Doocing Unto Others

I don't complain a lot (here, that is), and I don't blog about my job (with a few possible exceptions* that probably won't get me dooced). So how's about I blog/bitch about somebody else's job?

First, a little background:

In this part of the world (really just this end of the mainland-of-the-country), people tend to grow up, go away to school, and do anything in their power to come home. I stress the come home part because, at least with the women The Lovely Wife grew up with (and some of the men), they'll often do just about anything to get back here, including taking pay cuts and bringing significant others (hi!) from other parts of the country with them. I can't really explain it, nor can I claim that it's not like this in parts of the US or other countries. I just know that the whole "moving away from home" thing is less popular here than anywhere else I've lived. Maybe it's the ocean tides, pulling people back like...oh, hell, that simile wasn't going anywhere.

/ end background

The story:

The Lovely Wife's friend, let's call her Phyllis, grew up locally, did some university here and there, and then moved off to make a whopping salary in Hogtown. Not really an anomaly, I know. The big jobs and the big salaries are there, but sometimes the lifestyle isn't what easterners are comfortable with (see also: Great Big Sea's Seagulls in her Eyes.) Phyllis likes living away from home, being incredibly important and successful, and able to store her earnings in a moderately sized brink's truck condominium in the Big City.

Then, through cosmic fate, she hooks up with her ex high-school boyfriend who is living in, say, Florida making an equivalently oversized salary, but who, after reacquainting himself with Phyllis, proceeds to drop everything and move back to the Big City, which unfortunately has fewer jobs in his high-tech field, and even fewer jobs that will pay him his former salary. So he takes a pay cut. Let's say it's about 40% (because I don't know, but I'm guessing here. Hey, it's my goddamn story.) He's happy. He got the girl, right?

Embracing both fate and his new salary, he adjusts nicely to the new city and gets reacquainted with Canadian winters, with snowflakes far outnumbering liver spots. (I'm guessing winter might have been harder to adapt to than the pay cut.) Life goes on. A child arrives (with both their genes, not via Canada Post). They start to feel the pull of the coast, as is the way of displaced maritimers. But lo, equivalent jobs do not exist in this smallish, lower-waged marketplace. And so they wait it out, hoping that either of their jobs will expand eastward or some other creative solution arises such that they don't have to retrain or take jobs that have them making or serving fries.

It doesn't happen.

Phyllis' maternity leave becomes a good time to plan the big move. Yes, they'll have some hefty job hunting ahead of them, but they're committed (heh) to bringing it back home, no matter what it takes. She's flexible in her work skills, even if he really isn't. He gets lucky. Eventually he interviews long-distance with a large telecommunications firm doing IT support work that he's probably overqualified and underpaid for, and they put their Big City pad on the market and pull up stakes.

One week on the job and guess what? He hates it. Promised a 40-hour workweek and some "minor" uncompensated on-call time, he's floored when after two weeks on the job, he's logged two 70-hour weeks. In short, he hates his job and he's in a bit of a pickle, since Phyllis's maternity leave has run out, she'll clearly have to find a job, they move into their new house in January, and the young'un will be attending day-care, which doesn't lend itself very well to a dad who works insane hours and a mom who'll definitely have to get a good paying job to handle the new mortgage.

Call it the east-coast blues, or curse of the young urban professionals who both want high-powered incomes. In the end, the new job went from being the best thing to happen to them in years (since they got to move "home") to a total nightmare, and there's no indication that it won't always be like this.

But, as TLW says, at least if he goes back on the job hunt, he can do it in person. We're all feeling their pain right now.

So...Anyone know some good IT firms where well-trained Oracle geeks can get work?

*I should note that as of a couple days ago, there's been some sort of reprieve and the gates are now open. It may be temporary, so I'm saving my confetti for the time being.

Posted bythemikestand at 2:14 PM  

6 stepped up to the mike:

Anonymous said... 3:29 PM, December 13, 2006  

Yup, must be a maritime thing. I'd rather die than move back to where I grew up.

Anonymous said... 5:44 PM, December 13, 2006  

I guess it is a maritime thing...since I cannot imagine living and/or raising my kids anywhere but right here.
I hope it works out for them.

Anonymous said... 5:54 PM, December 13, 2006  

to make matter's worse this poor woman's "friend" insists on referring to her as Phyllis. If you ever tell a secret story about me you better pick a better name. Phyllis is the equivalent of "Roseanne Barr will be playing you!"

Anonymous said... 7:37 PM, December 13, 2006  

it MUST be a maritime thing, since we live in/near hogtown, my east-coast-husband makes insanely overwhelming wages, and we'll never move "home" because of his ontario wife (hi) and the impossibility of him having a career in halifax.

we're waiting until retirement.

though, my company has a halifax office.. it is just the highly overpaid easterner that cannot find work on the east coast..

Anonymous said... 11:37 PM, December 14, 2006  

Yeah, I come from an area tht no one ever leaves. Down home, the USA stands for United States of Alabama. I will never... NEVER move back to 'Bama. But I should hope that Birmingham, Alabama, USA is markedly different from East Coast Canadia.

As an aside, Wifey has a conference in Halifax this sumer, I will get a report from her then!


sween said... 12:13 PM, December 19, 2006  

We sort of "halfwayed" it. We did the T.O. thing, but when I was offered a job here in Halifax, My Lovely (Now) Wife pushed for me to take it. I loved T.O. while she HATED it. So here we are. I know she at times would love to live in her hometown of St John's... but then she thinks of living that close to her family and she reconsiders. Don't get me wrong -- she LOVES her family. She just has doubts about living in the same city as them where they could drop over at any time and THEY WOULD.

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