B is for BS

BIn the course of this whole “being self-employed” adventure, I am finding that there are a lot of people who really want and truly think that they NEED an assistant but they don’t really have a clue what to delegate or how to delegate.  They also don’t know how the process works for hiring an Independent Contractor and so I end up in a lot of situations where it’s more like a traditional job interview situation. Here’s the thing, though… you wouldn’t ask your doctor or your plumber “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, would you?

So…I responded to an RFP (request for proposal) and had a phone call with a potential client and she said she was really impressed but she had some more people she was interviewing and she would get back to me “by Wednesday, FOR SURE”.  Well, here it is, Thursday afternoon and no decision.  She did email me some follow-up questions yesterday (All of which fell into the “traditional job interview” category) and I responded.

A few times this scenario has played out and we get to the point of me sending a contract and they get hit with the reality that I *gasp* actually expect to get paid the rate that I quoted them and I never hear from them again (in spite of my follow-up efforts).

I am mid-range in what I charge for my services. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a potential client think they could get someone to practically run their business (at least all the marketing, social media, customer care, technology) for under $10 an hour.  The thing is….if you hire me, you aren’t paying for any benefits, any office space, no coffee breaks, no potty breaks, no 3 martini lunches.  I charge you for the time I actually work and that’s it.  A lot of times they’ll play this BS game before that happens:

Potential Client: “You charge HOW MUCH??  I can get someone in (insert 3rd world country) to do this for $2 an hour”

Me: “And you are free to pursue that, if you wish.”

Potential Client: (harumph) “You aren’t even going to TRY to negotiate? Lower your rate by $15 an hour to get me as a client?”

Me: “My rates are my rates. You wouldn’t ask your doctor to negotiate, would you?”

Potential Client: “Fine. I’ll just go hire someone from (insert 3rd world country)”

And then I get 2 emails that are basically them still being incredulous that I won’t come down $15 an hour on my rate and they go hire someone from a third world country and then end up having to re-do a bunch of the work that gets given back to them which ends up costing them more than if they’d just paid my rate in the first place.

And yet… I will happily do what I do before even considering a return to the corporate world. Being the Boss is great!

A is for Apathy

A After an inexcusably long absence, I’m back.

When in the course of career events you get laid off, once again, one tends to become somewhat apathetic. Me? I was unapologetically apathetic after my stint at Disorganization, Inc.  I simply could NOT psyche myself up to go through the cycle again. Interview – Rejection – Interview – Overqualified – Interview – No Degree? No Hire – Interview – 2nd Interview – Offer – Start – 6 – 18 months later  = layoff – Rinse & Repeat! And so, I decided to bite the bullet and start my own business.  And I’m still working on building my business and getting clients and negotiating contracts and all of the blood, sweat and tears that go into being a business owner.

I’ve been so engulfed in the whole “creating a whole new life” process that I became apathetic about blogging.  Well, that and telling myself “tonight I’ll start again” and then looking at the clock and seeing it is once again 5AM and no blog post written.

So, once again, I decided that there must be a solution to that and found the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge. And then I found an old friend who is a kick-ass writer and twisted her arm asked her to blog here with me.  So, you will be seeing posts from Tabi Rasa here, as well.   Plus, now you’ll get to read my adventures as an entrepreneur.  And I already have some unbelievable client stories to share!

Strap in and come along on the ride that will be the April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge and check out some of the other blogs in the challenge!


After the Temporary Insanity Ends

It’s been almost a week since my last day at Disorganization, Inc.  It’s taken me that long to feel that I could write about it and not end up gnashing my teeth and becoming catatonic. Yes, that is a tich bit of hyperbole, but honestly, not much.

Shortly after my last post, there was another cut made.  Somehow, the remaining folks got it in their heads that the cut had, in some way, been my “fault”.  That something I had said or done had precipitated/necessitated the cut.  As a result, the following three weeks were something I would wish only upon my worst enemy.  Seriously… when your co-workers are having to draw lots, with the loser assigned to share a cubicle with you, there is no way in which that can be construed as anything better than a hostile work environment.

