Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday - D'OH!

I don’t know; no matter how hard I try, it seems I just can’t make a good decision.

It’s not like I don’t work at it; I mean, for the first time in a long, long while, I was a popular commodity. There were three different companies jockeying for my affection, each hoping to win my heart over the courting of the others. It was a beautiful thing; I felt like a petite and blushing debutant emerging shyly to the cloying attention of my suitors. I felt downright svelte, I tells ya.

But, I had to choose. I mean, like it or no, I had to pick one; I can’t work at more than one place, even though that’s probably the only way I’ll ever make enough money to actually live and have money for retirement. (yeah, right; retirement. That’s one for another entry, though.) so, despite the LOVING it feel I had going on, and all the tingly warm-fuzzies that I was experiencing about being so popular, I had to decide where I was going to work.

The offer 3 is a no-brainer; it’s a long-term contract-to-hire (possible) job, and I just can’t ignore the steady income that I, and my family, so desperately need. So, that one’s the first choice; but it’s also the least concrete. The interview was Tuesday, and I thought it went well, but how do I know? I’m crappy at these things.

For the immediate term, however, I need to pay the bills, so I was looking at the shorter-term contracts and trying to decide which one would be the better choice. I was also obligated to consider that, if the long-term job doesn’t come through, I’d need to pick a job that would get me as far into the first quarter of 2007 as possible. I just had to; so, I wanted to consider a few factors other than pay and proximity, which are normally pretty high-ranking considerations for me.

The first offer was at a major pharmaceuticals company about 17 miles away. The pay was $1 an hour more than I was making at the job I just … mishandled. That’s a plus. It was only about 5 miles farther down the road, so that didn't seem too bad. It’s doing some extensive testing and documentation for a new software roll-out to the clients of this company, so that seemed like a plus, too – certainly, that wouldn’t look bad on my resume. Lastly, the name of the company alone, along with remaining in the “pharma” industry, should prove to be a feather in my cap … or so I’m told.

The second offer was from a financial services company of some kind; I don’t know specifically what they do, and didn’t care. They were offering a whopping $6 an hour more than the last company I worked for, and possibly as much as $8 an hour more. They’re closer to home, and it was doing something that I know I wouldn’t have minded doing, but wasn’t sure would benefit my resume much after the smoke cleared. But dang – that’s a lot of money. That would have been more money than I’ve ever been paid before, and I was sorely tempted to take it. Sorely indeed.

So, I had to decide. The young lady I worked with for offer 1 was really, really diligent. She followed up with me every day, she assuaged ever anxiety, and she answered every email promptly – then followed up with a phone call. The guy I worked with for offer 2 was clearly an older gentlemen; he too was terrific about follow-up, but he wasn’t so dogged in his punctuality. However, when I spoke with him on the phone, he really quizzed me about why I would take offer 1 over his offer. I thought carefully about it, and answered him as honestly as I could. He’d follow up later that night with an email. He also called me after business hours a couple of times, but I wasn’t sure that was a good thing. He was really nice; they were both terrific, and in the end, I had to weigh in on all of those considerations.

After much agony, I chose offer 1. I thought that, for the benefit of my resume going forward, I’d sacrifice some bucks. Besides that, the potential for going into next year simply didn’t exist with offer 2; it was a fixed duration with a budget for 8 weeks and 8 weeks only, end of story. That’s it; after that, no more budget. No more budget, no more job. I would be out of work at the worst possible time, right at the beginning of the new year, when absolutely no one is hiring. I was scared of that.

Today was my first day at that big “pharma” company. I found out that the world is smaller than I thought – I’m working for a man that held a job at a company where I was working about 2 years ago. Two and a half, actually. I was there for about six months, doing technical support working for the most bitchy, obnoxious, masculine, dumpy and living-in-mom’s-basement-nerdy woman I’ve ever met. I was pretty sure she was a man masquerading, but didn’t want to find out for sure. Anyway, that only lasted about six months, even though it was supposed to be permanent eventually. She coped the old “we have a personality conflict” storyline, and I was quickly sent packing. It worked out all right in the end, though.

So anyway, this guy worked at the same company at that same time. I remember him (vaguely), but don’t remember what he did there. Now, he’s in charge of getting this new software they’ve developed migrated from a DOS version to a Windows version, and he wanted someone to do the installation and testing of that project. At least, that’s what I thought.

Today, I found out that they really want someone that’s close to a computer architect, a specialist with documentation, and who can do all these wonderful things in the next two months. So the project is going to end at the end of the year anyway. After turning down more money, closer to home (by a lot, by the way – it took me nearly an hour to get there this morning, and more than an hour to get home), and a no-brainer for responsibilities, I find out that, not only am I having MAJOR doubts, if I don’t perform to their expectations, I’ll probably be dismissed for lack of performance.

So, do I sweat bullets? I don’t know; it’s not really professional for me to dump this now, but I’m really, really tempted to call back the other recruiter and find out if the more-money-closer-to-home gig is still available. If it is, I’ll ask if they can let me give two weeks’ notice. And if they can’t … well, I’ll have to burn that bridge when I get there. But I’m so, so close to making that phone call. I even remember the guy’s phone number.

I guess I’ll figure out what to do PDQ or suffer the consequences. It just seems that I always zig when I should have zagged; I also seem to make the wrong choices. And It’s not as if I didn’t weigh my choices carefully. I spent long, agonizing hours thinking this through, and thought that I’d made the best choice.

Once again, I’m wrong. Well, I shouldn’t say that definitively. But I do have to decide if I’m going to do something about this quickly, before I don’t have ANY options left.

Those who pray and read this, please pray for us. I’m still screwing up, somehow.


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