Friday, September 28, 2007

At loose ends - Calgon take me away!

I'm having some job struggles right now.

On Sunday and Monday, and at odd times during the week, I work very focusedly on my pastoring gig. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it's time to be a student. On Thursday and Friday, I am a consulting engineer. Recently, the engineering gig has been causing me some stress.

The engineering work has been a little slow as of late, and I'm not really enjoying it much anymore, but it does help get the bills paid. A week ago yesterday, my boss and I had a heart-to-heart about some goofy things happening at the corporate level that I'm very disturbed about, and also about how little work we have in our office right now. Bottom-line: If we don't round up some work soon, I will be one of the first to go since I'm almost entirely overhead. Because of my part-time status, my project involvement is very limited - mostly doing QA/QC.

That evening, I went home in a bit of a funk. Even though I don't enjoy the job much anymore, I'm not really quite ready to cut the cord. On the way home, I called a friend with another firm to see if they needed anyone on a short-term, part-time basis. He said he would get back to me by Monday. I still haven't heard from him.

I called another friend at another firm...this one more conveniently located to my church job. His firm is the same boat as ours right now.

On the drive home, I formulated a variety of alternatives and scenarios, including the possibility of picking up something on an interim basis at the seminary.

When my husband got home I told him what was going on, and we had wine with dinner.

On Friday morning, I stopped on my way to work to visit with my former employer who is now a client as well. I told him honestly the situation and asked if there might be anything at all they could send our way on the on-call services agreement our firm has with them. He promised to do some checking around and get back to me.

On Tuesday afternoon, I spoke with one of the deans at the seminary, and he said that if something would happen that would leave me stranded, to get back with him because he had a project that he needed help with and it was probably something I would be capable of doing with very little direction.

On Wednesday, one of my friends who owns an architectural firm that my engineering firm has worked with before came into class and frantically told me that they had gotten more on some huge projects than they expected to get and needed help in a big way. I asked if there was anything we might be able to help them with, and she called her partner and returned to tell me "Yes, have your people call my people." I called my boss to let him know, but he was out until Friday.

Yesterday, I sent an email reminder to former boss/client asking if he had come up with anything. Today, I met with a client in the morning, and while in that meeting, my former boss/client called with an emergency project that needed immediate attention. I contacted the office and set the right people onto it to get it moving. My current boss is now playing phone tag with the architectural firm. So, it looks like I may have found us some work!

So why do I feel like I'm not going to see any of the benefits of it? Right now, I still feel like my job is on the line. And frankly, I don't know if that is bothering me as much as it probably should. I'm afraid that even though I scrambled my a$$ off this last week and got us some work, I may get laid-off anyway, and if I do, it will leave a very sour taste in my mouth. I wanted to be able to leave here on good terms, but if what feels like may happen does actually happen - the work comes in, but I get sent away anyway - it may be very difficult to take the high road, and it may be very harmful to the firm in the long run, regardless of how gracious I am in leaving. Former boss/client was burned once before when a consulting firm let his friend go, leaving his friend and his project high and dry. If this firm lets me - also his friend - go, especially after I got the work for them, he won't be happy, regardless of what I say or don't say. And that combined with the corporate thing I mentioned before will make it all the worse since it will function as connecting the firm that burned his other friend with this firm. Clear as mud...huh?

And all this in the midst of a denominationally related paperwork storm!

Thanks for letting me vent.