Got a bit of a shock yesterday morning when Steven announced the furniture store where he works would be shutting down.
He’d seen it coming for a while, and I think it had really been stressing him out. Of course he didn’t say as much, so he wouldn’t stress me out, but I definitely got a sense this wasn’t as big a surprise to him as it was to me.
Though I really can’t say it was much of a surprise. Furniture stores have been taking huge hits in this economy, something I noticed when I was in California this year. Everywhere I looked were furniture stores going out of business; even big ones that used to thrive in areas were I had previously lived.
My friend Marie and I even had this conversation just last month when I was there in Orange County. High end and low end furniture stores seemed to survive, but those middle-range stores just continued to fold.
Steven had said before that he felt Abilene’s Lacks store was on the chopping block because even though it made its quotas usually it was the furthest from the home store down in south Texas. He grew especially concerned when he was scheduled to enter the management program in September and the class was flat out canceled.
So the news yesterday was just the other shoe dropping.
It underscored two things.
The decision to go to California became a lot easier.
The mechanics of it… a little harder.
Lacks has been very good to Steven, wage wise. My husband can sell ice to an Eskimo, and this provided him the ability to ride the wave of an uncertain economy with a product that stayed fairly stable as far as demand. I think it’s even safe to say of all the things he’s sold he made the most money (and most consistent money) selling furniture. When he sold cars he made quite a bit of money, but it was more sporadic. The months of feast and famine were a lot more exaggerated. Cell phones were fairly consistent in terms of sales but the profit depended entirely upon the company where Steven worked.
So we know what we’re facing with his losing his job at Lacks. Our aspirations require that both of us bust our ass and make (and save) as much money as possible. The goal is to save $10,000 by next August while still maintaining our current expenses AND taking strides to pay down debt.
We don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room.
This was the source of my stress yesterday morning.
But I’m the Mistress of Chaos. When the world is in turmoil I’m the most efficient. I launched immediately in Plan Mode to figure out how to make this newest development work for us. The major con of Steven’s job at Lacks was that it wasn’t a national chain. He either needed to establish a relationship with a company that had stores nationwide OR he could go out ahead of me and just get established in LA before me.
He completely nixed the second idea. He didn’t want to move without me (because he’s sweet like that.)
So on his lunch break he went to another furniture store in town and secured a job the minute Lacks goes under.
My husband is the awesomenest of the awesome. In case I haven’t said that lately.
This is a man who knows how to get things done. If he was an agent I’d be sold by now.
But that’s coming. 😉
Now here’s where the story takes a very interesting turn.
The furniture store in the Orange County area of this national chain is in Yorba Linda. It’s fairly close to the area we were planning to move (Anaheim). I stumbled upon another apartment that I actually liked better than the first one I had decided on, that was only a few more dollars a month. It was also closer to Yorba Linda, next to a P-A-R-K for Winston, and even across the street from a grocery store. Talk about convenient!
Then I read the reviews. About seven out of ten reviews said DO NOT MOVE HERE!! WORST APARTMENT EVER!! (caps, theirs.)
Steven and I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. He said, “How about Yorba Linda?”
So I plugged Yorba Linda into the search engine and found an apartment that was roughly $75 more than the questionable apartments in Anaheim. I open up the floor plan and nearly fell off the couch. It had a balcony/patio and accepted pets – those were my absolute requirements – but it also had a fireplace (!!), a kitchen window complete with its own window box (!!!), extra storage (!!!!) and individual washer/dryer hookups in a room just off the balcony/patio (!!!!!!).
With two pets we’d get all that for about $200 more than the questionable Anaheim apartments, which is still hundreds less than areas directly around LA for apartments that are a lot smaller and have a lot less amenities.
In researching the company I learned that they support Habitat for Humanity AND have a commitment to the social responsibility of implementing environmentally-friendly practices. They also offer a 100% money back guarantee that if you do not absolutely love your apartment you can move out within the first 30 days and not incur any penalties.
All this and it’s four miles from the store that belongs to the chain where Steven will be working here in Abilene within the next couple of months.
Oh, and it’s next to three huge-mongous P-A-R-Ks, including Chino Hills State Park.
Needless to say… I’ve found home.
So the die is cast. I’m claiming it. It’s happening.
And all that because of the seemingly horrible news yesterday of Steven losing his job.
Fate! Gotta love it!