I'd been talking with my boss who I first confided in for a while last week and she suggested that I speak with my BIG boss (who I don't always see eye to eye with) about it. Surprisingly he was very genuine and told me that he wanted me to stay and that he wanted to sit with me and map out a career path for me. He said that he knew that he and I didn't get along and that he thought our relationship was getting better, but he was glad that I was open enough to talk with him about it. In short, the meeting went very well. He spoke from the heart (which is the side of him I've never seen before) and it gave me much more to think about.
The more I thought about it, the more leaving seemed like a bad idea. Not because I'm afraid of change, because I love the challenge of a new job with higher expectations and I'm constantly looking for that challenge in my job. But I suddenly realized how much I cared about the people I work with. This past year had been one of the hardest for us (we lost SO many people and had SO many awful things happen to us) and we've finally gotten to the point where we can actually start to re-build. It just didn't feel right, at this stage in the game, for me to even think about leaving them. I care FAR too much about everyone I work with. :(
So I called the other branch manager today and I told him what I'd decided. I thanked him for even considering me for such a wonderful opportunity and told him that it was a hard decision to make. I told him the reason (just as I wrote it above) hoping that he'd understand. I even told him that it was really hard for me to decide since I'd seen his work environment and I really liked the people and their philosophies. Funny how it wasn't about the tangible things like the money or the career advancement that helped me make my decision. The thing that actually ended up being the deciding factor was my loyalty to my co-workers and my love of my work environment. He asked me if I was at peace with my decision and I said that I was.
And as I told my told my boss and BIG boss my decision this afternoon, and I saw that they appreciated me as much as I appreciated them - I knew in my heart that I'd made the right decision. :)
Thank you all so much for all your words of support and encouragement throughout all of this, you're all the best! Can someone please remind me of this little episode the next time I complain about my wonderful job? ;)