Finding another horse

I’m home today. Generally being run down means I get a bunch of small ailments. The last couple of days it’s been a chest cold that has flared up. I’m very tired too, and actually visited the Doc the other night where I discovered my blood pressure had shot through the roof. I think it’s time to take care of myself better. Foremost is the need for a decent break, both mental and physical. I just need to properly detox and I’ll think I’ll be right. The good news is that I’ve had a three-week break in April approved, so not long to go.

What would be very useful to my good health is a decline in job-related stress. One way or another I can see a change coming.

I set myself last Friday to make a call on my future at work. On Friday I met with the GM to get some clarity about my role going forward and to make a claim for more money. I wasn’t going to make demands or engage in a debate. I simply know where I stood so I could make an informed decision.

Nothing too surprising came out of that except, perhaps, that the justification for the work I’ve done over the last 12 months had become shaky. There was no clear path forward for me and certainly no extra dollars. He understood my frustration and vocalised my options for me – stick around and hope things get better or leave for something else. It was pretty clear he was open to that option.

The issue is that the chatbot I’ve been working on is now being seriously challenged by another option being championed by the IT manager – the brother-in-law of a woman working at the company looking to get the business. The rival option is quite different – cost is in the millions, but is a managed service. It seems to me that the GM – a canny political operator – has his money on that horse. It would mean everything I’ve done is pretty well scrapped and – naturally – my role under serious threat.

Let me put this in context. For the last ten months, I’ve been jockeying this horse around the course. It’s been a willful, uncooperative horse for much of that time but gradually I’ve come to tame it – to the point that it’s now running smoothly and getting some very good results. Big wins are close. There are some in the crowd cheering it on and appreciative of the work I’ve done on the horse’s back. There are others who give a cursory clap, but don’t really care – and some actively barracking against it. Their money is another horse. What that they threaten is replacing the horse beneath me, and choosing another (set) of jockeys.

This is indicative of the rival factions at work who do battle over every scrap. The faction backing the application I’m working on now have the support of the Sales department, which has all the clout. They make the money and they dictate much of the policy. After being disinterested ten months ago they’re now gung-ho. I raised this with the GM and he was pretty well dismissive of the possibility.

None of this helps me understand where I stand, except that it’s in a volatile position.

Rather than opting to hand in my notice, which was my initial thought, I made the decision to hang around until the end of the month before going on leave. Things are shifting and potentially the picture would become clearer as April came near, or so I figured. At the same time, I can begin the search for another role with the plan to properly get into it when my leave comes along. Ideally, I’d go on holiday and not come back.

I’m actually feeling reasonably secure despite the circumstances. I met with a representative of Sales on Monday who floated the notion of coming to work for them. There were plenty of opportunities she said, and you’re well looked after. I hate Sales, but I can appreciate that their harder edge means things get done and that I would be empowered as I’m not in Ops. And, naturally, I’d walk in the door with $20K extra in my pocket regardless of job, and likely more. So, that’s a stand-by.

Preferably I would leave the company altogether. The prime opportunity is with the chatbot vendor. They like me, and they need me too, whether they know it or not. The GM made comments that reflected on the engagement model used by the existing vendor and the slow cycle times – which basically comes down to being without consultants to guide and assist.

I’ve got someone else sussing out recruiters for me, and I’ll be making calls today.

Best case scenario come my break I’ll have time to properly relax on a real holiday knowing I’ve got something far better to go to.

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