Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Bright Side - Part 2

I've seen it coming since before Thanksgiving. A not so gentle, yet not very detailed hint from my supervisor that not all is well. It had nothing to do with me personally. It was a business decision because Boston costs too much in salary.

The hint was: Would I be willing to move back to Raleigh if the opportunity came? I was puzzled for the first minute after that question, then I was asked if I understood the implications. Then it dawned on me.

I couldn't grasp it at first because when I took the job I was told there was a 3-year contract. I would be secure in Boston at least that long.

While I hesitate to call it a lie, something obviously happened to change minds. Here's what I think happened: The whole idea for having people in Boston taking calls, rather than being in a call center somewhere else was to have people ready to move to the second level of support. That seemed to work at first, as one of our own moved to level 2. I applied for the same position, but I knew the other guy had a few things over me (experience was not one of them). I was patient. See my patience blog for more on that.

Then another opening came and I applied. I found that the job description had changed so that it explicitly said call center experience did not apply to the requirements. I knew then that I might never get that level 2 job, yet I applied a couple of times after that. I never did get the position.

Which leads me to my theory: Since none of the last few Level 2 people has come from the Boston crew - the B team as we were called - I suspect that was used as an excuse to stop the 'waste' of resources paying people to take calls there.

The end result was that the jobs will cease in Boston effective next week.

I did call this blog the Bright Side. And there was a bright side for me, But for every bright side, there's a dark. I'm losing co-workers I'm naming as friends. They helped me out financially when I needed it, and suggested places to live when I was looking so hard.

The timing also is poor. It's almost Christmas. I've been laid off/fired before at this time of year. It sucks. I can't emphasize that enough.

There's another less than bright side for me: I'm being forced to leave my daughter behind - again. I'd just been getting used to seeing her on a regular basis. I enjoyed that. I gave serious consideration to declining the offer to transfer just because of her.

But two things are in the way: First, I'm still technically homeless. Losing income will drive me back nto the shelter as winter begins. I can't really call that a bad thing, but it makes things horribly difficult, and they're already difficult as it is. I explored the possibility of getting work here, and found most of the work is contract, 3-6 months at best, and paying less than I had been making. And finding that work would be difficult in the shelter as I'd have nowhere to put my meager belongings. Even if I bought a suit, where would I put it day-to-day? I'd have to rent a storage facility, yadda yadda.

In the end, it was too difficult a challenge from someone so tired of the struggle. I thought about their offer for 2 hours after I got it, and made the decision.

I'm moving to Jacksonville Florida. I'm making $10,000/year less. I'm getting a small amount to move. It's less than I asked for. I don't really have a choice.

But it's cheaper to live in Jacksonville, and I should be able to find a decent one-bedroom apartment for what I'll be making. That's better than I could do in Boston.

And that is the silver lining. The bright side is I'll find a place to live. That's the bottom line for me.

But I do not forgive for this, and I'll never forget.