In any corporate environment, it's inevitable that you must move, and that time for me is now. Sometimes it's a good thing, like when I was promoted to the editor chair of Popular Hot Rodding. The company-at the time called Primedia-moved me and all my junk from New Jersey to sunny Southern California. It was a transformational time for me, and I confess that I enjoyed the whole process of house shopping and just generally exploring the West Coast. Ahh, remember the early 2000s, when the economy was sound, and we spent money?
Sometimes a corporate move can be as simple as moving your stuff down a few doors in the same building. Over my 17-year career, I've schlepped my boxes a total of 11 times, or roughly once every 1.5 years. Most of those times it was down the hall, up a floor, or to another nearby building. Although I've got 17 years of seniority with the same company, the shingle on the outside of the building has changed five times through mergers, acquisitions, and name changes. In that time, I've also worked for no fewer than six different CEOs, which just proves that if you don't like the weather, all you have to do is hang out for a little while. My point is-like it or not-everything changes.
This time, the move is different. The Mother Company is consolidating many of our satellite offices into just a few regional mega-offices. I don't pretend to know why, I just go with the flow. In the past, all my moves either involved only me, or a handful of associates. This time, everybody is moving, and it's an exodus of Old Testament proportion. And why not? Every American-including you-has undergone the economic equivalent of the seven plagues of Egypt. Nevertheless, I think this move will be transformational in a good way.
Outside of the fact that it reminds me that I still have the best job in the world, there are plenty of fun things about it. For one, I get to sort through all my old garbage. I find a lot of stuff I forgot I had, like cool books, trinkets, and old magazines. You can really get lost when you dust off the cover, crack one open, and smell that old, yellow paper. Just grab an ancient PHR and stroll down memory lane for a few minutes. You'll get a big kick out of it.
The corollary to that is that I get to do some long-needed housecleaning. Every few years, I need to clear out the detritus. Moving is cathartic in the sense that you gain some perspective on how far you've come professionally and personally. Sometimes your life evolves so slowly that you don't perceive the scenery changing. All you have to do is pack up your office for a move to see how far you've really come. Today I ran across some artwork that my daughter made seven years ago. She was with me at the office that day, and bless her heart, she was bored and went to town. You better believe I'm keeping that stuff!
And because this move involves everybody, I've got lots of company. Our old office in Placentia is a beehive of activity. As I write this at 8:30 in the evening, the whole place is stirring with activity. Archives are being explored and moved, we're discovering caches of swag all over the place, and everybody's staking claim to all the old furniture like prospectors at a gold rush. There's a shared feeling of dread for the impending day, but there's also the promise of hope and a fresh beginning.
The new office is in Irvine. My daily commute will go from an already nerve-racking 112 miles round-trip, to an absolutely vein-popping 140 miles-plus tolls. Thankfully, I like driving, and I have the cool cars to tool in. This will undoubtedly affect my approach to project car building-much as it already has, only more so. Look for a bigger gas tank, a killer stereo, and air conditioning. And overdrive? Nah. My speed will rarely creep over 45 mph. I do have a coping strategy that I highly recommend. Whenever I'm stuck in sunny SoCal traffic, I roll the window down, blip the throttle, and pretend that I'm cruising slowly through the biggest car show on the planet!
Oh, and our new address? Source Interlink Media, 1733 Alton Pkwy., Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92606. My email will stay the same at firstname.lastname@example.org, and my new phone will be 949-705-3331.