Our Journey to YES - part 3

Monday, June 27, 2011

You can read parts 1 & 2 here and here

Four months, 12 counties, and an empty savings account later we found ourselves in London, England with nowhere to go. Back in San Luis Obispo our few boxes of belongings were in storage and my sister had taken up residency in our former place. We knew we could crash with the parentals for awhile but after a year of marriage and the trip of a lifetime cozying up with mom and dad sounded fairly awful (no offense, we love you guys).

Pictures from our big trip
Our senior years of college RJ started making the two hour drive from San Luis Obispo to Ventura about once a month. He had determined that Patagonia was the company to work for and he wanted in. But with hundreds of applicants for every available position and no industry experience RJ didn't hold much of a chance unless he knew someone on the inside. So he started driving down highway 101 to spend monthly afternoons sitting in the Patagonia lobby. He made friends with Chipper Bro, a Patagonia employee legend and gatekeeper to the inside,  asked for informational interviews, bought people lunch and shook a bunch of hands. Even so, everyone told him it wasn't likely he would get a corporate position without experience; he would need to start in the retail store, get to know the garments and the company.

While traveling we had tossed around the idea of moving to New York City. RJ could work at one of the retail Patagonia stores and I could sling coffees at Starbucks while looking for something more substantial. If we ate only potatoes and found a teeny-tiny studio we could potentially pull it off. Between South America and Europe we stopped in NYC. RJ met with the Patagonia store managers and they told him to call once he was back in the states. A plan was slowly forming.

Our second to last day in London RJ found a pay phone and started making calls. Since our flight home has heading into Sacramento he thought he would start with the Ventura store, and if they weren't hiring he would ring up NYC. It was late November and the Ventura store manager remembered RJ. If you can get her in 6 days I'll give you a job. It's Christmas season and we're slammed, she told him.

It was settled. Good-bye NYC; Hello Southern California. We had a place to call home.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Linda Z said...

I remember these milestones... but it's fun to read the backstories and find out how it all came about! :)

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