Management came and asked me some questions about the dynamics of what had been going on. There had been rumors and I was told that I was the only one that they could rely upon to be honest.  For all I know, they talked to everyone and gave them the same schpiel.  Because I do have a personal Code of Ethics, there were questions asked that I did not feel I could or should honestly answer. (So, I simply declined to answer those). I felt that there would be no point in “calling people out”.  That’s just not how I work.

In any case, the job has ended and I am moving on.  No, I didn’t get fired. It was, afterall, TEMPORARY. It was supposed to be a few days, that ended up dragging on for weeks and then months.  From a Project Management perspective, it was nothing short of a nightmare.  There were unclear objectives, there were office politics that were “off the charts” and, quite frankly, the whole experience has put me off ever wanting to work with a large corporation again.

You may (or may not) find it of interest that my direct supervisor actually cried when I left. Although, in hindsight, maybe the tears cried were those of relief.  Maybe not relief at my departure, but relief at the ordeal that comprised “Temporary Insanity” was coming to an end.

So now, I move on.  Let the next chapter begin…

Temporary Insanity’s End Is In Sight

Things haven’t gotten any better at Disorganization, Inc., in fact, they have gotten worse.

I cannot fathom how someone who has employees saying every day that they have “done their share” at lunchtime and then has those same employees sitting doing online shopping and job hunting finds me insubordinate…. yet, that’s what I got smacked with today.

And so, my friends, I am actively working to wind up my time at Disorganization, Inc.

I have no chance of winning here. I cannot see things getting any better and sometimes, as they say, you’ve gotta “know when to fold ’em” and this is one of those times.

I figure, at this point, it’s a game of “beat the clock”… can I find a new opportunity before I get shitcanned?

I do not suspect the agency that got me this job is going to do anything to help me. And I’m fine with that. I’m a big girl and will find my own opportunity.  Still, it would be nice to have them not actively fight me.

I’d like to say “it’s been fun”.. but that’d be a lie… Let’s go with “it’s been educational” and walk away.

Matthew 7:1-3

I’ve found it interesting in the course of my temp job that most of my co-workers hold themselves out as Christians and yet display some of the most horrible, mean, catty, spiteful behavior I have ever been witness to…

They are judgmental, they are meanspirited, they act very self-righteous and as if their shit doesn’t stink.


I don’t get it.  Every Monday in the little viper den that we all share, it sounds like a revival… talking about all the things that happened at church over the weekend.  This discussion is loud, impossible to ignore and destroys my concentration.  Glad you had a good time at church and that Mr. So & So was “saved” but, really, we need to get to work now.

I have no problem with people who choose to be religious. What I have a problem with is people who are sanctimonious. Don’t be praising G-d out of one side of your mouth and telling outright lies about your co-workers in the same breath.

Trust me, if we enforced The Golden Rule at my office, there would be a LOT of really unhappy people.

I, for one, am tired of being lied about. Tired of being talked about. Tired of seeing co-workers who do nothing all day get moved into supervisory positions.  I have less than zero respect for the person who was promoted to be our overlord (at least, she treats us as if she is our overlord) and I cannot WAIT to find another job so I can leave the viper den and work with PROFESSIONALS again.

And I know you are probably thinking that I am being mighty judgmental just writing this, but here’s the thing. I don’t parade around trumpeting about how pious I am and how much I love G-d, nor do I think I am perfect or better than anyone else.  I don’t lie about people, I don’t treat people disrespectfully, ESPECIALLY when they’ve never done a thing wrong to me and I work every day.. I don’t sit around goofing off, collecting the same paycheck that the hardworking folks collect.

I’ve tried to be friendly. I’ve tried to get along. I’ve tried to give folks the benefit of the doubt.  In return, I’ve been lied about, I’ve been spit on and I’ve been threatened.

Hoping I get some more interviews… soon!

Temporary Insanity Stomps Onward

So, in spite of the fact that the project I was hired to do was over almost a month ago, Disorganization, Inc. is still sinking it’s talons into me and preventing me from moving on.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’m being ridiculous and can leave any time but, you see, as a special bonus quirk of the employment world, they don’t want to hire you unless you’ve finished the project and have been released. Also, no one wants to hire you if you’re available immediately BUT no one wants to wait for someone who has to give notice.

