The Long Road Back to Ohio Begins

It’s been a few weeks since my most visited post ever and I planned to keep up the momentum but, as most of you know, I have been neck deep and getting deeper at work.  The article was thought-provoking, to be sure, and while I may have ended with a much more measured response than I had started with, I think it was a good discussion to have as we decide on the “new standard of professionalism” in 2012.  As a guy with stretched ears and a lip ring, I am used to the weird looks at the corporate office but I’m just as capable as anyone else.  That said, at some point we do need to respect to sensibilities of those around us, within reason.  It’ll be fun to revisit that later.

Back to the work situation… life has continued to be physically and mentally draining but I’m getting by.  Thanks to Unisom, I’ve been sleeping better (and I didn’t get paid for that plug) and getting through the day, but I did fall into a lull of absolute laziness during and after my visit to South Beach recently.  I finally dragged myself back to the gym tonight and set a new personal record:  Two continuous miles on the treadmill.  It was only seven months ago when I finally managed to do one continuous mile, so this is a pretty big one for me.  I’ve gone from that first 18 minute mile to double that in 27:18.  Despite some time off, I haven’t lost my step, and this only rebuilt my momentum so I can’t wait to trim it to 25 minutes!

But even more exciting news is that, in one week, I will have a new Senior Web Planner sitting at the cube behind me and I will be reporting to her officially!  This is Tyson’s replacement and it has been a long time coming but, despite the stress, I’m actually quite happy things turned out the way they did.  I’ve learned a phenomenal amount through trial by fire and I’ve built a network and developed some new potential career paths that are really exciting for me, and now I’ll be able to get my sanity back while hopefully maintaining much of that momentum.  I really appreciate the opportunity that was created, and that my temporary boss (my boss’s boss, now) Scott has been so willing to turn over the keys to someone with my limited experience to run the show.  I hope I don’t lose the projects I’m currently working on… there’s some good stuff coming up!

Of course, this brings me to the move back to Ohio.  One of the key takeaways I’ve had from the interviews is that the new senior has worked with remote teams before (outsourced, internationally-located teams, to be exact) so she does hold experience in dealing with the challenges of a remote workforce and is open to doing so ongoing.  It remains to be seen how she feels about her direct report working remotely, but I do have a slight advantage going into this process:  I will be flying home Thursday night and she will be starting the following Monday.  Her first week in the office, I will be training and helping her get settled in, as well as facilitating introductions to a variety of team members, all remotely from my Ohio office, demonstrating my capabilities.  The following three weeks, I will be in the office, then two more in Ohio.  We’ll definitely be taking a crash course in working together while far apart and I think it will be a positive experience for everyone involved.

Now the next question is when I’ll be back permanently.  That’s a tough one considering we haven’t even been introduced yet, nor am I entirely sure she’ll be comfortable with the idea (and after all, it is her decision), but my personal goal is to work with her and decide on approximately July 26th as my last permanent day in the office, giving me time to get packed up and casually drive to Ohio over the weekend and take Kristin to the Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney show that I bought her tickets for on her birthday.  If that doesn’t work out, any time in August would be great, but I’d love to have a few months of Lake Erie Crushers games left when I get home so I’m hoping to meet my goal.

Kristin remains skeptical, as is her nature, but is reluctantly excited in case everything does fall into place.  She graduates officially in five days and has also, of course, wrapped up her internship, so she’s basically on semi-permanent vacation right now, working a couple of days a week on average, until we get a chance to figure out what we’re doing when I come home and she opens things up a bit more.  She deserves the break, though, as she seriously busted her ass the past few months and really pulled through a tough final semester, internship, and work all at the same time.  A little time off is clearly warranted.

I touch down in Ohio in under 75 hours so the countdown continues.  In the meantime, I’m about to put on some music and clean up a bit while I wait for Kristin to get home from her kid sister’s banquet and give me a call.  Until next time…