Saturday 16 October 2010

Be careful what you wish for (or the reason I haven't been blogging)

For at least a year, my Boss has been wondering what to do with me when my project finishes.  Since we're over a year behind schedule, there have been numerous plans made and abandoned.  However, the end is in sight (we are deep into commissioning and have officially handed over control of the plant to the owners).   His more recent plan was to give me a financial reporting/internal audit role, expanding a reporting role that already exists into something more major.  The current incumbent ("M") was a contractor who we'd keep until Christmas.

At the start of September, Boss calls me into a meeting room and says "Be careful what you wish for.  M has resigned.  Unless we can persuade him to stay a little long, he's leaving on Thursday".  [Gulp!]  My work on the project hadn't diminished but I could take over the basic weekly and monthly reports and, in the meantime, Boss would shoulder anything major.  The budgets for next financial year had already been completed and the next big thing on the horizon wasn't until mid-November when, hopefully, the project would have wound down a bit.

 Two weeks go by.  I get a handover. Although the reports have to be run on a timetable, they won't severely impact the "day job".   M extends his stay to cover for me when I'm in Normandy. 

The Tuesday before I go on holiday, I go into the office and get as far as making my first coffee for the day when Boss calls me into another meeting room.  "Sorry, but we have to switch to Plan B.  "S" has resigned.  I need you to take over Buildings Group!". Initially, that meant billing and financial maintenance of two large framework projects; eventually, it'll mean managing three staff and creating a management accounting role to support the operations director. Since S is staff, this time I'd have a month's handover.  The original new job would be downgraded and parcelled out, probably to disappear.

I sat there for a minute doing some rapid thinking.  If the truth be told, while the other job had a great job title (Finance and Reporting Manager) and would have been a good career move, I'd doubted its longevity.  I'd given it a 50:50 chance of being axed in the next round of budget cuts.  And I hadn't asked for more money because I knew there wouldn't be any.

"OK, the answer's "yes".  Can I have a car allowance, please?"

So now I have two jobs - both of them full time - and 40 official hours a week in which to do them.  And part of a third that won't disappear for at least a couple more weeks (or until Boss hires his new hybrid Project Accountant/Reporting Assistant).   To say that I'm brain dead by 6pm each night is an understatement. I'm hoping that is just due to the stress of not being in charge of my own time for three weeks, while I was getting my second handover.  We shall see.

Learning curves. I have them.

- Pam