Leaving Pittsburgh

As of Tuesday, May 23, I no longer live in Pittsburgh. I'm typing this from a temporary apartment in Seattle's International District within sight distance of Amazon.com's Pac-Med building. One week from today I start work for the e-tailing giant.

I arrived in Pittsburgh for my undergraduate education in August of 1999. After finishing my studies I stayed to work at CombineNet, a small software company in town, starting in January 2003. In the three years I worked for CombineNet the company grew significantly and I became very well-established there. When I got an offer to come out to Seattle, it was a very tough decision to make. In nearly seven years in Pittsburgh I've made so many friends from school and work that I would just leave behind.

To me, leaving a job where I was so established was extremely difficult. Being in a small company means that you can get to know virtually everyone, even people outside your department, very quickly. The news hit particularly hard since my direct predecessor also quit to move out to Seattle and to work for Amazon.

I will deeply miss CombineNet and all my friends and family in Pittsburgh. My now-former coworkers sent me off with a champagne toast, a going-away luncheon and happy hour, and oddly enough an Amazon.com gift certificate. It was a very sad occasion to leave a company where I was so appreciated.

On Saturday night I had one last going-away party at my house to see my friends one last time and to offer all my remaining food to anyone who'd eat it. I was also given a copy of Steelers Super Bowl XL Championship Edition Monopoly to add to my displaced-Steelers-fan collection at my new home.

This past Monday I separated all my personal effects into three categories: things I need immediately (taken with me on the plane), things I would like to have over the next month or so (shipped to my temporary housing address) and things I can live without for longer (shipped to storage in transit, then to my permanent housing address). The vast majority of my things went into that last category. It took four hours, start to finish, for everything in my little house to be packed into cartons, cling-wrapped, and loaded onto a truck. Shortly thereafter another truck came by to claim my car, leaving me with my luggage to bring on the plane and enough bus fare to get me over to CMU where I relaxed for the afternoon.

Over the next week I'll seek permanent housing, meet up with friends and family in Seattle, and see at least one Mariners game. I've got my rental car and my laptop at the ready. The emotional aspect of moving is subsiding for a bit so I can focus on getting down to business as soon as possible.