Contractor woes

I did go shopping and bought a few clothes, but I am going to return the more expensive items I bought. I was going to return one blouse anyway, but now I’ve had some bad news so will also return a skirt that was full price and not cheap either. I want to improve my image at work and decent clothes are one way to do that, but now is not the time.

My co-worker, who is doing the same job as I am, was let go today with only two weeks’ notice. We are contractors, so that happens, but it’s not a good sign. I feel real bad for him. He doesn’t have a lot of Canadian experience, and may have trouble finding more work.

The other obvious aspect is that my days there are numbered also. They told him there’s not enough work for two of us, and also that ‘obviously they’d be keeping Ellen’, which is maybe flattering, but an extremely rude thing to say as well. I have a lot more experience than my co-worker, but that didn’t need to be said. I don’t think rudeness is a good sign actually.

So likely I have a few more weeks there, and then will also be let go, as I read the situation. They will not give me more than two weeks’ notice it seems. Officially we were hired until mid-March, but that doesn’t mean anything. They are only obliged to give us two weeks’ notice by contract. Some are nicer and give more than that, since excuse me, it takes more than two weeks to find something else in the best of economies, which this isn’t.

I hate this aspect of contracting. I don’t mind having no benefits – the higher rate makes up for that. But I hate the uncertainty of being let go whenever the company pleases. And in this bum economy, there will likely not be a lot out there at the moment I fear.

It’s not like being fired. And my co-worker is going to have to stick it out for two more weeks – you don’t simply get sent home. Awkward when you’re being let go early.

In a way, I could do with a rest. I could keep my expenses low for a while. Except for the high cost of therapy. That is my second biggest expense after rent. Losing my therapy would be very very tough. I’ll see. I would keep going for I’d say two months without money coming in, but probably not after that.

Oh darn. Darn darn darn.

I’m not immune. I’ve led a charmed life in an external sense, for the last year and a half. Well paid work, lots of time for therapy, working from home so my sleep difficulties are not so overwhelming. Other people have lots of trouble – illness, loved ones with illness, money troubles, kid troubles, marriage woes, bad bosses….I am not unique in having a little trouble now also.

The therapy is actually my main concern at this point. I don’t think I could stand going just every two weeks either – a complete break would probably be easier to bear overall.


I need to absorb this news now. It’s only been a few hours since I learned about this, so I haven’t digested it yet.

  1. di345 said:

    I'm sorry Ellen. The insecurity of contract work is stressful at the best of times and much be much worse in this economy and after they let go a co-worker.I hope that you can work out your contract and have more time to look for your next job.Di

  2. gniz said:

    Hey Ellen, It may be that by letting go of your co-worker they will be able to keep you on through the whole term of the contract. And the good news is, you must be performing well for them to do it! You seem like a very skilled person in this field and I have no doubt you will be able to find another gig soon.I've been reading all along, Ellen, and am very happy for all the progress you've made. Try not to let the uncertainty of work get you down.

  3. it hasn't happened yet, so please try and remain positive. they obviously respect you and your work, so hopefully they will keep you on. as for therapy, find out now if ron has a sliding scale. tell him what might happen. sharon does have a sliding scale, as i think most therapists do. perhaps he can work out a cheaper rate for you until you are re-employed. keeping my fingers crossed, c.

  4. Ruth said:

    Sorry to hear this Ellen. Times are tough and it is hard to see others suffer. I am hoping that there is work enough to keep you going.Ruth

  5. Candycan said:

    Ahh bum. That's one stress you don't need. I'm sorry to hear about this trouble. Do you think it necessarily means your job is any more at risk? Can you ask about this? Surely they could tell you if they thought it might be in the pipelines?

  6. HubCats said:

    agreeing with gniz and obd – but it sounds really sensible to work out a contingency plan while this is on your mind. Nothing is permanent, right?

  7. Sorry about the job-thing Ellen, it's always hard. Any chance of you talking to your boss to see what they're thinking in terms of your contract? I often have contractors work for me and this type of question comes up, and is understandable. People need to plan.Good luck

  8. You are right, that was not right to say and I am sorry Ellen for the whole job situation. I can certainly understand these days. Safe hugs.

  9. Paula said:

    Oh girl, I am so glad to hear that they actually like your work and kept you! It is truly not an easy situation when it comes to contracting work. Please dont beat yourself up for having had 1,5 years of some peace and less outside worries. You truly deserve every hour of it! And more! Love and hugs, Paula

  10. Ellen said:

    Thanks Di. It is looking better to me by this time and I feel more secure.

  11. Ellen said:

    Thanks Aaron. It is nice that they like me in this job for whatever reason. I've been in other places where they didn't. I do have certain skills that are serving me well at the moment.Good to know you're following along.

  12. Ellen said:

    It's true, best to remain positive. This uncertainty is a risk I take by being a contractor. Ron does have a sliding scale for a few clients but it's mostly full. I will ask him about this if I find myself out of work. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. Ellen said:

    I have now talked to HR Candy and according to them my contract is not at risk. Who knows. My co-worker didn't know his was at risk. They're reluctant to give us much notice, HR person said, because then we might jump ship. We might do that anyway, IMO. Anyway, I have never yet cut short a contract voluntarily. Cheers

  14. Ellen said:

    Yes, nothing is permanent. Good to keep in mind, thanks.

  15. Ellen said:

    Good advice NWNMG, and so I've discussed with HR and they've reassured me, for what it's worth. Thanks

  16. Ellen said:

    Yes, it was kind of rude. I hope you will soon find something else JBR. hugs

  17. Ellen said:

    Yes, that is the good side of it Paula, and it doesn't happen every place I work, so I do appreciate that aspect. hugs

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