It's been a crazy week! We flew into Elmira, NY on Thursday night, kindly met there by my friend, former lead, and future supervisor George. He guided us to the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads. On Friday I was given a thorough tour of the plant by a nice guy named Greg. It's a relatively young facility at 9 years. My interview by a three-person panel was actually a lot of fun and went really well- oddly enough, there were no Yankees in the room.
Jackie, the production manager was from Georgia- never lost his accent. He reminded me of that tall guy in the wide-brimmed hat in the movie The Secret Window- "You stole my Sto-ry." George (a fellow Texan) was a member of the panel, and the third person was Skip, the engineering manager- also originally from Texas. He not only knew about the tiny town of 112 that I grew up in, but owns land not far from it. It's a small world!
After my big day at the plant, George and his wife Janet, took us out to dinner at Horigan's Tavern- a neat little Irish pub with unbelievably good food. Their Shepherd's Pie was amazing. I'm looking forward to Wednesday nights here- corned beef and cabbage is the special. That evening when we got back to the hotel, I began scouting for apartments via Craigslist. The logo for USARealty kept popping up beneath some interesting postings.
The people here are really nice. On Saturday morning we were scouting out the area in our rental car and passed a small office with signage matching the USARealty logo that I'd seen the night before. We stopped there and got out to ask about apartments for rent in the area. That's where we met Penny- the only person at the office. She was on her way out the door to meet with someone else, but kindly stayed long enough to print up a list of potential properties- slim pickin's for a couple with a dog, but there were a few. She could tell by our accents that we didn't know our way around the area, and loaned us her Tom-Tom GPS! "Oh, just bring it back when you're done and put it through the mail slot if I'm not here." If not for that gadget, I don't think we would have seen half of the places we managed to swing by today. I can't thank her enough.
Person #5 was Jan, the Realtor that we meet at 1:00 this afternoon. She was very helpful and took us on a tour of several properties for sale, one of which we might just make an offer on. She will be doing it again in Elmira before we fly home tomorrow.
So, for week #5 I'm claiming Greg, Jackie, Jan, Penny, and Skip. I should probably remember the names of at least 5 more people I met on this trip, but that's never been my strong point.