Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Agony of Indecision

So you’ve been in a job awhile. You’ve had some ups and downs. There was a time when it seemed like a land of promise, where you thought you could become indispensible and able to pitch for lots of money. But those days are long gone; financial cutbacks and some short term thinking devalued your work and you found yourself prevented from doing your job well, and constantly under fire from those who prevented you from doing it. You felt trapped, unable to improve your situation, and resented by those who work for you, those who depended on you to try to improve their lot.

Then came what seemed like the final insult, the removal off most of your responsibility and the disbanding of your time. You knew it was coming, the company had been reorganised recently, but it was as if all your effort had come to nothing. So you settled into new role, got back to doing the regular, daily writing, which is in truth what you do best. And the pressure is off, you can relax a little more and your new manager treats you well and gives you some more challenging work to do.

But you’re still getting your old wage, even though you’re not a manager, and it’s a lot more than the average employee gets. Sure, your company is doing well, but what happens when belts need tightening again? You feel bitter too, alienated from the team you once had, all your ambitions and intentions thwarted. It feels like time to move on.

You do some applications; you get some interviews and asked to do some tests. You don’t quite get what you want (to add insult to injury, someone who used to work for you got a job you yourself applied for) but finally, as Christmas approaches, leads come in abundance. Interviews are suddenly arranged, one for JML Direct, one for Totaljobs, could this be your way out after all?

Life, alas, never goes as your expect. A week before Christmas you are pulled into the office for what seems like a mundane meeting with your manager, but the director shows up and suddenly it’s getting serious. They want to know how you feel about the job , and ask you up front whether you’re looking for work, because they know about the job you didn’t get that went to the guy who used to work for you. You tell them the truth as close as you can, still not sure where this is going.

They surprise you. Say that they’re very pleased with the work you’re doing and results you’ve been getting. They want you to know that they consider you to be an essential member of staff and want to secure your ongoing commitment. They make you an offer, a very good offer. It’s the kind of offer you were hoping to secure months ago. It all sounds good; work’s near where I live, it’s challenging without being too difficult, and it would be very comfortable to stay.

So you decide to stay. But of course, you must contact those recruiters to tell them that you’ve decided to stay. You’re not specific about what position you accepted; you don’t want to tell them you’re staying after how much you said you wanted to leave. It’s difficult to turn down potential opportunities, jobs that could deliver a number of interesting possibilities. You never know what might’ve been; sorry Experian I won’t be available to interview, apologies Totaljobs, I won’t be able to come into the interview on Tuesday.

JML... Well, that’s difficult. They do everything in house, from naming new products, to creating the packaging, the instruction leaflets, the marketing campaign and even the TV and radio commercials. Quite a unique position; the sort of thing that would go on in a big agency, and across many departments, not just all in one small organisation. No, you can’t quite bring yourself to turn this one, down. After all, what’s the harm in checking it out? Nothing may even come of it.

You smile through another meeting with the director on Monday, trying to be honest without giving anything away. You go to the interview on Tuesday, seems to go well. Quite a tough test, but luckily you happened to watch one of their videos about a new fancy kitchen knife set, so bit of a stroke of luck when that’s what you need to write about.

In some ways you hope that you don’t get offered the job, that way you can take the easy decision and stay where you are for the money. Of course, nothing’s ever easy. You are offered the job the next day.

Oh what to do. All Christmas is spent trying to decide what’s best. Sure, JML is a much more interesting job, and it’s unique, and I have had plenty of issues with my current job. But the money is so good; you can do a lot with money, and in these difficult volatile economic times, having a bit of cash to hand is no bad thing.

So you decide that the best thing to do is ask JML if they can up there offer. It’s expensive to commute after all. It’s really awkward, you literally clam up, you’re so nervous asking for this. They seem responsive, but they can’t confirm until the office reopens in the new year. And you’ve got a couple of days in the office before new year. And as your boss tells you about all his plans for the new year, and about the new team member who’s starting who’s going to work for you, you feel the pangs of guilt. You want to just tell him you’re probably going to leave, but you know you can’t just in case there are any issues.

Your resolve begins to waver. You see all these news stories about rising prices and problematic economic forecasts. Do you really want to turn down the big money? JML finally call you back. They’re going to meet your offer. You feel relief, joy – but know you must face the music and come clean with your boss.

It helps not that they take time to send you the paperwork and that your boss is away for days ill. The time finally comes, and you sit before him like a naughty school child confessing to a headmaster. He’s disappointed, actually says “ where am I going to find someone as good as you?” You feel guilty, but also immense relief. You’ve done the right thing and it’s the right time to move on.

So yeah basically I’m going to work for JML Direct next month. My Viagra writing days are behind me at last!


Anonymous said...

Simply awesome. And here I thought my generation was the first to master dry wit. Seems I was wrong. ;)

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, it is great

Anonymous said...

Informative and entertaining .

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I wish I had your blogging style.

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