Sunday, November 23, 2003

JOB UPDATE: Better Late than Never

After ten or eleven days of working without being officially hired, I've finally become an legally recognized contractor with the Very Large Software Company where Michele is also a contractor. I'm settling into my new cubicle, and I might even have a telephone tomorrow. I've submitted my first time sheet, and tomorrow I should get an official badge and propeller beanie.

Huh? Job? Contract? Cubicle?

After all the long waits, the many resumes sent, the frustration -- getting a job happened very fast. And I've been so swamped with work ever since that I haven't had time to update here.

I started a four- to six-month contract on November 13. The company was desperate for help with several hundred Visio workflows, plus all the tech writing tasks for next year's software release. So I got my resume in Tuesday, interviewed Wednesday, started Thursday, and worked an 11-hour day Friday. And I worked last weekend as well as this weekend.

Of course they looked at my resume faster because I knew someone, but even so, the whole thing happened at lightning speed. After the hiring decision is made, it usually takes them two to three weeks to get someone started. But they needed very specific skills that I have, and they needed someone who would be willing to leap right in and pump out a lot of work very rapidly.

An admin had to sacrifice her laptop so I would have a computer to work on. We're working at rolling tables in a conference room with six other contractors. Five more contractors arrived last week, and fifteen more are coming in next week. The management is looking for places to stash us all.

I'm very much enjoying the sense of being a vital part of a big software project. Over the summer, I missed the adrenaline rush of meeting insane deadlines. I also like the people very much, and the campus is gorgeous. Waterfalls, picnic areas, and lovely little balconies with comfy patio furniture off many of the conference rooms.

Also, since Michele and I can commute together, we get to use the car-pool lane, which speeds the commute considerably. There's a real Schadenfreude in watching lone drivers sitting in traffic while we zip merrily along beside them. It's almost as good as going to the grocery store and sneering at 50-cent lemons. We walk into the backyard and get ours for free.

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