Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Okay, what just happened here?

I am baffled. I feel like my working life has just crumbled before my eyes in the last three days. (Personal and family life are fine, no worries there.) Monday morning, I woke up secure in the knowledge that I had two different wonderful women who each wanted me to work for her, and I had made the decision on which one to choose. Current contract would end, as scheduled, on August 20. New contract would begin on August 21. Nice, smooth, easy. Clearly, I live a charmed life, and I am grateful for it.

Then the workday started, and my new one year contract became much less certain. Possible new boss, we'll call her J, called with the news that I was required to wait three months before starting with her, and that the position may be no longer by the time those three months had lapsed (see previous post). J said she would talk with her boss and ask him to "read the tea leaves" (am I the only person envisioning Trelawny?) to see if he thought it likely that the position would still be available three months from now after the large reorg that is known to be on the horizon. J would get back to me. In the meantime, current boss, let's call her D, started the ball rolling on extending my current contract so that the time to do so would not lapse in the meantime in case J's boss came back with an "unfavorable forecast" for the possible new contract. That was my Monday.

Tuesday was Luke's first speech therapy appointment, which went fine but killed half of my day. I kept my head down and did not discuss the job situation much at all. By Tuesday evening, I had made my decision. If the "tea leaves" read favorable, I would be willing to wait the three months, understanding the risk I was taking. If not, then I would take the extension.

This morning (that would be Wednesday), I waited as long as I could, but finally called J at 10:30 to see if we had a verdict. Long story (of course) containing details I probably should not put in the blog, so bottom line is that bringing me on board in three months looks somewhat favorable, but how long I would get to stick around seems especially up in the air due to budgeting issues. Once new management comes in and gets a handle on things, they may well just get rid of all contracts, which is within their rights, which would leave me very abruptly out of work. (For those who don't know, contractors can be dropped at any time with absolutely no advanced warning, no matter the length of the contract.) A risk of contracting, for sure, but sometimes a greater risk than other times. This would seem to be a very genuine risk for new contract.

So, after speaking with J, who is my friend and who is genuinely looking out for MY best interests, she agreed with me that it seemed more favorable to take the guaranteed four months and extend my current contract, since she could only offer me a somewhat good chance of contract availability in November, with an even less favorable outlook for longevity. I am, admittedly, disappointed. I was looking forward to another year or so of not having to job hunt, and I was looking forward to working with J again. But given the rather high uncertainty, the sure thing was the better option for me at the moment. I was just relieved to finally have a decision. I *hate* having my life in flux like that.

So, I called D with the good news, that she had "won" (and please note, J and D were working *together* to try and get me both the longest and most secure employment; the were not "fighting" over me, even HR was impressed!). Hmm.... she does not seem nearly as excited or elated as I thought she would. Apparently, there has NOW been a snag with my contract extension. I'm sorry, what? I was under the impression that this was a sure thing! So was D, apparently, until she submitted the request. Used to be, new staffing requests (contract or otherwise) had to be approved at the VP level, but extensions didn't have to go that high. And as far as we knew, we were cleared up through (what we thought was) the highest necessary approval level (2-3 up from my boss). Oh no, my friends! Apparently, ALL staffing requests now have to be approved at the VP level, and there is no chance that the VP will approve it given the current budget crunch. We have someone confirming this right now; should have an official answer tomorrow. There are also some other potential ramifications of submitting the request that I won't go into here, but it basically boils down to this: if it is confirmed that it requires VP approval (and I have no doubt that it will be), they will not even submit the request (and given those other possible ramifications I mentioned, I agree with that decision). My contract will end, as scheduled, a week from Monday, and I will suddenly be jobless.

I guess the good news is that the three month clock can now start (well, it can on the 21st), and should I still not have a job three months from now (a very real possibility, unfortunately, though I will certainly be looking in that time), if the slot is still open, J would still be happy to pick me up. That would give me some income while I continue to look for more stable employment.

So in less than 72 hours, I went from two jobs to no jobs, with only an iffy possibility three months from now and no other potential prospects. Can someone please explain to me how that happened?! If someone saw a grim in those tea leaves, the least they could have done was tell me! Sheesh.

Currently feeling: baffled


  1. Oh Erin, that just sucks. So sorry hon... I hope something comes along to put this right.

  2. Oh my gosh. I would feel so blind-sided!!! Well, I am happy Luke's therapy appointment went well. At least now you won't have to stress out on your Tuesdays.... Hang in there!

  3. Yikes! I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I have to think that something will come along that you'll never expect that will be even more perfect than the opps that fell apart. Chin up. I'm pulling for you and hoping my hardest! :)

  4. What a mess... here is me sending you good thoughts for a quick and successful employment search.


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