Add to that the fact that I have a bona fide Work Nemesis now because SOMEONE told a lie and Work Nemesis didn’t bother to ask me so she BELIEVES the lie and has set about making my life miserable and it’s getting old really quick.

As much as I like having the paycheck (small as it is), I am more than ready to be released from this job and move on.

To that end, I contacted the agency I’ve been working with and had to talk to Agency Harpy instead of Agency Dude and she was completely unhelpful and generally, well, a harpy and it’s just ridiculous.

I had a phone interview over a week ago. I knew that his promise to get back to me “early in the week” was a lie before we even ended the call.  It was a total waste of time and I really, really didn’t need to have my chain yanked again.

This was after the Agency Fiasco a few weeks ago.  Gung Ho Agency Gal calls with the “perfect” job for me. And it was. And the interview went really, really well and the people I interviewed with thought I was PERFECT for the job and I thought that the job was PERFECT for me and then…. then the owner decided that he only needs someone 15-18 hours a week (to do two jobs that were formerly about 30 hours a week for each of the people doing them).  And then she had this other really great job and that interview went all right but then they presented the Dude with a candidate with 5 years of industry-specific experience and…yeah… I didn’t get that one, either.  Not surprisingly, I haven’t heard from Gung Ho Agency Gal since.

Well, I’d better head to bed. Wish me luck (tomorrow is Friday, the 13th and the last Friday the 13th we had, I got laid off… so, yeah, I’m a tich superstitious).

Temporary Insanity Is Driving Me To Drink!

We wrapped up the project we’ve been working on at Disorganization Inc. on Thursday and were told we’d be off on Friday and to “have a nice weekend”.  Ahhhh! Three entire blissful days without needing to navigate the Viper Pit! Bliss!

And then, this evening, I get a message that there is an “optional” work opportunity on Saturday.  Yes, that’s right, Friday evening after having Friday off because there was no more work to do (and anticipating all day that I was going to get a call that the assignment is ending), we are then contacted and told we are free to come in at noon on Saturday.

Ummmm…NO!  Enough is enough. I am through with the loyalty tests and the mind games.  If you have a job for me, GREAT!  If you don’t, FINE!  But don’t ask me to sacrifice weekends and work 12-14 hour days because you feel you can use the fact that I need to be working against me.

I have given 110% to this job.  I’ve worked 12-14 days in a row 12-14 hour days. I’ve given up my social life, I’ve severely damaged my closest relationship and my health is suffering.  Add to that the fact that I work with a roomful of people who wouldn’t piss on me if I were on fire…. I’m just not feelin’ giving up yet ANOTHER Saturday, when I’ve already made plans, to go spend time with people I don’t like one little bit. And if that means that I lose a long-term opportunity, I’m fine with that.  I’m tired of getting my chain yanked. I am tired of all of the petty bitchiness.

I’m done.



Could the end of Temporary Insanity be Nigh?

It appears that things are wrapping up where I’ve been working. While I am sad to see the paycheck go, I can’t say that I will miss the people I’ve been working with and I’ll be glad to get my life back.  I have several things that have been on the back burner, so hopefully something will come up and everything will work out alright.

I’d love to say that I learned some big, valuable lesson from this job, but really, all I have learned that I am not a fan of group working situations (where you don’t have any space of your own) and I’m not a huge fan of working that closely with a big group of women.  Maybe that means that there is some issue with me, but I guess that I am used to being a lone wolf and while I can certainly step up and be a team player, I like my team to not be less than a fingertips length from me.

The odd thing, though, is that the supervisor who had been really friendly and giving me all kinds of extra tasks is now no longer even speaking  to me.  I don’t know what the hell to make of that, but… whatever.  I was trying to provide her with some insight and utilize my experience to her advantage and I guess it backfired on me because she has completely shut down and won’t even LOOK at me anymore.  I sortve wonder if, since she had hinted that some of us might be kept on long-term and now this is perhaps not the case, if that might be the issue.  Not necessarily that she feels bad about it, but she is just backing off being friendly to people who aren’t going to be around anymore.

