On This Day


One of those dumb little things on Facebook I like is clicking the ‘On This Day’ button to look at what I posted through the years.  Part of that is not just to see what I was doing, but how I was going public with what I was doing.  If you been watching this blog for a while, you know that announcements come along way too frequently – but also those are the kinds of announcements that are weeks in the making.  I don’t make a statement of a major life change the day it could possibly happen – I only do it after everything is set in stone and the right people are notified first.  That being said, I do love a good set of hints.  That’s why today’s ‘On This Day’ made me giggle and reminisce; because the real story is pretty awesome. I made the post on June 26, 2013 tagged to a location in Berlin, Germany.  The post read:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls – I have officially taken stupid to a whole new Latitude

I was with Cessna at the time in Germany for a Nadcap meeting, an business meeting that took up a fair bit of my attention and work in part because I just inherited a chair position on a major task group.  But additionally I had something else weighing on my mind.  We had just finished the day, and I went to dinner at a nice traditionally German beer garden along a quiet street.  With me were two good friends and my boss.  As we were just ordering beers, my phone rang … with a 907 area code (that would be an Alaskan code).  I excused myself, having a feeling what the call would be about, and stood on the street corner.  I remember vividly the thin trunked tree I leaned against while I listened to the call, the chewing gum on the grate near the trees roots, the random cigarette butts.    I listened, and when the man on the other end finished, I took all of a couple seconds to reply with a very official “Alright, I accept your offer.”  There was no negotiation, no space to think, just my quick response.

Standing outside of this German Beer Garden, I was offered a position that ultimately had me leave Kansas and sent me to Alaska.  As I stood under that little tree, my life changed.

And I was changing it from seven time zones away from my home.

I wasn’t scheduled to be home for another week.

Heck, I wasn’t scheduled to be back in the office for three weeks.

You would think I would have at least enough sense to sleep on it, think about it a little bit … but I knew what my answer was going to be regardless of what the offer would be.  I had been courting that position for nearly 10 months, had a feeling that I would get an offer at any time.  Even had a call come in the night before, but by then the Beer Gardens had been open for a while.

When the call was over with, I went back to the table.  I couldn’t say anything because it was a verbal agreement only at the time and, with my boss sitting there, any thing I say could be thought of as turning in my notice.  So, I gave hints to my other friends, and made that little Facebook post.

I think I went mostly public on the announcement by the end of that week.  I did talk to my boss while we were still there in Germany.  It was a classic conversation as well – since it started with me telling him I was leaving (which seemed upsetting to him), then continued with me saying where I was going to … and then the whole rest of the time we talked about all the cool stuff I would have to do when I moved to Alaska.

But on this day, way back in 2013, I couldn’t help to think how taking stupid to a new latitude started with the a simple little phone call on a quiet Berlin street.



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