With this new adventure I’m on, I’m constantly comparing it to my previous life as an exempt, full-time employee.
Why the comparisons? Not sure really… It’s instinctual. I guess maybe part of me is trying to justify the move to myself. Did I make the right decision? Am I serving myself and my family appropriately by taking on a consultant job? Who knows…
Anyway, one of the toughest things I’ve had to acclimate myself to is the concept of being hourly paid. Essentially this means that I’m what is known as a “non-exempt” employee, and therefore eligible for overtime (which is nice) and the like. However, I’m also hourly paid, so I have to be sure to get my 40 hours each week or I end up being short paid.
On the plus side, hourly paid work makes me be more accountable for the time I expend in the work that I do. On the negative side, hourly paid work makes me be more accountable for the time I expend in the work that I do.
See what I did there?
At my current gig, it seems that they are having some issues with trying to find me the appropriate amount of work to fill up my 40 hours.
One of the issues is that the VP is somewhat of a micro manager, and usually chooses to take care of certain issues at hand on her own as opposed to letting me handle them.
The other issue is that I’m awesome. Really good at what I do. But I think we already knew that… I digress.
The VP is took a vacation day, so I went to her and asked if she had anything for me to take care of in her absence.
“Are you caught up on everything else?” she asked.
“Yes, so if there is anything additional you’d like me to review I -” I started.
“Why don’t you just take a half day?” she said.
“Ummm…okay.” I said, surprised that she even mentioned that.
Half day, right? Sounds good in theory. But what that actually means is that she want me to go ahead an leave early, thus cutting my hours. WHICH IS SOMETHING I CANNOT DO.
I think she understands the nature of my position. I don’t think she really cares, however.
l’ll leave early, but certainly not the “half” day she recommended. It also means I’ll have to adjust some of my lunch hours and scale them back to half hour lunches (and probably skip lunch today) so I can account for the loss of time.
It’s a bit of manipulation, but I’ve learned from my last gig how to build inherent flexibility into my schedule so that these ad hoc early departures don’t derail my budgeted monetary gains.
The comparisons between this and a “normal” 9-5 gig will always continue, probably until this becomes the new normal for me.