in Times Square. I'm excited but also very nervous because all the gear is top-end stuff that I've never really worked with. The principles are the same- just learning the various attributes of the lights and what makes them tick and take it from there. But the job also will entail working with corporate clients, which to me isn't that big a deal. They tend to be very particular about what they want and my job is to translate their vision into reality using the gear.

The big thing is going to be the relocation. This is going to have to happen quickly. I have a start date of June 7th for the job, so I'll need to be down there then. If we can't find an apartment in the next 5 days, I'll have to find a temporary sublet or something- I dunno.

And it's going to be weird not living in the area. My sister's been the one who always lived 'away', while I've remained more or less local. But it's become obvious that this wasn't going to work out with Lina's work. She has to travel to NY 90% of the time for her shows, either for a show down there or to meet the other members of her company to travel to a show. It's been a so-so situation- she's had enough work to keep us going and sock away a few shekels in the process while not totally kicking her ass. But once things get really busy, she really can't be spending 10 hours traveling back and forth. It's just too much for the poor woman.

Besides, if she and Alisa could move from St Petersburg to here, I can certainly go 225 miles.

So now we scramble to both find a place and for me to deal with the logistics of moving- new bank account, getting our stuff from here to there, notifying Homeland Security so we stay Right with the immigration folks (especially since Lina's still a conditional resident), and then things like closing down the utilities here and getting utilities there- wherever 'there' happens to be.

It will be strange being away from my friends too, but in a lot of ways, I've been away for a while now, more a presence on the computer than in the flesh. It's been a brutal fucking amount of work these past few years to pull all this off- keeping afloat financially, the whole immigration thing, etc etc... and it will be nice to finally be able to chill a bit and enjoy life a bit more.

Things leading up to the job were strange indeed. About 6 weeks ago, I applied for a subcontractor driving job at FedEx. But the application process was interminable. Interviews, training films, paperwork, a driving test, and then having to submit to a drug screen and a CORI check for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I really wasn't sure if I was going to get the job, so I did the wise thing and kept looking for work while doing small gigs to keep the money coming in.

I applied for this club job and a week ago Wednesday at 5:30pm, I get a call on the phone. They liked my resume and wanted me to interview the next day because they need a new person in place ASAP. However, I already had worked booked for that day, and with the way things had been going with me these past few years, I wasn't going to blow off a job from one of my more reliable sources of work. So I rolled the dice and told them sorry, I could only do it on Friday. Luckily, they agreed to this.

But even that was really short notice, especially that my work day Thursday was going to be brutal- up at 6am to be at the House of Blues at 7:30 for a 12 to 15 hour day loading in a show. Then I would have to get home, get a few hours of sleep, and then make myself shiny and presentable and get my ass down to NY for a 12:30 interview.

Fortunately, the work call ended at 8:30 and by 10pm I was home. Scarfed down food, showered, shaved, and reviewed the job ad to be ready. Got about 5 hours of sleep before rolling out of bed to get ready to hit the road. God love Lina- she had packed some food for the road and she drove part of the way down there so I could grab some sleep. Then the funny thing.....

I knew there was parking on some of the streets near Times Square. Well, 'was'. Ain't there no more. Now it's all metered commercial parking. I was feeling all happy because I had found a spot about 2 blocks from the club, but now.... I learned it wasn't a legal non-commercial spot. I was going to jump in the car to find another spot, but Lina yelled at me and told me I had to get to the interview and to give her the keys and she will just drive around until I'm done.

Now, she has never driven in NY, but St Petersburg can be pretty crazy too and besides, what choice did I have. I gave her the keys and off she went and I hiked to the club.

From the outside, I wasn't impressed but inside, whoa! Gorgeous room with, as I said, all sorts of shiny blinky toys that made my little lighting geek heart go pitter-patter. I met Even, the old TD. Young guy but up to date on all the gear and he ran me through the gamut, checking out my problem-solving skills and trying to rattle me a bit. Didn't work. The interview was short and sweet- 35 minutes total. We shook hands and I was told there would be a decision made Monday.

I went outside and rang Lina, half-expecting her to tell me she was in Pennsylvania. But no, she was about 7 blocks away and we arranged a pick-up point. 10 minutes later, there she was with eyes like dinner plates. I hopped in the driver's seat and pulled around to a side street so we could stop so she could have a much-needed cigarette. Gawd love the woman, she's got balls for sure.....

After checking out some places to live in NJ, we headed to Brooklyn to pick up an electric piano Lina needed for a gig, and then it was back home.

Monday, I didn't hear from the club. That night Lina and I went to Brighton Beach to check out an apartment. I got a voicemail message from the FedEx guy telling me my papers were finally processed and I called back, telling him I could start on the 1st. While I was psyched to have the FedEx job, it was going to be a ball-buster in terms of the hours (especially given that after working all day in Boston, I would have had to drive the truck back north in rush hour to Wilmington, adding 90 minutes onto my workday, which would have been a whole lotta No Fun. But it would have bee steady work and Lina would not be pleased if I had turned it down. Besides, I had already pretty much made up my mind that at best it would be a summer job and that by September we'd be in NY/NJ for the new school year.

