Fandango’s Provocative Question (2 September 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. A long one this week, but ultimately rewarding. Fandango asks:

Have you ever had to make what turned out to be a life changing decision? If so, do you ever wish that you could go back in time and make a different decision? What decision was that and how do you think your life would have changed if you’d made a different one?

With hindsight, there were a few life-changing decisions. I guess we all have them. I’ll pick out a couple:

I remember the time I spent working in the USA. I was sitting on a job offer, with a visa in my hand, and ultimately decided to return to the UK. That was certainly a life-changing decision. With hindsight, I think the company thought “this guy will do anything to work in the US” (and some other employees certainly thought that), so they made what was a pretty crappy offer. I always had my eye on the level of employment I would go for in the UK (which I went on to achieve), so I thought of this crappy offer as, well, a crappy offer.

Within that time in the US, there would have been other life-changing decisions.

When I first went over, I was based in some offices in the ‘burbs, outside Washington, DC. Frankly, the experience left me with no desire ever to go back. I think it was the ‘burbs rather than DC. I hated having to get into a car just to go out anywhere. Even the roadways didn’t have any sidewalk.

But go back I did, to Tampa, Fl. We were deep in talks with Chase Manhattan, who had a big campus there. I went over for a few weeks of workshops, decided I liked the place, so we set the wheels in motion.

Last of all, Chase changed the goalposts and said they wanted us in Manhattan. As it happened, I loved NYC. I would have been more than happy to work there instead of Fl, but NYC was mega-expensive. The offer which was acceptable in Fl was a pittance in NYC.

The point is, three totally different places, any of which I might have ended up if I had gone over. Any of which might be considered “life changing”, compared to any other.

So, one decision I got right.

Then there was meeting my wife. If anything, I remember that largely because the big decisions like marriage and children were so easy. Remember, I wouldn’t have met her at all if I’d stayed in the USA. But I did have a wobble right at the very start, when we first met. Did I want to commit to this fish, or did I want to go looking for all the others in the sea? (I’m sure I’ll be in trouble for comparing her to a fish!) But seriously, whenever I met a girlfriend, there were always other people – do I want to be with her or should I keep looking just in case something happens?

I reckon I got that one right.

I suppose I could look at my job, too. Although technically I worked for myself, I had clients. I was my own boss, but not really my own boss. One client, I knew for 10 years. When you imagine, you normally have a client for 3 or 6 months, 10 years is a long time. During that time, they asked me three times if I would join their team permanently. The last time, they made it known… by the way, we’re also planning on getting rid of all contractors. I figured I could find other clients, which was indeed the case, when it happened.

But after that, I wasn’t aware that there would have been this blip with my health. I never knew I’d have a stroke. I might be earning a decent salary still, or maybe living on their pension, rather than trying to eke out a living on my own.

Was that the right call? Well, sure, if we’re talking about keeping my sanity. One thing with this client was that they were so disorganised, it would have driven me crazy. But maybe financially, they would have been the right call?

I don’t know. I don’t really think we can go through life with regrets, but maybe just a few teeny ones?

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

36 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question (2 September 2020)”

  1. I guess many people, at a certain point in life, decide to choose to go back home. It happened with me after 5 beautiful years in Switzerland; I wanted to come back to Italy, and I did. I believe it was a good choice. My family and close friends are all here.
    Have a nice day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed Switzerland, too. Geneva especially, because it was this tiny, affluent enclave of France. But in IT, I was pretty much consigned to the Anglo-Saxon world. That was a shame in some ways but I would never have been able to work at the same level.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I recognised the name “Vevey” but had to look it up to see for sure. I have certainly driven around there, Montreux is very civilised, isn’t it. And we once caught the ferry from Evian over to Lausanne. I can imagine, there must be a lot more happening in Milan.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. For sure :-). But they are so different that it’s quite difficult to compare. Sometimes, going to work it happened that I would have a cow sitting in the middle of the road! Yes, Vevey is on the way to Montreux, another beatiful location in Switzerland.

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  2. To quote Robbie Williams,
    “No regrets they don’t work
    No regrets they only hurt
    Sing me a love song
    Drop me a line
    Suppose it’s just a point of view
    But they tell me I’m doing fine”

    … You are right..we can’t go through life with regrets… I think the experiences you’ve had in the US may not be so good at that time, but looking at it now, those are rich experiences. Not everyone can say they’ve had crappy offers like that 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved NYC. I was there about 6 months all told, lived in Chase appartments in Battery Park City. We worked right down on Water SAtreet, right on the Southern tip, and every morning I’d walk to work through the World Trade Center and along Wall Street. Really felt I’d “arrived”.
      When the job fell through I tried for about 6 months to get back over but the visa was tied to a particular employer, it wasn’t interchangable.
      It’s ironic, because I thought I was going to be living there for ever, I never bothered with most of the touristy things, there was plenty of time, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My very first job was on Wall Street – directly across the street from the Stock Exchange. (that was in 1970/71). A LOOOONG time ago. I’ve been to Battery Park, and know the name, but details get lost. I lived on 10th Street between 1st avenue and Avenue A. A very short walk to St Marks place. I lived a very sheltered life, so didn’t get to experience NYC the way I now think it should be. Some day I’ll go back for a good long visit. – maybe. I’ve been back 2 or 3 times, but kind of passing through.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Funnily enough I would have liked to visit Yankee Stadium and Meadowlands, although I’m not really a sports fan. Presumably you moved out of NYC? Whereabouts did you end up? We drove up the Hudson once – while I was dead set on being on Manhattan, some of the guys had families and wanted to live further out.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was a Mets fan and the miracle Mets of 1969 is a great memory. I’ve also visited the original Yankee stadium.
            After NYC – Rutland vt, Elmira ny, Eaton Ohio, pawpaw wv, gore va, Elmira Ny, Houston TX, Cambridge England, and now Richland hills TX 😳🤣

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  3. I regret not admitting to myself that I was ill. I waited way to long struggling and now the road back to a more normal me is very long.
    All the other ‘decisions’ that I’ve made I’m fine with, you win some, you lose some.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But how do we know we’re ill, when we’re stuck in the middle of it? I think we ony realise after we’ve taken a step back. But in general I think you’re right – you make a decision which seems the best one at the time, and make the best of it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The trick will be turning this whole experience into something positive. I mean, to a large extent you’ve already done that – you’ve probably written the equivalent of a book just in your posts, and look how popular they are.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think the shear volume of my writing would be the volume of a book.
            Thank you, I feel that I’m turning the ‘experience’ into somewhat of a positive too. But the real gem lies in myself, I’ve learned so much and this is still ongoing.
            As far the popularity, I guess I don’t see it like that because I have the tendency to compare my blog to ‘bigger’ bloggers. And as we all know, comparison is the thief of joy!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. We’ll see what the future brings. I have a appointment to start counseling (?) to find a job. It’s something compulsory to keep your benefits. I don’t have mega expectation but if there is something to say about it, I’ll make a post.

                Liked by 1 person

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