The interview with Cooper happened the week after the hiring conference in Norfolk. I flew in on a Monday, met five other candidates, took a multiple choice test, and then we all had dinner with several of the maintenance staff. On Tuesday, we got a tour of the plant, each of us did interviews, and then we flew back home. Since we flew into and out of Dayton, we actually had a limo transport us the hour and a half each way to and from Findlay. I think it's the first time I've ever been in a limousine (we had a stretch van to get to and from the high school prom). During the trip back to Dayton, I got an email saying that Cooper had made me an offer. By the time we reached the airport, we learned that five of the six of us were similarly fortunate.
But that was three and a half weeks ago. What happened? A lot of confusion on my end, for one thing. I returned all the paperwork and went to a local clinic to have a sample taken for drug screening. When I got there, the clinic didn't have the test kit for me. I was in the process of writing an email to Cooper to ask them what was going on, when in walks the FedEx delivery man -- and sure enough, he had the kit. But that wasn't the only possible snag. Having a Navy background, I thought that the test would be a urinalysis. I hadn't consumed a lot of liquid expecting this, but that's just how I thought it would go. Not so much. They wanted a sample of my hair, not my pee pee. The screener wondered aloud where he would cut; I keep my hair very short, but fortunately for me, it was towards the back end of the haircut cycle, and the lab was able to analyze the hair, and found it clean as a whistle, of course.
The next Monday (April 22) I got an email from Cooper about that and also about the expense reimbursement (parking and mileage to and from LaGuardia Airport). That was the last communication I had from them for over two weeks. I became a bit concerned during this time, wondering if some unknown snag had been hit that was holding up the process. I e-mailed them last Wednesday -- no answer. I got a call from Orion International on Friday -- told them I had no start date. They did some digging, and it turned out that the plant had shut down and a lot of people were occupied with that. Everything got sorted out two days ago, and we nailed down the start date this morning. Phew.
The lengthy interval prior to today's confirmation allowed me some time to accomplish some preliminary logistics regarding the move. I had an idea of where I wanted to rent... and after searching a little deeper over the last few days, I have a different idea of where I want to rent. Actually executing this thing over the next 24 days? That'll be a little more taxing. I expect to be going out there next week to look over places. I could give you a bunch of details, but here's the TL;DR version: I expect to be spending a lot of time in the car next week. And possibly a lot of time in a rented truck. I haven't decided whether or not to employ a moving company. If I don't, it'll almost certainly be a one-man show -- there are presently extenuating circumstances in my family that likely render them essentially unable to assist.
So, what do I think about moving to northwestern Ohio? Am I excited about it? You're darned right I am! The literature I received at the hiring conference said that Findlay was a suburb of Toledo. That's not quite true, as the two cities are about an hour apart. But Findlay is a sizable city in its own right, about 40,000. The people from Cooper had a lot of great things to say, and the parts of the city I saw (which were limited by my not having my own transportation) looked pretty nice. Everything is less expensive, especially housing. As much as I love Long Island, I'm ready for a change, and I think this will be a good one for me.