Today was my first day back at work. It was a little weird, and not really because I’ve been out for a month. No, it’s more about what has happened on my project while I’ve been away. Specifically, it’s that my project went away. Yeah, seriously.
I work for a company that has several government contracts. Most of the work done in my division is for the Department of Energy. That said, my project was a little unusual because though it was run through the DoE, our funding source came from the Department of Defense. Strange, I’ll admit, but that’s the government for you. Actually, considering the work we do, it really made sense on a basic level that it was done that way, which some might find really surprising (gasp…the Government did something that made sense!?!...[swoon, clunk]).
Okay, so I was out of work starting on September 5th. On the 7th, they announced that our funding for the next fiscal year (which in the government world begins on October 1st) was being pulled back. I don’t know why. I never heard. Maybe it has something to do with the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan? Like I said, I don’t know.
Most people I know would freak out if they learned their job was going away while they were out, but when you work for a contractor you have to take the mentality that you are always trying to work yourself out of a job, and then move on to the next job. Besides, I think I do good enough work that I wouldn’t have a problem finding something else locally in my division.
I got to work this morning a little before Medical opened (technically I have to go through them before reporting back to work). I spent the time walking over to my functional manager’s office and saying “Hi, I’m back as soon as I clear Medical. Got anything for me to work on?” “Yeah,” he said, “Go see Don H. after you’re done.”
“Hmm.”, I said to myself, “This might go better than I thought. It doesn’t sound like I’ll have to beat the bushes today scare up some work today.”
I ran into Don out in the parking lot as I left the building. We talked for a few moments and he told me to stop by after I got done at Medical. I wandered on down and ran into Rick B. in the waiting room, who is someone I’ve worked for before.
“Hey Rick, how’s it going?”
“Hey Big Guy. I heard you were coming back today. Did anyone tell you that you were going to be working on my project again?”
“Um, no. But I only just ran into Don a few minutes ago. I didn’t really have time to get too much out of him yet. I’m going to see him after this.”
“Great. Good to have you back on board. Stop by my office sometime when you get time.
“Sure thing, Rick”
Things were looking up. I wondered to myself how long this string of luck was going to hold. I guessed it would be too much to hope that I’d be put back working with Glenn or Doug, whom I had worked with back about a year ago on other stuff. I got to Don’s office and he started to show me around to introduce me to people in the office. “Um, Don? I know all these guys. I worked in this department about a year-and-a-half ago.”
“Ah, well, I’ll just take you straight over to Mike then. You’ll be working in his group.”
We got over to Mike’s building, but he wasn’t in. Don had to get back, so I just left Mike a note to call me and was going to head back over to my own office when I ran into both Doug and Glenn. We started talking about, well … the accident … when Mike came walking up. “Hey Big Guy, I guess you already know Glenn, huh? That’s great since you’ll be working directly with him.”
And that was when I woke up.
No, seriously, the morning went better than I’d even thought possible. I’ll miss working with some of the folks from the old project (all of whom have also gotten re-assigned, so nobody got laid off). I’ll especially miss working with “other George”, but at least I found out where his new office is and I will see him at least once a week in a functional meeting we’ll both be attending for our respective new projects.
Oh, and in the next few weeks Glenn and I and some other guy who’s coming in will be moving into a new office space over closer to the job site, and away from all of the distractions of the cubicle farms.
I have several small bruises on my arm from pinching myself all day.