A Work Rant
Today I want to ramble on about work for a few minutes. I know, not the funnest of topics, especially since I have never shared what I do for a living, nor am I going to today.
Anyways, months ago I took on a project that was not the type of work I typically do. It’s not that I cannot do the work, it’s actually that I basically never work for individuals (I work mainly for government agencies). But I took the project on because a colleague gave my name to someone in need of my professional experience and told them I could probably help. And, of course, when I heard his story, I know I could probably help and I felt bad for the guy – he was in a very tough spot. So, at the onset of the project I reduced my rate to help him out a bit. And, I’ve always tried to work as efficiently as humanly possible to reduce my time on the project and therefore reduce my bills.
Well, somehow the project turned into a nightmare. It should have taken 2, maybe 3 months. We are now well into month 9, and it’s just not going well.
On more then one occasion I have actually told him to give up, what he’s trying to do is not worth the upfront cost. But of course, giving up means he will go bankrupt and ultimately lose his business. (See, this is part of why I don’t work for individuals).
I’ve spent more nights lying awake trying to figure out how I could possibly do more to help him then I have any other work related project since I started out on my own. And, I’ve lost even more sleep trying to figure out how to give him horrible news time and time again.
Anyways, as this project has dragged on and on, I’ve contacted senior professionals/mentors to get their opinion on the situation – everyone agrees this guy is being screwed and there is likely little we can do to help him. Heck, one senior person actually donated a full day of his time to try to help too.
In the end, knowing how much this is all costing the guy and knowing he is in financial straights, a few months ago I actually stopped charging him for my time. (Ya, I’m not the best business women in the world).
But my gosh, am I ever frustrated. Basically I’m working for free (for a good cause) and I’m just repeatedly running into roadblocks. And yet, what frustrates me the most is that I know, without a doubt, that what he is trying to do is the right thing to do. Yet, the system is just not built to help the little guy. In fact, right now, it feels like the system has been designed specifically to hurt the little guy. And that is just not fair.
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