Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dreams, and how swiftly they can shatter

It was just 8 months ago that the idea was even in our heads.  The idea; let's move to England.  Sounds hard to do, right?  For most, it is because of this small little problem of not being allowed to be there longer than 6 months without a visa.  Not a problem for me since, as you already know, my husband is British.  Well, it's a little bit of a problem, but not nearly as big of a problem if he weren't British.

Since I'm married to a Brit, I was entitled to a visa that would let me stay in the country for as long as I liked.  However, it was a pain in the ass to get.

The process we went through was stressful and time consuming.  And expensive.

To make sure we didn't screw it up, we hired an agency in London to help us out with the application and the supporting documentation.  The list of the *highly recommended* supporting documentation was a couple of pages long.  They wanted records going back 4 years to prove that my husband and I have been living together that whole time.

Thankfully, I'm petrified of not having something we may, possibly, may never, eventually need and had saved everything for at least the last 10 years.

So, we go through the hassle, stress, and expense of getting this visa in my passport - it took about 3 months.  Great!  Now I can apply for jobs with my resume showing that I'm legally allowed to work in the UK and I wasn't just looking for someone to sponsor me.  I applied for a job I thought I would be a shoe-in for.  And I was!  I was so qualified for the job, the hiring company actually thought I was too qualified and would end up leaving shortly after starting.  So I didn't get the job.

No biggie.  I knew of another company that would be hiring for a few different positions in the near future that I was also very qualified for.  But, since I currently work for this company, and know how their hiring policies work, I wasn't too concerned that they wouldn't hire me for something I was too qualified for.

So, one of the positions at this company was posted.  There were two spots available.  The requirements for even working for this company are complex, but both my husband and I met those requirements.  We were also both qualified for the job.  So we both applied.  Many, many weeks go by and we don't hear anything.  Weird.  I guess they had someone else in mind.  Oh well, I knew they were going to be posting for another position shortly that I was also qualified for.

During this whole time we already had plans to take a vacation in England for my Sister-in-law's wedding.  So, shortly before we left I sent an email to the people I had been talking to about these positions asking if they wanted me to drop by when I was in London.  A few days later I received an email saying that they'd love to meet me!  Also, they explained that the reason my husband and I were not considered for the position we applied for was because we weren't currently in the country and the policy was they were not allowed to do phone interviews.

This information pissed me off in more ways than I care to admit.  Had I been told that they couldn't do phone interviews then we may have been able to make ourselves available for an in-person interview.  As it was, we were never given that option. 

During my visit with them, they seemed very eager for me to start in the position that hadn't even been posted yet.  I was very eager too, but only had a vague idea of how much the position would be paying.

While in England we probed our friends for information on how much they thought we would need to make in order to live where we wanted to live.  The number that came back was about £50,000 - if my husband were willing to stay home with the kids until Ramsay started full-day school.  Also, we realized that we really did want to move back - the concerns voiced in a prior post were all things that could be worked around simply by having my husband stay home with the kids.  Childcare is just too expensive otherwise.

Well, the position was posted this morning and our dreams have been shattered.  It is only paying £42,000.  That's quite a big difference when there's only one income.  Now we're trying to come up expenses we can cut.  Instead of living in a 3 bedroom townhouse, maybe we can make do with a 2 bedroom apartment.  Maybe we don't really need a car.  Maybe we won't have a home phone.  And so on. 

Are all of these concessions worth the upheaval to live like we were living when we first got married?  I have no idea.  I hate living paycheck to paycheck, and that's what we would be doing if we cut enough items out of the budget. 

Plus, we have the whole problem of the house we're living in now.  We won't be able to sell it.  So we would either have to walk away from it and have it go into foreclosure.  Or, rent it out - probably at a loss.  If we were to rent it out at a loss, that's even more money coming out of the measly pay listed above. 

I just don't see how it can be done.  Am I being too selfish in wanting a somewhat, but not even close to, comparable life there as we have here?  I need someone to tell me what to do.  But since I know that won't happen, I'm posting it here for input. 

Help a girl out, won't you?  Please?


Doing My Best said...

Oh, that is so disappointing!! I think only you can know if you are being "selfish" or "realistic". The reality is that we do need a certain amount of money to live in the societies we live in. It sounds like you have narrowed it down to the basics and the salary still wouldn't be enough. *I* would be nervous moving under those circumstances, but maybe you are one of those people who sees life as a grand adventure and "everything works out"? Do you think the salary at the posted job would be negotiable? (Not that I would know HOW one does that or be BRAVE ENOUGH to do it myself =)!) Could you both keep applying to jobs and find a way to let the companies know that you'd be willing to come for an interview?

I'm so sorry for the disappointment! I hate planning "life dreams" for that very reason; I'd much rather just carry on with life than get my hopes up and be disappointed. (Not that I'm recommending this approach to life; I'm sure I'll miss out on a lot of great things in life--or, so I'm told ;-)--but I just know that's how *I* am.)

(I got your email and I WILL answer; I'm just SO BEHIND on everything!)

Mrs. Commoner said...

I'm beginning to realize that I'm being realistic, not selfish. Also, I am *extremely* nervous to even consider living under these extreme constraints. Also, also, it's not really an option to have my husband working for at least the next two years unless he was able to make the same amount as I would. Which...won't happen. He has 2 college degrees, but he's not really qualified to do anything with them. Right now I make more than double what he does.

When I consider the company that has the position available, it is highly unlikely that the pay is negotiable - not that I would ever be brave enough to initiate such a thing. Though, when and if I have to email them to let them know I won't be applying for the job, I'm going to have to let them know why - which doesn't please me in the slightest. I'm afraid by not taking this opportunity now, I won't be able to work for them again since I have already gotten their hopes up. ARRGGGGHHHH!

Doing My Best said...

Well, it looks like you have a pretty clear view of your situation! I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.

Hmmm, you'd think that the company wouldn't be able to hold it against you that you can't accept the job because you can't live on what they would pay you, but I don't know how these things work, so I'm probably wrong! I would also think that declining the job because of the salary would open the door for them to offer more money if they are willing. This doesn't sound like a fun situation to figure out =(! Good luck!!!!!