One step closer to the relocation to the States. At last.
Mark called about 0630 on Saturday morning. Yes, it was Saturday morning, and early in many peoples books. He knows I’m a morning person. I was actually driving to the gym so missed the first call. I dropped him an email and he called back – I was on a bike warming up and it went straight to messagebank. I went outside and waited in the car and emailed again saying I’d wait outside 10 minutes (he had said he was leaving in 15 minutes on the first message). Eventually the phone gods made a connection.
He’d received an email asking him to verbally give me my offer for the move. I thought it odd that he was telling me given there are so many others that seem more likely. Pat as my Australian boss, whomever my new boss will be, Steve R as the grand boss, but most obviously the HR guy! I asked Mark (jokingly) why he was lumbered with this gig given that I didn’t think I’d done anything to scare HR (yet). He didn’t seem to know why he got the gig, but he did joke that it could have something to do with him telling the office how much of a mega bitch I am before breakfast. He’s not too far wrong.
Anyways, Mark talked me through the information he had in email format: a salary I’d be mad to refuse (particularly if the Aussie dollar continues to dive); they’ll ship 2000lbs of my stuff (Mark noted it takes three months to arrive); pay for flights; as long as I don’t quit / get fired they’ll pay to return me in the first two years; 30 days of accommodation; 60 days car hire; 30 days per diem; a tax briefing; and tax preparation for the first year. The missing piece of information is the start date – this is quite important with the sick leave disappearing as I need some of that now and maybe again.
Having pondered it for the weekend and now drafted the email, I have additional questions, but they’re all detail type things. The big stuff is covered. Questions include:
- How much annual leave per years? I’d previously discussed this with HR and he said he’d try for four weeks.
- Can sick leave and long service leave balances be put on hold until I return to Australia?
- Tax preparation for the first year: is this with an accountant of my choice or nominated? Is this for both countries and if so how does a year get defined?
- Flight to Denver: can I have a 3-5 day layover in Melbourne? Can I have three bags of checked in luggage?
- Am I to be on the nine day fortnight arrangement or not?
It will be interesting to see whether Mark works out how to respond to these or if HR is actually brought up to task. Hopefully we’re almost in a place to get this whole beast moving.
I have a nice long list of questions for the tax accountant people which will only grow as I think about it more: this 401k thing versus superannuation and what do I need to do in this space; is there a superannuation they know of with no fees for holding while I’m not contributing; how the whole private health care premiums will be kept down when I return; is it best to have my Boronia place as primary residence or investment; and returning money to Australia, will this affect tax?
I think I have a new favourite photo – Pa with Dusta and Kenzi. Ben, Leanne, and Kenzi went to visit the olds on the weekend and it seems Kenzi was a big sooky la la until Pa made himself smaller than her. Odd, I don’t see her as a scaredy cat, but she was according to all sources on Sunday! Thanks Leanne for both photos. The Coopers was because I saw a facebook post about ‘dogs prefer dry’ (or something similar), Kenzi prefers Coopers, clearly.
Finally I’m looking forward to seeing mum. She’s decided to put herself on a plane destined for Perth. One way ticket. To come and see me while she can and while I have surgery. So it will be good to see her. Scary to think how we’ll both fit in my teensy tiny apartment, but we’ll get by. I just got the text saying that she and Lulu have made it safely to the Block. Fred will get to look after Lulu while mum is away. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Pa is where the horse link comes from, Ma has had horses, and Fred is the one who bonds with every animal on the planet within milliseconds.
This is a pic of mum and Lulu yesterday after the navigational ride they did to raise funds for the MND society…she and Doova came second. I swear Lulu looks like she’d do it all again! Mum says she would have but she was quite tired.