Sometimes it would be nice if you could make the hard decisions easier by just flipping a coin.
Heads, I end the blog post here with that one line. Tails, I write more...
As many of you know, I've not been happy with the work I've been doing - my contract - for some time now. I thought when one aspect of the project came to an end at the end of September that it would be it, they would thank me for my time, and I'd be moving on. I stockpiled at Sam's club. (That reminds me, I should have spaghetti for dinner tonight...). I prepared for a period of unemployment and was gently surprised when the end didn't come.
I briefly got excited about a full-time opportunity with them, with benefits, but that didn't come either. And so for the last four or five months I've been biding my time trying to figure out what I'm doing, and whether or not it was time to start looking for other opportunities. But at some level, I am committed to them.
Except I wasn't supposed to be. Originally, when we approached this local business run by someone who my partner and I both knew from church, this was supposed to be a gap-filler for me while we looked for the work we supposedly wanted to do. Initially, we hadn't exactly made any promises to be there long-term, and the point was that we wanted this job to provide some flexibility, so that if I got another project in the area where were hoping to build our business, we could put this one on the back burner and bring it back up to full boil when each other project ended. It was intended to supplement our other business development.
But they were happy with the work, and it was providing steady pay, and it was 30 hours a week, so there wasn't a lot of room to fill in around it. And the opportunities weren't there immediately, and by the time they might have been, I seemed to have settled comfortably into this, and we didn't want to rock the boat.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. ;)
But seriously, one of the things we were hoping for and expecting with this assignment was some flexibility. And slowly, but surely, as time has gone on that flexibility has eroded. So much so that shortly, after they finish installing software onto a computer that I can use, it would be hard pressed to make the legal distinctions between me as a contractor and me as an employee. Now it has come all down to the hours I work, and that the hours I work are on-site. Certainly no longer encouraging me to work on the project when I want to, nor making me want to work on the project much at all.
If I were not planning on moving from here, this would be an even more delicate situation than it is. I'm ready to be done with this. I need something different, something that doesn't keep holding the potential end of the contract over my head like the blade of a guillotine, and something that brought me more security and ideally an opportunity, perhaps, for benefits. They have had an opportunity to hire me for awhile, but seem deliberately to have chosen not to. And I don't know, had they made me a job offer, it would necessarily have been better than what I have - it may not have been. But, it would have been nice to have had the chance to decide.
There's that annoying song by Beyonce about "put a ring on it" - and it's only annoying, of course, because it gets stuck in your head and at random times, you'll find yourself singing "uh, uh, oh.. oh,oh, oh oh...." (you'll have to know what I'm singing to know what I'm singing, but I think you know! You're welcome!). And a part of me thinks that he has had plenty of opportunity to make me a more permanent employee and secure my loyalty, and that he hasn't done so should give me some freedom, some freedom without GUILT, to not feel so loyal to him. To move on.
Instead, there's been a bit of an arrogant boyfriend chipping away at your self-esteem kind of pattern going on. And if this were a romantic relationship, not being happy, not getting what you need out of the relationship, well, it might seem like a no-brainer. Particularly if he hadn't put a ring on it! ;)
So why am I agonizing over this? I have a new opportunity in front of me. And while it might not have been the one I thought I was looking for professionally, I am prepared to make a change and a positive one for my future. Why am I allowing this outstanding string to act as a yoke?
As I was telling someone else earlier today by chat, it isn't as if I am relying upon him for a good recommendation....
Oh, wait... it's that whole burning bridges thing. That wherever you can prevent burning a bridge, you should try to avoid doing so. That's generally a good plan, I admit. And I have been fortunate the one time I napalmed a bridge on my way out of a job, it actually got rebuilt, and I was rehired nonetheless. I did feel a bit of regret at having napalmed it, but, overall, things worked out fine in the end.
And where does this bridge I'm afraid to burn leave me anyway?
Is this really a Kobayashi Maru scenario? (and yes, I did have to google to remember the name of the unwinnable scenario from Star Trek - despite the Borg name, I am NOT that geeky (or so I pretend)). In which case, why am I so worried? Or what am I so worried about?
I don't know.
Flip a coin.. Heads I leave tomorrow (okay,well, maybe not THAT quickly).. tails I get stuck here, forever (definitely NOT!). Maybe I need one of those D&D dice so I can have a few more options...
Wait.. who just turned into a geek?