Just Bend Over and Pretend It Doesn’t Hurt

On Friday, the 17th, I lost my contract job with an IT firm.  Friday also marked one month since I started.  It was supposed to be a 6-month gig.  Now, it’s gone.

They hired me to be a technical writer and editor.  But, it turns out they wanted someone with a strong software development background.  Actually, they’d prefer to get an individual who is both a software developer and a technical writer.  They’d have better luck finding a black unicorn.

At least this job lasted one whole month.  In July of 2011, I landed a 90-day contract technical writing job that lasted all of 3 weeks.  The client pulled it because they weren’t getting the anticipated work from their vendor.  And, I never again heard from the recruiter who got me that job in the first place.  They just dropped me; the way a vulture abandons a cow carcass once they’re through picking over it.  This is starting to give me a complex.

I sort of saw this coming; the way people on Japan’s northeastern coastline saw that tsunami coming after the devastating earthquake struck the region in March of last year.  I know that’s a bit dramatic – almost an unfair and disrespectful comparison – but that’s how I felt.  It was a slow-moving disaster; gradually creeping towards me with no way to stop it.

It had taken me almost a year to find this job.  So, here I am – in the job market again.  As I’ve stated before, contract work seems to be the popular trend in business these days.  Most of the people at that IT firm were contract.  Less than a third, I believe, were full-time employees.  There were a lot of foreigners, too; people mostly from India, but also Asia.  Wait a minute!  Aren’t companies shipping these jobs over there?  There was even one man from México who earned his U.S. citizenship on the 13th, a woman from Romania and another woman from France.  I feel I should reinvent myself as a refugee from Nicaragua and somehow get an H1 Visa.  I might stand a better chance.

I’m just not used to this contract stuff.  A contract worker is a glorified temporary the way a hair dresser is a glorified barber.  But, that’s all there is in the early 21st century working world.  People bounce around from place to place.  My parents – who each worked for the same company for decades – just can’t fathom that kind of lifestyle.  I think my generation is the last accustomed to going to work for a company and staying there long enough to earn a reserved parking spot.

What can I say?  Well, I say to hell with corporate America, which I mention in my biography on this blog.  I used to play well with others in business; now, I just demand to be left alone.  What can I do?  Jump start my writing career of course!  I consider myself a professional writer anyway – although I haven’t gotten anything published yet.  I’m determined, though, to change that once and for all and get my book published before year’s end – hopefully before the Mayan Apocalypse.  Yea, yea, I know.  Believe it when you see it.

My father and a few friends have already told me things will “work out for the better.”  I suppose I could be that optimistic.  But, I’ll be more cynical and state emphatically that things never just “work out.”  Someone has to make it work.  You can rely upon other people to help shape your future, or you can grab the shit by the throat and shape it the way you damn well please.  Ultimately, every able-bodied, able-minded person has to fend for themselves.  Damn!  I’m starting to sound like a Republican!   I knew nightly doses of Bacardi and Coke would eventually have an impact on me.

2 Comments

Filed under Essays

2 responses to “Just Bend Over and Pretend It Doesn’t Hurt

  1. I have been an independent project manager (IT) for years now. This is and has been the standard in the industry for years now. It is because of the outsourcing and the on-shoring of the H1B (which keeps all of our rates low).

    Take a look at ODesk, they have a pretty good model for what you do.

    Recruiters are indeed vultures, that is the way of it.

  2. I was framimg my “say it isn’ t so” and then you wrote again. Cannot say enough that your humor ( wry) will be sorely missed. How can we face Dec without your guidance?

    If hoping for the best will make it happen, count me in.
    Bettye

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