The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting for Notice

It's been an odd few weeks. I spent most of last week writing reports, the week before that writing bids and proposals for potential jobs, and this most recent Friday we got approval to start work on several field projects.

Sort of.

See, you can get your contracts approved, but some clients want you to clear with them before you hit the field. They do so for various reasons, some of them good and sensible, some of them betraying control freak behavior. Regardless of whether they have a good reason or not, it means that you have to wait to hear from your client sometimes before you hit the field. When your client is able to respond quickly to requests, this is not a problem. When your client is him/herself buried under other work, this can result in you waiting. And so I was sitting about twiddling my thumbs waiting to find out if I could start doing field logistics until today, when I was finally given notice to proceed on the preliminary part of a project. Hopefully, come tomorrow, I will have a notice to proceed on the field portion and will be able to start next week.

On the up side, one of the higher-ups at my company pulled me aside today and informed me that I should let them know when I needed to be home to take care of personal matters, and then explained everything that they have set up to help me out should that be necessary. This was...unexpected. My current employer has a reputation for fair treatment of employees, but this was beyond that. One of the reasons that I left my last job was because the travel demands of work interfered with my family life, with medical treatment that I needed, and with me just keeping any sort of normal sane personal schedule. To be essentially ordered to maintain a good personal life was a delightful shock. It makes me feel that, troubles with Fresno aside, I made a good choice in coming to this employer.


Lynn said...

I had that experience on my internship... many places regard interns as cheap labor and encourage (or at least allow) them to put in 60-70 hour weeks. On mine, one woman who was working some 50 hours a week was taken aside, and encouraged to find other activities.

That kind of work setting is hard to come by, but it sure is great when you find it. Hope the rest of the job works out as well for you.

Anthroslug said...

My internship was much easier than that, but I have known more than a few people who had the same experience as you. The situation is more than a bit frustrating.

Lynn said...

I guess I wasn't clear... she was taken aside and told to find activities that did not involve work or the internship. They said 40 hours was enough. We thought it was a miracle, considering that most of the people we knew with internships elsewhere were working their tails off.