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80s Airwaves - 80’s Music, Movies, Media & More » Blog Archive » Preparation for Relocation – Wilmington Here We Come.

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Preparation for Relocation – Wilmington Here We Come.

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When we moved 1,000 miles from Southeastern Wisconsin to Central Connecticut in the midst of the Summer of 2006, we were really clueless about WHERE we were going. And aside from one friend on my side and an Uncle on my wife’s side, the two of us were pretty much on our own in terms of social circles. Those of you who have lived in CT, and maybe some of you who have even visited, probably already have a good sense about the social challenges most residents of this state possess. It would be an oversimplification for me to refer to the entire state of Connecticut as a bedroom community to New York City, but I think that does apply to the greater southwest corner of this small state at least, and certainly includes the communities surrounding New Haven and Hartford as well. The bottom line is, unless you’re from here, it’s a challenge to get your bowling team together.

Just 10 days prior to our big move, after providing a 60 day notice at a company where I worked for over 13 years, my new east coast employer-to-be had a melt-down. I would learn later that this was, most likely, a power-play on his part. An attempt to establish himself as the boss, and the one in control, despite his clearly being clueless. He had provided no details on benefits, no employment agreement, nothing that would indicate that he was taking my start with his company seriously. So I called his bluff and told him I will not be going without those documents. I emailed the recruiter and told him the deal was off and good luck with his psycho client. My intention was to move to North Carolina, jobless, but happy. A day later, the crazy boss-man called and apologized for his behavior and placed blame on just about everyone and everything else, but himself. The documents came through and we spent our fourth of July weekend driving two cars full of our most important possessions east. Our first six days at an extended stay in Meriden, CT was a nightmare story by itself (which CraigsList rescued us from), but I’ll save that story for later.

All of this is simply a pretext to emphasize the fact that social media, way back in 2006, was fairly primitive. LinkedIn represented my entire professional social circle, as Twitter was still just a ‘flicker’ in someone’s eye and Facebook was purely for the current college kids. Today, social media has TRULY empowered everyone to travel and relocate more easily and I am excited about the prospect of not just relocating, but knowing something about the people and places where we might live. Especially since North Carolina never left our hearts during our years here in CT.

Late this past March, I scheduled a special lunch with my current CEO (not the boss outlined above – that gig lasted for eight months before I resigned and then he fired me the next day). I’m not the kind to schedule lunches or meetings unnecessarily, so I’m quite certain he was skeptical but finally in early April we met. I outlined to him my intentions to spend this Summer getting our house ready for sale for Spring of 2011 and that we would be relocating to the Wilmington NC area. I would be establishing my own business (from the dozens of business ideas I posses) and that if there were some possible business partnership for us, following our employee/employer relationship, that we might want to start discussing that. Or not - his call. It was, in essence, a very, very massive notice for him that our current working relationship would have an expiration date, most likely determined by the sale of my house, or determined by him and his response to my very early fair warning.

So far, his response has been very positive. He seems genuinely interested in my business ideas and how he can be involved without getting his existing company shareholders involved (per my specific request). He’s requested a once monthly meeting to talk about the “possibilities’ and how I will be transitioning myself out of his company. We’ll see what happens with my new business(es), but in the meantime, I’ve begun to Fan (or “Like” now) Wilmington businesses on Facebook and I’ve created a special list on Twitter that allows me to stay in the loop with what’s happening in the greater Wilmington / Cape Fear marketplace by following dozens of business, newspapers, magazines and people who tweet frequently about the happenings in this area.

While Twittering to a few of the Wilmington tour companies earlier this week about a scouting trip we are planning for June, a Wilmington Realtor began following me on Twitter. We’ve since messaged one another and I can assure you (and her) that when we start to get serious about buying real estate, she’ll be the first one I call. The Soap Box, a wonderfully strange combination of a Laundromat and Bar/Lounge with frequent live music (open till 2am every night) in Downtown Wilmington, not only has my email address for their newsletter, but their tweets are part of my daily consumption. The Cosmic Kitchen, owned by Chef Chris and his wife Kristin, are prolific tweeters and they frequently promote their food specials via Twitter, which nearly assures my on-going patronage, once we actually get to Wilmington (referred to as ILM by the locals, by the way). I’m also looking forward to spending many hours at Gravity Records and tuning in “The Penguin” (106.7 WUIN) on the radio again soon.

There are many more examples just like this, where it’s become clear to me that after following these people and companies on Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare and CraigsList and Meetup and Google Maps (does that city have a book store?), I have ZERO doubt that our involvement into this new community will be really very positive. We had already decided, four years ago, that North Carolina had the climate we would want, the ocean beaches near-by, the friendly people and the lower-cost of living that was so important to us in a place we would finally call home. Now, with social media as our conduit, we will know the people, places and faces too.

Can’t Hardly Wait!


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