A few years ago, I worked my ass off and earned The Dream Job that I had been striving to get. I had been slaving away as a department assistant for very, very little money. To say I worked hard and was dedicated would be an absolute understatement. I was the first one in the office every day. I was the last one to leave. I worked my tushy off and gave my entire being to that job. For one goal. The people I was assisting were doing the job I wanted… it’s essentially a sales position in the music industry–only they “sell” artists and their music to radio stations. They convince stations to play their songs instead of other record label’s songs. They traveled. They ate and drank well. They had expense accounts. They worked from home and made their own schedules. THAT sounded like The Perfect Job. Ever.
So, I worked my ass off. I tried to be just good enough to keep my position as the department coordinator, but not good enough that they wouldn’t ever want to promote me to being a regional. I wanted a regional position so badly… because it would allow me to continue working in the music business, but also allow me to move away to another city. Nashville was just getting too small for me and scoring a regional position was the perfect solution.
For a few months, there had been rumblings around the office that the label was going spawn off a second imprint. I was down-right fucking giddy. A second imprint means HIRE MORE REGIONALS! As soon as the rumblings became rumors and, ultimately, truths, I begged (BEGGED!) my boss to make me a regional. Did I mention that I begged? Cause I totally begged.
And one day after all that begging, while I was sitting in my office, my boss called me into his.
“Grace,” he said as he sat behind his desk. “I need you to do a research project for me.”
“Oh… [pause] Ok.” I have to admit, my heart sank a bit because I had heard that day was when they were going to make all their hiring decisions.
“I need you to research where you would want to live in the midwest or northeast when you become a regional for the new label.”
Oh my God. Holy fucking shit. Seriously. Enter, stage right, Speechless Grace.
I think I floated out of his office instead of actual walking. I was finally going to be able to leave Nashville (and have the company pay for it!) and still work in the music business. My plan WORKED!
But now…. Where to move??
After much deliberation, it was down to four cities. Boston, mostly because I loved that Augustana song and thought it would be awesome to live it out, plus it was riddled with history and this girl loves her some history. New York City, because since I could walk, I’ve wanted to get myself to NYC. Cleveland, because that’s where my family lives and isn’t it nice to be close to family? And finally, Chicago. Because, well, it was big like New York, but it was midwestern, like Cleveland, so it was filled with My People.
And New York was too expensive, especially on what they proposed to pay me.
And Boston was a social wasteland to me, I knew not a soul there.
And Cleveland’s downfall was it’s airport. You can’t get a direct flight to anywhere from Cleveland.
So Chicago won.
I was (finally!) going on an adventure.