Contract

What seems like the first really bitter cold of the winter. I think about heading out to the library and then decide against. Just. Too. Cold.

I have lost my contract. In a kind of weaselly way – the two managers wouldn’t tell us (myself and a fellow contractor), but as my contract is up for renewal, I contacted my agency, and found out that way. That was Monday. Since then, neither manager has talked to me. Just a tiny bit cowardly.

Just before Christmas, the director, K, had strongly suggested they would be renewing, and all my project timelines stretched into the spring and summer. So besides the various problems that have happened in January and February, there was no obvious sign that they were cutting the project.

I’ve been veering from self-blame to blaming them, and I just don’t know what happened really. Yes, some of my reactions were too intense. But at that point, the project really was floundering. They were wanting quite complicated things, but didn’t know how to describe what they wanted. As if it would happen by magic.

Then K wasn’t involved at all until after Christmas, so he was a surprise. K and E do not have any intersecting interests in their jobs, except that K is E’s boss. But E has been doing his job for a long time, and K has really nothing to do with it. So if E is running the project on his own, it will not have input from K, usually. It makes sense that K was totally out of the loop, and then outraged that we weren’t producing what he wanted.

Anyway. If I’d never been angry, if I’d not tried to steer the project the way I thought it should go, if I’d been more compliant – would it have made a difference? I think it would have been clearer that management wasn’t doing any managing, and that might have been a good thing.

So since Monday, E has not contacted me, and neither has K. I’ve stopped working on the current small project, because it seems they are shutting everything down. It’s hard to occupy myself for eight hours with nothing to do. I do look for jobs, but not for eight hours. I’ve got a book on management I’m trying to read.

At one point, I was simply relieved that all my struggle and triggers were over. I no longer have to try to work out what they’re wanting, and I no longer have to struggle to understand this new subject matter. So that’s a relief.

Sitting by myself all day though with no one talking to me is bad for me – it reminds me too much of my childhood and my family, when no one would talk to me. Feeling more and more distressed, finally in the afternoon I go over and talk to my fellow contractor while he’s eating lunch. He seems a bit uncomfortable speaking to me, but I’m desperate for someone to talk to me, so I persevere for maybe fifteen minutes. After which, I actually feel better, and spend the rest of the day feeling more normal.

It’s just very strange to me that these managers completely withdraw all of a sudden, never even letting us know the news that we’re being cut. It’s kind of dehumanizing – as if we are purchases that they’ve decided to return, a transaction between them and the agency, nothing to do with us personally.

I feel like quitting everything actually. Not a good time to do so, but I think about it. Letting go of therapy. I fantasize also about never seeing my family again. Not sure why that’s all coming up now – maybe it’s related to losing my job.

Well, nothing to do but carry on as best I can. I will try and do exit interviews with these managers, if I can, and hopefully find out something of what happened.

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8 comments
  1. So sorry Ellen. That sucks it was cut. I think they should have given you reasons if nothing else at least told you it was happening. It seems weird and odd that they’d keep that info from you. XX

    • Ellen said:

      I think so too. thanks Many.

  2. Bummer on the shoddy way they handled the change. Hoping you find what you need for work soon. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, thank you Ruth.

  3. Ashana M said:

    It is sneaky, but I think people feel really guilty about taking away a person’s livelihood. Unless they are specifically trying to punish someone, they feel bad and then if they tell you themselves, they will have to explain why and maybe the reasons are stupid or hurtful or something. Yeah, it’s shitty they didn’t have the gall to tell you.

    I’m glad you figured out something that would help you.

    • Ellen said:

      That makes a lot of sense Ash – thanks for reminding me that everyone does have fears – they’re not just ‘bad’. It is a tough thing to tell someone, so if you can duck it, by making it say the agency’s responsibility, they likely will. They’d probably have to be especially honest and upright to make that effort, and they really aren’t.

      Yeah, figuring out that I need some interaction and trying to meet that need is good.

      Thanks Ash

  4. e.Nice said:

    I agree with Ashana. People suck at giving bad news. I know I do and I have to do it all the time. I hope your next contract will be a better environment. I do hear you moving to some self blame stuff. It makes sense to try and figure out what went wrong, but its probably lots of things so don’t put it all on yourself. I hope they do have an exit interview but from how the project went from the start, its probably not going to be that helpful either. no one seems to be really that good of communicators there!

    • Ellen said:

      They definitely suck at communicating. thanks nice.

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