Of course, it could be that there WILL be people kept on and that I did not make the cut, for whatever reason.  And I guess I have to be ok with that. Business decisions are made without regard for relationships cultivated and that’s just how the business world works.  I could spend a lot of time trying to figure it out, but I won’t.  I just need to get ready to move on and do what I need to do.

Resume is updated and I’m ready to “pull the trigger” when I need to do so.

Continued Temporary Insanity

So, I am still working the temp gig that started back at the end of May. The one what was supposed to be for four days.  I think the first week of August will be the end, but more than once the end of a phase has not meant the end of the job, so we shall see.

The reality is that this is not a permanent position, though, and eventually it WILL end.  Even if it became a long-term opportunity, it is, in reality, extremely simple data entry work, for $5 an hour less than I need to be making to really be “ok” financially and it would pretty effectively set my career path back at least a decade.

Now, I can hear you saying “but you NEED a job”.  And you’re right. I do need a job. But if you keep stepping backwards and then getting laid off every time you make even the smallest step forward, you end up working a series of jobs and never have a career. And then you get asked all the time about why your job history is a BACKWARDS progression more than FORWARD progression.  And “because that was the opportunity at the time” isn’t going to cut it.

The other thing is that this job has had me working very long hours, sometimes 7 days a week. My apartment is filthy, my housemate is extremely unhappy with me, my cats aren’t speaking to me and I am pretty sure that they are on the internet at night placing ads for people to adopt them.

I think that the worst part of this job is that I have nothing in common with my co-workers and I honestly dislike most of them with a passion. I know that probably makes me a really bad person, but it’s the truth. Even my “work friend” is someone I really, really don’t want to be friends with outside of work. Between the fact that she is obnoxiously perky in the morning and that she nitpicks every single thing to death (and distracts me while doing so) makes me just want to smack her and tell her to shut up some days. So far I have been able to restrain myself, but I don’t know how long that will hold.

I think if I owned a car, I’d be actively looking for another opportunity. But I don’t have that luxury and so for now I am stuck having to put up and shut up.  I am dreading what I’ll end up having to do once this ends, as most of the good jobs, the ones that pay decently and the ones I want, are not somewhere that public transportation can get me.

Further Temporary Insanity

Well, my friends, it has been quite the saga here in Career Catastrophe Land.  I was called on Wednesday and told to report back to Disorganization, Inc. for a two week graveyard shift gig. Ok, nice shift differential plus they’ll feed us? I can dig that. So, I went off on Thursday evening, reported as requested, worked the entire graveyard shift and really kicked ass. The group that was there was really, well, let’s put it this way…. they were not the sharpest knives in the drawer and I ended up doing a hell of a lot more work than the people around me because I didn’t treat it as a social hour.

I did hear the managers of Disorganization, Inc. grumbling about the fact that there were too many temps and not enough work and figured that there was going to be an unhappy ending to the whole thing.

Went home on Friday morning and finally wound down enough to get some sleep.  Woke up Friday afternoon to find 3 voicemails and an email stating that the night shift was cancelled.  Not unexpected but disappointing given that I thought I had two weeks worth of work coming (and, therefore, two weeks of pay, including a metric f*ckton of overtime).  I got a call a while later from the agency saying that I was on the “short list” of people they wanted to come in for the day shift on Monday.  Back to the lower level of pay, but at this point, a paycheck is a paycheck and I will deal with things as they come along.  So, I will go back to work on Monday morning for an as yet undetermined span of time and it will be the day shift and I will just plan on staying until they make me leave every night and be all dedicated and devoted and all of that and we shall see if it ends up leading to something more permanent or at least having the agency call me for future work.

Meanwhile, I submitted a response to an RFP. I doubt I will get the work as it was my first RFP response and I have no idea what they are really supposed to look like.  Still, it is what it is and I will get more practice (hopefully) in the future.  I am still waiting on things to get resolved for another pending project so we shall see how/if that materializes.

In general, though, I am feeling ok about things. I am a little bummed that I will not be back in the “things are ok, financially” zone, but I will at least be able to meet bills for another month, so that will help my mental state some.