I want to point out that the question immediately implies that Objectivists have no understanding of the Is-Ought problem. This is quite unfair as there is Objectivist literature specifically addressing the Is-Ought problem. Ayn Rand herself addressed this in "The Virtue of Selfishness." The problem is that a lot of the jargon she uses is that paragraph has to be unpacked. I've unpacked it quite well (I think) in my response to another question about Objectivism and the Is-Ought.
"objective values" (by which he seems to mean "subjective preferences").
This is one of the most common communication problems between Objectivists and non-Objectivists. This may be second only to the misunderstandings around "selfishness" (rational self-interest) and "altruism" which most people associate with a general concern for the well-being of others (but not Objectivists!). I explained a little bit about Ayn Rand's disposition as a non-native English speaker here.
It could qualify as sophistry, but there is a lot of written material on why these terms mean what they mean. No deception or "wiggling" is being attempted. Ayn Rands theory of Concept Formation doesn't accept language as necessarily valid because of common convention. It's terrible to reduce an answer down to semantics, but Ayn Rand put forth a theory of Concept Formation that was very unique in that it ascribes identity to concepts. Words mean very specific things, and if we can't agree on that we can't even communicate. Words are verbal concretes that encapsulate a vast amount of conceptual data, and there is no reason to believe all currently understood concepts (words) are valid in their meaning.
Objectivism, by means of describing an individuals value system, is able to provide context around "subjective preferences" that explains them as "objective values." Sounds like sophistry... but again, value systems, and the concept of value itself, are very specific identifications (what is a value? Why?)... but only the individual can determine their own core set of values (beyond those survival level must-have values common among all humans). In this manner, being different from person to person doesn't make them any less Objective. For example, the amount that another person values his wife, family, or job is an objective fact of reality to me... whatever it is (for whoever)... and I have no way of disputing it or contradicting it. ("No! You actually love driving way more than you think!")
someone who won't differentiate between normative claims and descriptions of desires?
Objectivists do this already, but just using different language (again, but for good reason). Rand herself even acknowledge "normative" claims, but she differentiated "Normative" from "Cognitive". She viewed Normative as being dependent on the Cognitive abstractions, i.e., things we learn about reality (including our own nature).
The distinction you're looking for is "Value" (normative) vs "Whim" (subjective preference) which again forces one to dig into each of those concepts as Objectivists understand them. How can Objectivists differentiate between values and wishes? Actions!
While cognitive abstractions identify the facts of reality, normative abstractions evaluate the facts, thus prescribing a choice of values and a course of action. Cognitive abstractions deal with that which is; normative abstractions deal with that which ought to be (in the realms open to man’s choice).
So to answer the question how things "ought" to be (normative ethics) is entirely based on first learning what is (cognitive abstraction). What a person "wants" is irrelevant, what a person values is where normative ethics come into play. Ex. Since we live for ~70-80 years on average, we ought to incorporate long range planning in planning our daily activities if we value a prosperous future. The nuance of Objectivism comes in its concept of value (cognitive abstraction), which is used as a basis for all of its normative claims about what one ought do. The modifier, perceived as subjectivity, is that individual value systems give way to differences is what one ought do.
One user asked a question about delayed gratification and Objectivism that illustrates the point well. He was asking what he ought do, and I answered his question consistent with my response above.
If you value living in your home town and pursuing a teaching career more than any benefits you're currently getting in your corporate job then you are behaving irrationally. If you believe your current job is a stepping stone that is enabling you more economic freedom so that later in life (not necessarily 30 years) you can move home and pursue teaching, then you are fine where you're at.
Only you can weigh those values friend, but you don't seem happy. Perhaps you haven't explored all of the opportunities for excitement, fun, leisure, activities, etc... in your new city?