Thursday, August 10, 2006

Phoneless and Homeless

A-Minus: 5 Days

I successfully transferred my phone over to Vonage (internet phone), but then AT&T disconnected my internet service a full two days before I had asked them to, so now I have no way of making or receiving phone calls from home. I can still receive messages, but I can only check them from a computer with an internet connection, so it may be a while until I can return phonecalls. I can still be reached at work until Friday. I can also be reached via email. Communications will be intermittent as I switch countries, but I will do my best to keep in touch with everyone. After landing I need to get up and running as soon as possible after landing so my employers don't forget about me.

I met with some of the partners and senior people here at work about how we're going to arrange things. There was a meeting where my situation was discussed, which I only heard about through the grape vine, at which there were both positive and hesitant voices as to keeping me with the company. I have been walking around the building popping into the offices of various partners to say my goodbyes, trying to probe which are the hesitant ones, then sitting down with them and outlining my telecommuting proposal to personally reassure them. Fortunately, both my supervisor and department head were in favor of giving it a try. The arrangement is that I will no longer be an employee but will be working part time on a contract (about 20 hours per week) for a trial period of 60 days. If, during this trial period I demonstrate that I can make this work, I will then be able to continue with them. Right now the company is swamped with work and inexperienced engineers, so I will be taking overflow work out of this office.

What this all means is that my postition with my employer is somewhat tenuous. It could be that they are waiting until they find someone proficient enough in what I do to replace me, or that they are going to keep me on until one of the more junior engineers reaches my level of knowledge, and then they will kiss me goodbye. It could be that they are going to hold onto me until the next recession. I don't know how long this will last, it could sixty days or five years. But the fact is, it seems unlikely that I will be growing old and gray with this company.

My attitude is.. whatever. I'll take whatever I can get. The part-time nature of the job means that I will have time to work and also to study in ulpan or yeshivah, so it can serve as a buffer, where I can still do productive work and not destroy my aliyah savings while I adsorb into Israeli society. If the job lasts longer, then maybe I can continue working part-time and go back to work on my masters degree during my spare time. Or perhaps the job will go back to full-time as they continue taking on more and more work.

I my coworker Rick and his wife Mary took me to dinner last night. We discussed the contractor's life, as he was a private engineering contractor for some time. I have friends who are freelancers, and the lifestyle doesn't appeal to me much, working 50% of the time and stressing out about finding work the other 50% of the time, so if this job doesn't work out, I will eventually end up looking for regular work in Israel, even though it might pay less.

Regardless of my worries about income, the fact is that I move out of my apartment tomorrow, fly to Toronto on Sunday, and fly to the holy land, Eretz Yisrael, on Tuesday, and I CAN'T WAIT!!


Baleboosteh said...

Gosh, your leaving time has come up so quickly. I am very excited for you Evan, good luck, have a good trip over!
...Oh, and make sure you update us real soon once you get there!!

Evan said...

I most certainly will! Thanks!