Well, here it is – the update I’ve been saying I’ll write for two months and am just now getting to. In my defense – the last two months have been totally nuts and new things have happened pretty much weekly.
Kurt and I arrived in San Antonio yesterday after a 20-hour trip down. I had never been in a car that long, and let’s just say I’d rather not do it again if I can help it! Kurt did most of the driving but I did handle the trek across Oklahoma on Sunday morning. We were very glad once the drive was over… and so was our cat!
But I guess I should start from the beginning! As I said in my last post, Kurt received a promotion. His new position is as a Field Service Engineer (FSE), which encompasses a lot of things, but basically:
- He acts as the liaison between Ford dealerships and Ford corporate;
- He sells Ford-endorsed tools and upgrades to dealerships;
- He handles escalated or exceptionally difficult mechanical/technical issues when the in-house techs and the Ford technical hotline can’t figure out what’s wrong.
This is a very exciting professional opportunity for Kurt on a lot of different levels. It’s obviously a step up in hierarchy, which comes with its own perks. It’s also a fast-track into being an official Ford employee, which is much better than working as a contractor (as Kurt has been doing since he started working post-college). It will allow him greater benefits and, eventually, greater mobility.
Originally, they told us we were going to be moving to Dallas for the position, but a few weeks later Kurt got a call from his boss saying he would be going to San Antonio instead. Kurt has loved San Antonio since he was a kid and was thrilled to be able to live there, so it was a welcome surprise. He is in a unique position here in San Antonio because he will be taking over for the FSE that has handled the San Antonio region for decades. The old FSE has opted for a phased retirement, so he’ll be supervising Kurt in the beginning with reduced frequency as time goes on. We’re hoping this will build a little more trust with the dealers in Kurt’s region, rather than suddenly having to deal with a new (and very young) FSE. Kurt’s region is primarily southern San Antonio, but he is responsible for some dealers down by Corpus Christi and even down on the border of Mexico.
Kurt left his work at the technical hotline mid-July to begin the transition to his new job. He’s been doing a lot of online training courses, most of which overlap with his work and academic experience. While in Michigan, he also did some ride-alongs with the local FSEs to get a feel for the job. So far, he has really enjoyed interacting with dealers and learning the ropes on the sales end of things. Today, he flew to Dallas to pick up his company car (a white 2014 Ford Fusion hybrid) and he’ll be there until Tuesday or Wednesday meeting with his boss and doing training.
Our housing situation has been a bit more complicated. We broke our least in Belleville and moved out at the end of August. The week before we moved out, I actually flew down to San Antonio for the weekend while Kurt was here on business. We saw several houses, some of which we liked. However, we didn’t realize how fast-moving and competitive the rental housing market is down here so we lost the houses we wanted, some of them in less than 24 hours. I had to fly back to Belleville and pack up the apartment, but Kurt and I were able to arrange some meetings with a realtor him during his last day in Texas. Even then, the two houses he really liked were also rented by the time we got the paperwork for them so we’ve been dealing with a lot of disappointment… We did manage to get an application in on one house in the hopes that we would at least have a place to go by the time Kurt had to start work in SA today, but there were a bunch of complications trying to coordinate between our realtor and our former apartment complex (legal stuff) so it didn’t happen.
What does that mean? Well, Kurt and I are living in a hotel this week. We did finally get word today that our application had been approved for the one house, but seeing as we’re already here and didn’t really like that house in the first place, we’re planning to meet with our realtor again this week and find a place we’re both excited about as quickly as possible. Please send positive vibes that we’ll have a home by next week!
I haven’t had the greatest first impression of San Antonio so far, but overall, people are extremely nice. The economy is also significantly better here so I’m excited about job prospects. I also have a trip to Finland with a friend of mine coming up later this month, so things are busy, to say the least. Fingers crossed that my next post is one full of pictures of our new house.