So, here’s the thing: last fall I quit my job (in NC), essentially, to move back to Columbus, OH, and three weeks after I moved there, I got assigned to a client in Louisville, KY and have been here ever since.
I was assured by my company when I hired that travel would not exceed 50% and I stressed this as a key factor since I’d been at about 33% prior to signing with these guys. I’ve been here about a week past eight months. They hired me specifically for the client that I am with now, it turns out, and have sort of given me the mushroom treatment since I got here. Let me say that again, they hired me specifically for this job, knowing that it was a long-term out-of-town deal, yet they, my own company, deliberately lied to me (as opposed to the client, which is part of the game.)
Now, I’ve been talking to the client about maybe getting a laptop from them, installing the software and tele-commuting (they have corporate rules regarding the installation of software on outsiders hardware, so it would have to be their computer.) My argument to them was this: they are paying a disgusting amount of money on the corporate rental apartment I’m in, that money would pay for the laptop in the first month and every one following that would be surplus, since it’s already budgeted, that they could do with as they please. I could shoot down weekly or bi-weekly for status meetings, work from home, our Columbus office or even from their (the clients) offices in Columbus.
Why would they do this for a consultant, why should they try to make my life easier and not just get another consultant to take my place you ask? Well, they have had other consultants and they didn’t like them. They didn’t fit in, get along with the rest of the team or otherwise work out. They love me. Seriously, they’ve taken me out to lunch (as opposed to the norm of the consultant taking the client out,) they brought in a cake for my birthday, they’ve invited me out to their house for pool parties and out to movies on Fridays. They seriously don’t want to have to go through the interview process and they really don’t want someone else, they want me. They’ve even, from the corner of their mouths because they can’t really say this sort of thing, offered me a position with the company.
My company, OTOH, drops me an email whenever someone screws up a billing or whenever I send one to them asking when I’ll be heading back to Columbus (which I’ve been doing since about month 3,) but otherwise hasn’t done or said much of anything to me. I’ve been with these yahoos for nine months and have heard from them (non-billing related) maybe five times. Oh wait, except for the time they wanted me to go out to Chicago as a *Subject Matter Expert *and teach a class on the software I’m using down here.
The upside to being on-site for a job is that I have no expenses so I’ve been putting away some decent cash. Well, I have expenses, but all my food is reimbursable and I don’t pay utilities, cable or phone down here and I’ve got a temporary disconnect on them at home. Which brings me to the downside: I’m paying for an apartment I don’t live in. I just figured it out and if you break it down to a per-night cost since I’ve been down here, my apartment at home runs me about $1000/night. Why do I keep it you ask? Well, originally, it was because this was to be a short-term project (so I thought) and I would be heading home soon. Later, it was because I was coming up on six months and I would be going home soon as per my agreement with my company. Now, well now it’s a bit interesting: I have a two month penalty for early cancellation of lease. Add to that the aggravation of packing and moving all of my stuff and the persistent hope that I will, soon, be able to get home, and I’m still reticent to kill my lease.
One final thing, the client has guaranteed work and budget for me (or whomever) until the end of the year, but next years budget has not yet been approved, but probably will be, so the work here, at a large client that my company would love to expand their coverage in, will continue, at least through December. I, however, want to go home.
So, the point of all this, and I thank you for wading through everything to get here, are these questions: [list=1]should I take my accumulated savings, my F-U money, and tell my company in no uncertain terms that I will be back in Columbus by months end, one way or the other,should I tell my company that if they want to keep me, especially if they want to keep me down here, it’s going to cost them (at least the amount of my rent back home, if not more), or should I just suffer in silence, glad that I have a job that allows me the freedom of these choices?[/list=1]