Tuesday by noon, I heard nothing from the club. I sent an email asking if a decision was made. No response.

Wednesday before I went to work I sent another email.

Wednesday night, after another wretched fucking day of back-breaking work outdoors in 90 degree heat, I got home, showered, and saw an email from the club. Basically, we liked you but liked someone else better but we'll keep you in mind if something comes up.

Fuck.... me.... Oh well, there was still the FedEx job.

But we got a phone call from the Brighton Beach apartment- it was ours if we wanted it. But after a family discussion, we decided against it- too small, BB is pretty dirty, and the schools a crapshoot compared to where we were looking in NJ. And having seen NJ, Lina liked it a helluva lot more.

Thursday, I was lounging in bed nursing some serious wounds from work and the phone rang, but it was in the other room. I let it go to voicemail and then drifted back to sleep. When I woke up and went to check my messages, it was Bobby from the club asking me to call him. Errrr what??? Much to Lina's annoyance, I took a few minutes to have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat to clear the cobwebs from my head. I called the club but Bobby was in a meeting so I left a message. When he called me back an hour later, he offered me the job.

Well, there were a few details to be discussed before saying yes- little things like salary and benefits, for instance, which hadn't been mentioned at all. So he laid a salary figure on me, but no insurance. I told him insurance is kinda important to me now that I'm a family man and was wondering if we could work something out. He said he would have to talk to his partners to see what can be worked out and he would get back to me 'tomorrow'.

My head spinning, I started researching insurance costs and was able to get a figure, which I emailed to Bobby.

After a seriously sleepless night Thursday (I kept dreaming the phone was ringing and I would wake up and look at my phone but no missed calls), I got out of bed Friday, my stomach in knots. I kept staring at my phone willing it to ring. Then it did ring but to my horror, it was the FedEx guy. I let it bounce to voicemail. He called 2 more times that afternoon and I let them bounce as well, feeling like a complete shit for doing so.

At 3:30 I get an email from Bobby, asking me to call him. I called the club and Bobby told me something came up and he would call me in 10 minutes.

So I went back to waiting. 10 minutes. 20 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour.... nothing. I call the club. "He's in a meeting". So I left a message and went back to waiting.

Another hour passes and still nothing. I make another call and "he's not at his desk". Fuck me, it's 5:30 on the Friday leading into a holiday weekend and if I didn't reach him, I'd have to go to the FedEx job on Tuesday because nothing was sign/sealed/delivered on the club job.

5:45, I call again and lo and behold, Bobby answered. He said he had to finish signing some checks but would call me "right away". With a sinking feeling, I hung up. But 5 minutes later, he rang me back and said I was hired.

There are some items that remain to be hammered out, but none of them will really affect my desire for the job. It will get us to NY/NJ and even if things go sideways, I'll have my foot in the door down there for other things. But I think this will be a nice long-term job.

I then had to call the poor bastard at FedEx and tell him what had happened. When I explained about the new job and the salary, he said he understood. I feel badly about how that turned out, but in the end, I had to do what's best for my family, and again, he was really decent about it and wished me luck.

So now you know the story and it's now time for me to go shower and climb in bed next to my wife and have a well-deserved rest to get ready for the next step in this adventure.

[User Picture]From: sephardic
2010-05-31 04:45 am (UTC)
wow - so glad i picked tonight to catch up on livebook/facespace/intertrodes.

rapidly deployable moving assistant at your service, sir! :) available roughly weeknights after 6pm, weekends flexible.

home depot at assembly square has those perfect big, clear stackable storage/moving bins (the kind with a hinged bi-fold lids) for $6 apiece as of earlier today.
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[User Picture]From: sephardic
2010-05-31 04:58 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: interactiveleaf
2010-05-31 06:02 am (UTC)
Holy crap, this is great news! I'm very happy for you; you certainly deserved the good breaks.

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[User Picture]From: anomie666
2010-05-31 01:22 pm (UTC)

I'm going to be in New York in September for some Italian street festival thing (my friend from PA is going to meet me there). Maybe we can meet up? Congrats :)
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From: dianalily
2010-06-01 09:44 pm (UTC)
This sounds all-around for the best!! I am so, so happy for you. And I anticipate a bit of back-and forth between NYC and Boston, just to get things all settled.

In New Jersey, there will be a bit more room for the price. Hoboken has nice areas now, as does Jersey City. And I don't have to tell you how Sketchy BB can be - especially with a pretty Russian teenage daughter.

Last, Lina deserves a medal for braving the New Yawk traffic. She has some brass ones, for sure.
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[User Picture]From: thormonger
2010-06-01 10:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad things are turning around for the better for you!
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[User Picture]From: lillyflowers
2010-06-02 12:46 pm (UTC)
Gawds. I knew the outcome to the story and I was still OMGOMGOMG while reading it. It must have been torture to go through it. It's been a grinding, crushing few years for you. I'm glad you have a fantastic job, a nice place to live and a family to share it with. We will miss you up here!
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