I'm trying not to get my hopes up. But this has been quirky enough that, given my history, it could actually turn into something.
I applied online (yay for indeed.com) for a job that sounded pretty cool - near Chicago. This was end of July, beginning of August timeframe. An HR guy emailed me with some questions - am I really okay with traveling - that sort of thing. He also mentioned that there wasn't currently a budget for relocation. I replied back and asked if there was any way to negociate a sign on bonus or something. He didn't respond to that, but he did set up a phone interview. I talked to him, and he recommended that I talk to the hiring manager, so we set up another phone interview, this time with the hiring manager.
This phone interview also went very well. He wanted me in the facility for a walk-thru that week, and said that it was rare to find someone as qualified as I am who is still willing to travel. All's sounding great so far, right? I had a couple of concerns about the company, but I was very interested in getting back to Chicago by hook or by crook so I figured I'd go to the interview, arrange to stay for a weekend and if nothing else, I'd have a weekend in Chicago.
I emailed a friend in Chicago and said maybe I could make her Labor Day picnic after all.
Then the HR guy emails me and says that I need to call him so he can "walk me through" the travel reservations. Um. What? When I called him, he said that they did not have a corporate travel so I had to make my own reservations, pay for them and then they'd decide what to reimburse me for, since I was planning on staying a weekend and not flying back right away. Then he reiterated that there were "zero dollars" in the budget for relocation. I took the weekend to think about it and decided to take a pass. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but at this stage in my career, I'm just not willing to pay for the priviledge of attending an interview... especially if I'm wasting my time. Given the joy of my life lately, even if I was willing, I can't afford to move myself - and wouldn't that just suck eggs? I find the perfect job and can't afford to take it. That'd be just perfect. (That post will probably remain in edit, my life sounded so depressing that I disgusted myself.)
Anywho, I called and left a message for the hiring manager saying "Thanks, but no thanks." A week or so later, he emailed me a really nice letter about how disappointed he was and he hoped I'd let him know what concerns I had. I figured, what the hell? so after I thought about it for a few more days, I emailed back and really laid it on the line. I wasn't willing to pay to attend an interview. I was very leery of a company that wants me to travel 70% of the time but doesn't have a corporate travel office. I wanted a company that would at least help (and by that, I mean pay for) relocation. My experience regarding management from GE is not positive - I actually used the term "slash and burn budget planning" - and so on, figuring I'd never hear from him again.
A week ago, I got another email from him - with a seven paragraph answer to my concerns - point by point. Pretty cool. So I called and left a message for him that I'd like to discuss his email. He called me today and told me that the HR guy was gone and someone else was handling this project, and he thought things would be must smoother now. It turns out he's traveling the east coast next week - Albany to Raleigh. So he's going to drive down and meet me here next week... and then we'll see.
I have to think that he's really interested, considering everything he's already put up with, and I don't mean to be a pain, but I really really don't want to be in this position again. I don't like moving. I just what someplace stable with not-asshole people. Is that so much to ask?
I told him that I was interested but he needed to be aware that if things progressed, the negociation would start with relocation - and he said he was okay with that. So, we'll see. Wish me luck!