There’s No Place Like Home and It’s Not Kansas

My family and I have weathered the storm of the pandemic, and it has been an ever-changing tornado of hard decisions over and over again. Not just for my family though, many families have endured some things that may not have been fathomable pre-pandemic. 

I never thought my family would need to move to Kansas for my husband’s job, especially after he’s been successfully working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. The decision to close the company’s remote location in Michigan is a heartbreaker because honestly: who is going to leave Pure Michigan for Tornado Alley?

My husband may not toot his own horn often enough, so I will take the opportunity to toot this tinman’s horn because he is the hardest working man I know. If we go back to his entry-level position ten years ago he was data entry. “Putting on my headphones and punching numbers,” is what he says he misses from those early days because he has a much more difficult job today. He has worked his way to a supervisor position and has successfully been in that position for the last 6-7 years.

Prior to his promotion to supervisor, he made the personal decision not to complete his college education but to pursue his career with this company. He felt lucky to have his foot in the door with an innovative company. “You may not be able to advance your career as quickly anywhere else,” I always added-in as his working wife.

Oh yeah, I worked at the same company back then. We worked in completely different departments, but I understood the basics of his job and watched the Data Integrity Group or “DIG” grow within the company. 

We went from “single” to “married” and invited a handful of coworkers to our wedding. We were a part of the community within this company. When we moved from being renters to homeowners in 2014, I was no longer with the company, but we still made sure our home was close to the office. 

It was his time to follow the yellow brick road with his career.

There have been a lot of changes within the company since 2014, including an acquisition of the original company, which turned into an opportunity that was somewhere over the rainbow.  

My husband’s hard working skills and ability to see the data processes he was doing on a larger scale is why I believe he became the one who trained and over-saw the data team. His people leader skills were shining but you could still find him at his desk listening to his headphones and crunching numbers. He was in the data files and processing data alongside his team, and self-admits to being the “fastest one.”

He has received multiple awards from the company that all sit on his desk. He has countless certificates that accolade his achievements. He also has multiple rolls of duct tape honoring him as the “fix it” person. I see this all because his office is now in our dining room, and has been since March 2020.

Since then, instead of going to the office and having in-person meetings they have been all at home and over the phone. I did not see work slow down for my husband, he was working more into the nights after meetings ended.

I remember the night we talked about moving to Kansas for his job: what it would entail and everything we would be leaving behind in MI. I was honestly optimistic because with his skill and ability, and my excitement and adventure level, we could make it happen!

However, “there’s no place like home” in Michigan. To name a few things: during the summer we travel up North for weekend vacations and the majority of our immediate family live in MI. The more we thought about Kansas, the less we saw an Emerald City and the more we saw the importance of living close to family.

Months and months have gone by since that night, and his team has since been transitioned or severanced; my husband is next. It is officially coming to an end. His job will be discontinued soon with a severance. 

I continue to watch him do his job, in our dining room, and as difficult as it has gotten for him…he will still clock in until that final day. But, I’m ready for him to turn the light out one final time and move on to weather the next storm in his tin suit—duct tape in hand.