I Owe You a Blog Entry
It’s been more than three weeks since my last
confession blog entry, and much has happened in that time. In fact, without overstating it, I can say my life has changed. But that, in itself, has kept me extremely busy.
I’ve been working like a dog for one of my clients. I’m in a bit of a ridiculous situation with that client, and the irony is that I got in that situation because I’ve been wanting to prepare in case that outside job came through. Setting aside how I let myself get too involved in its internal politics, this is one of my longest-standing clients and it has consistently been reliable and good to me — the kind of client that’s been known to send me messages along the lines of “why haven’t you sent your monthly invoice yet” (which happened once when I accidentally sent my bill to someone’s secondary e-mail address).
But, that’s not how my life has changed, folks. What changed is that I got that job! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ex-Friend, who acted as my persistent advocate with she whom I now refer to as The Woman (a tongue-in-cheek nod to “The Man” in reference to big business and big government). I received the official word just before noon Wednesday, and pending a standard security and credit check (which I’m not in the least worried about), I’m slated to start work on Monday, March 13.
Yay me! 🙂
So, what’s the job? Well, after a career in academia and another as a freelancer, now I’m making a foray into the big corporate world. I’ll be known as a client training officer for a major bank that is moving its clients from PC- to Web-based banking applications, focussing mostly on the francophone clientele. Even though this is officially a one-year contract to start, I’m extremely excited because:
- I’ll get to use the experience I acquired over the years regarding the Web, meaning I’ll not be making a radical shift away from my area of expertise;
- once trained and set up, I’ll be working from my home office as I have for the last 10 years, which is brilliant because there’s ample proof that this is the ideal setting for me in terms of productivity;
- I’ll get to work a lot in French, which isn’t obvious in a predominently anglophone setting like Halifax;
- the pay is excellent and should allow me to reinject some vigour into my small business; and
- the prospect is good that the project to which I’ll be assigned will be extended beyond one year.
I’ll definitely be playing it by ear, though. Just as it would have been foolish of me not to apply for this job in November on the grounds that it was coming sooner than I had planned in my mind, I’m not planning on closing down my small business. I owe as much to my clients, who’ve been very dedicated to me, and I owe as much to myself, who has poured so much sweat and tears into that business. I see the business as a kind of insurance policy: I’ll have something to fall back on if/when my contract is not renewed, and it’ll continue to serve as an outlet for my creative side, for although technical by nature, the CMS I’ve been building can only be described as a massive creative venture.
By holding down two jobs, I’ll continue to be a very busy man. But I don’t mind that; it’s what I’m used to. And what I find odd but exciting is that, with a steady income coming in, I may be better able to expand my business even though I’ll be making it my part-time job. My problem hasn’t been that my business has not been doing well; it’s that it represents too much work for one person to handle alone, and that got me in a vicious cycle. I’ve needed outside help for as long as I can remember, but I have had to turn down projects because there aren’t enough hours in a day to get through them, meaning I had only enough income to pay myself and not enough to get outside help. But once I gain my footing in my new regime, I should be in a position where I’ll be able to invest into my business in ways other than my own brute labour. Ironically, putting my business in part-time mode may not slow down its growth that much, and I may become even more focussed when I’m working on it: I’m bound to dismiss more quickly those frivolous “would be nice” things and stick to the core.
Anyway, exciting times!
Another way in which my life has changed is that, in just one week, I have been able to snap my internal clock from night to day, just like everybody else’s. (I suppose necessity really is the mother of [re]invention.) I questioned myself as to why I wasn’t able to do that the last time I had a formal “outside” job (10 years ago), and I think the answer is simple: I hated that job with a passion because it was obvious to everyone including myself that I was seriously underemployed. I initiated huge projects to keep from getting bored, but my efforts weren’t appreciated. Now what’s different is that I’ll be committed to two jobs that have similarities but sufficent distinctions to prevent me from getting into conflict. So, knowing I’m not going to dread one job or the other, my body quickly accommodated the change from night to day.
The only downside, which I’m not fretting about, is that there’s no prospect of vacation time for me in the next year, and I won’t be able to sneak out to the beach on sunny weekday afternoons this summer. Consequently, I have booked myself a four-day escape to Montreal next weekend (March 2 to 6). I’ll be staying in the heart of the Village, close enough to throw a stone at the Beaudry subway kiosk on Ste. Catherine. Cleopatrick and His Boys, who no longer live in the city, plan to come meet me for dinner and hanging out one of the days I’m in town. I also hope to at least get to have coffee with J. Other than that, I’ll probably do a lot of leisure reading I never get around to doing when I’m in Halifax, a lot of innocent people watching, and probably a visit or two to ma tante Sonia… All of that should envigorate me for what’s ahead.