August 8, 2008: 080808

I’m thankful for days like today because one of my biggest challenges in life is coming up with a cool title for the daily post and today it is so obvious that I didn’t even need to think about it.  One less thing to come up with on a busy Friday.

Once again I am backed up on email.  One busy day and everything falls apart.  It took me days last time to get caught up on all of the mail.  It comes in so quickly and so much of it is something that I need to keep for one reason or another.  I find the constant flow of it to be pretty frustrating.  Even with all of the diligence that I put in attempting to read everything that pertains to me the levels of SPAM that we have – internal SPAM that is, not external – completely overwhelms us and forces us to automate huge swaths of email reception so it is extremely easy to miss something.  I must spend two hours per day just managing the email.

I had a very busy morning with tons of requests coming in even before my morning started and while I was on the train in to Manhattan.  My entire morning was spent just completing incoming requests as quickly as I could.  Very draining.  I am going to be doing a lot of catch-up work tomorrow – if just to get my mailbox back to a state in which I can manage to take care of people without missing critical things!

For lunch, Katie and I went out to Financier Patisserie on Stone.  It’s Friday so that sandwich of the day is the hot smoked salmon and Gruyeres which is amazing along with their crap quiche which I have not had an opportunity to try before.  Lunch was excellent although it is always so crowded down on that part of Stone – it can be rather uncomfortable to attempt to eat there.

My real shock of the day came in the early afternoon when my consulting firm called me to tell me that not only was I going to receive an “out of the blue” paycut but that it was going to be 15.27% and that it was effective immediately – starting Monday morning (today is Friday.)  I was originally told, by my consulting firm, some month or two ago that there was a cut but that I exempt from it and not to worry.  This news, apparently, is actually the news that caused this disaster to happen.

So my day went from busy to insanely stressful in a moment.  No warning at all that something like this was going to happen.  Blissfully going through my day thinking that everything was great and then “blam”, humongous paycut and a hearty muhahahaha!

Most of my afternoon, somewhat obviously, was spent panicking about what was happening with my pay and my job and my consulting firm.  What a mess.  I finally reached my boss out on Long Island and was able to talk to him and then administration and the staffing department.  The company for which I work was not happy to find out that I was getting  a massive paycut, without warning and for no reason.  Their recommendation to me, that I had also come up with on my own, was simply to not accept the new offer.  On Monday morning, in theory, there will be some serious renegotiations and very likely a change of consulting firms.  We are going to see.

So, somewhat nerve-wracking, I am officially unemployed this weekend.  Monday morning is going to be interesting.  The company at which I work is thinking that things will be okay – but it is still stressful as there are so many variables and changes and potentially bad things that can happen.  For example, this could really impact the 401K that I have been investing into as I am not completely vested yet.  I hate that companies can take away your vestment simply by lowering your rate or firing you to protect themselves.

I was at work until seven this evening.  This is going to be a long weekend as we wait to see what will happen come Monday.  I hate that so much of my career involves major disasters in the eleventh hour and then having to wait while no one is available to see what is happening.  Completely inappropriately, my manager at the consulting firm is both on vacation all next week and decided to just leave in the middle of the afternoon so that I had no one to reach.  I reached out to her backup manager to whom important things are supposed to go when she is not available and that person’s out of office email message said that they were on vacation and that people who needed them needed to speak to the person that I tried the first time!  Circular out of office hand-offs.  How professional.  Argh.

This has been an ongoing situation for me over the years.  I cannot count anymore how many times I have been given incomplete information or have received major changes in plans or have gotten disasterous news on a Friday afternoon (I seriously believe now that this is planned so that people don’t have to “deal with it”) and then absolutely anyone who could be involved leaves the office early and hides.  This has often occurred when work scheduled for a Monday morning gets cancelled and no one wants to admit that they never had a contract for the work.  It is very common.  A consulting firm should never have a circumstance where people are not available over the weekend.  I even left a voicemail for the entire consulting office, before five o’clock which is well before the end of the working day, for just anyone to call me back as it was an emergency and not one person bothered to contact me knowing that I had an emergency and that both of my managers decided to stop working today.

Something that “non-contractors” seem to forget is that in “business time”, a Friday night and a Monday morning touch each other.  There is no work over the weekend.  Not real work anyway.  There is no HR, staffing, managers, etc.  If something is left unresolved on a Friday night that means that it is unresolved over the weekend and on Monday morning.  Did my consulting firm really forget that when they said that Monday morning I had a new rate that that meant that it had to be completely dealt with before I left the office today or else we had no resolution and no contract on Monday morning?  It isn’t like they can get into the office (or will bother to go into the office) early on Monday, contact me before I am supposed to start work and make a deal with the company at which I work and coordinate with the “pass-through” consulting firm all before I start needing to work around seven in the morning!  They aren’t prepared to deal with this situation in any way.  They just run home, stick their collective fingers into their proverbial ears and go “la la la la – I can’t hear you” and hope that the situation resolves itself, magically, without their intervention.

Why does every company find it so important to make going to work everyday and doing a good job incredibly stressful?  It takes real effort to make things have this much stress.  This doesn’t happen naturally.  It took a minimum of four or five people at my lowest level consulting firm alone completely failing to do their jobs to get us into this situation and they aren’t even the company that initiated the whole problem!  It took a lot of screwing up to get here.  How come all of those people aren’t getting major paycuts?  I put in a lot of effort this afternoon trying to find a way to keep my job.  Apparently neither of the consulting firms cares whatsoever if they lose me as a consultant (and, as we approach the end of day – perhaps lose the company at which I work as a customer.)

It’s no wonder people go out drinking so often!

It was after eight when I finally got home to Newark.  When there is this much stress, though, it isn’t fun going home.  You want to stay in the office and get things fixed.  You want resolution.  That’s what makes me the most upset.  That so many people can just knock off for the weekend because it doesn’t directly affect them is outrageous.

So I got home but it is pretty hard to relax on weekends like this.  Ryan came up from downstairs and we ordered in Brazilian Pizza from a place the Dominica and I had never heard of before.  The pizza was amazing.  Min and I got a corn and cheese pizza which was delicious and we all shared a chocolate and cheese pizza for dessert which, sounds awful, but was amazingly good.  Mozzarella, chocolate, cherries and cinnamon!  We will be ordering from this place a lot.  They have like fifty different pizzas.

It was around midnight before we actually got to bed.  Busy day tomorrow.  Working all day and then going to Katie’s house on the Hudson for a riverfront party in the evening.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Scott, didn’t get a chance to hub you late Friday, afternoon was pretty mental. Can’t believe whats happened to you, completely unprofessional on part of the consultancy firm. Hope all gets worked out. Will hub you on Monday….hopefully!

    P.S. Chocolate & Pizza??? I think i’ve finally lost faith in humanity!

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