Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 . . .

Well, what did we expect, anyway?
Looking back, 2009 was everything our first year since 1993 as a culture without Zima should have been.
However, looking back is about the only comfortable vantage on 2009, so bear with me for a post while I do that.
As cold winds ushered in a bleary start to 2009, I was enjoying month seven of a five month long contract in South Carolina.
That math is what we consultant-types like to call "Contractor Math". While I've honestly never had a use for any of the Algebra 2 information (of which 71% helped me graduate High School, to be fair), contractor math is a representation of the real numbers behind imagined results. It is a way of loosely encapsulating the actions required to fulfill a need, real or imagined, which can only be satisfied by hiring extra people.
These types of projects often have definite end-dates but nebulous results. To further complicate the math, often one of the first jobs assigned to the newly-hired consultant is defining the end result of the effort.
During the course of the project itself, more and more responsibilities are handed over to the temporary consultant, who watches his contract end date come and go like any other day.
Eventually, either boredom or greener pastures prevent the consultant to from accepting a full-time position.
That really is the story for 2009, and in fact the story of the entire aughts decade.
I've been riding the consultant wave for over ten years from place to place, solving problems, uncovering bigger problems, pointing and laughing at unsolvable problems, and splashing off to the next desk with a paper sign with my name on it.
In the spring of this year, having decided to paint the house to our liking and settle in to allow Gwynyth to finish school in the decent system we'd found for her, everything went to hell at work.
Hours were cut for everyone, leaving all the consultants, to whom hours are the only source of income, in a precarious situation.
No overtime? No reason to work through lunch?
Coupled with our lousy contract health insurance, I had little choice to but to seek employment elsewhere.
Then summer happened, early July specifically.
I'm not going to detail a lot of that, but summer sucked.
I consider it a bit like an emotional disemboweling followed by recovery process hindered by the regular application of rock salt to the wound.
In spite of this, I am recovering, and was able to apply for work again with a reasonable chance of making it through a phone interview without crying by September.
So I started the consultant math over again at a new place at the end of that month.
I've gone from one of the largest health insurance providers to one of the largest banks in the country, but from my view both places (and all places) make the widgets which drive our national economy.
And pay my mortgage in exchange.
I'm ready to put 2009 behind me, to learn and to grow and to move on.
2010 will be better.
2010 will be better.
2010 will be better.

No comments: