Contract thoughts

My second full day of being out of work. I still feel really bad about how my contract ended. I’m very relieved to no longer be putting in time just to earn my hourly rate, on the one hand. I feel honest again. But – I wake up every night, feeling overwhelmingly sad and distressed about how this contract ended. I feel rejected I suppose. Plus I’ve had two jobs where I was more or less fired, and this is bringing up those old feelings.

My last day wasn’t terrible. I just stayed half a day. I was extremely tense, to the point where I took some medication after a few hours, just so I could remain there.

When I went to say goodbye to K, the director, he pulled me into a meeting room to talk (‘if you have time’….’I have all kinds of time’). It was actually a fairly good talk. I hadn’t expected this, and now wish I’d pushed a bit more and asked some questions. At that point, I was simply focused on getting out of there, and I didn’t ask much.

K was fairly kind, which I hadn’t been expecting. He started by saying he didn’t want me to think I’d failed….that he was thinking of hiring someone with specific business knowledge to run with this project instead.Then he talked about an early small project I’d done with E, which he hadn’t been involved in at all. He said that much later, he’d gotten the feedback from the big boss that word had come down to him that this project hadn’t been what the client was looking for.

I said that the person E and I had dealt with had in fact been very happy with what we gave her, that she’d sent me examples that I’d emulated. K shrugged and said he hadn’t been involved so he didn’t know. I left it at that – I was maybe sounding defensive. But I was wondering why K hadn’t been involved, if he’d had ideas about how it should be done. We really didn’t get into specifics though, such as the fact that there wouldn’t have been time, given the timelines, to go into the detail he seemed to think should have been there. Water under the bridge. Interesting though that E said something about this a week ago, but when he said it, it just made no sense. Now from K, I can see how he’s perceiving it.

He asked if I wanted to say anything about the project. Luckily, I was quite calm, if dejected. I said that I thought the communication between K and E hadn’t been good – I’d consulted with E pretty much daily on the project, after all, and the end product had been OK with him. That the meetings where K had reviewed it had been….here I stopped, not having a word….’agitated’….it was surprising to me. Fair enough, K replied.

K also said I’d been set up to fail. So he did think I’d failed, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. Whatever. I asked him if I could then use him as a reference, if he’d be able to say positive things about me, and he said I could.

That was it. I wished after, that since we’d had this civil discussion where K really seemed to want to talk, that I’d asked more about what he had been looking for. I think perhaps he was looking for more of a business report, rather than the easy to read explanation of the process that I produced. I guess I’ll never know.

Interesting that I avoided talking to K about what had happened, when he actually wanted to talk and was somewhat helpful.

What I know is that I felt, and still feel, quite intense about K. Everything was amplified. I was furious with him for most of the last month. I really craved his approval. Every interaction with him seemed a bit fraught and high strung.

I am trying to actually feel the sorrow now and move through it, without being totally paralyzed, which is the trick of it all.

I had two phone interviews for full time jobs yesterday, and one has led to an in-person interview Friday. I would really like that job. I feel exhausted by having worked three contracts in a row, all six months or shorter. Every time, I have to learn a whole knew subject area, and meet all new people, and stop myself from freaking out at the new surroundings and new co-workers. Plus benefits/sick days would be nice. I may make a bit less money, but that’s OK. I want to work with the same people for longer, build more stable relationships. I’m a little anxious that if a full time job goes wrong, there’s no easy out. It’s happened to me before, and it was awful. Still. I’m willing to try again.


  1. Glad K decided to talk to you even if you didnt resolve everything. I hope the job interview goes well and leads to employment. Good luck with that. X

  2. e.Nice said:

    That was interesting with K. Sounds like he was pretty triggering for you which sucks when its someone you have to deal with in an administrative capacity. I am impressed with how you handled yourself in the exit interview. I hope the next job can be a long term, stable one. Its pretty cool that you are able to find work relatively quickly. You must be good at what you do.

    • Ellen said:

      He was triggering. I think until I resolve the cause of the trigger, I’ll likely keep finding people out there that trigger me. BTW, the trigger worked both ways – I was both attracted to him, in wanting to hear what he said and be around him, and also afraid and stuff.

      I guess, at this point my resume is quite long, so that helps. The interviewer can’t really determine my level of skill….Just to be honest. Thanks Nice.

  3. Rachel said:

    That was a tough conversation, I admire your ability to take the feedback. And ask for a reference. I think I would have just walked away without that follow-up convo. Kudos to you. I think the idea of a stable job makes a lot of sense for where you are now, and your needs. Maybe forming longer-term connections and having less stress of employment stability could help with your overall goals of not getting shut down after therapy and processing. One less stressor removed. Well I’m rooting for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Rachel. Yes, the idea of a full time job is appealing to me at the moment, when it didn’t so much before. I was very unhappy in some previous full time roles – I was really bored. But I’m hoping with my improved interpersonal skills, plus maybe getting a somewhat better position than I had years ago, this time it’ll work better. And maybe it would help my therapy – I hadn’t thought of that aspect but it makes sense.

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