Tuesday, November 04, 2008

When Cockroaches Out Rank You

I’ve been struggling with one of my recent clients for quite some time. Typically, when I do an on-site contract, all materials and resources necessary to do the work are provided by the client. This makes sense, as that’s one of the main reasons to work on-site.

These materials and resources include the very basic – such as a cubicle or office to work out of – to the just as valued but more role specific – such as specific computer hardware and software.

I’ve been working on site at one particular client for almost two whole months, and they have been exceptionally slow in providing me with the things I need to do the job for which they hired me. It isn’t uncommon to have to wait a few hours, maybe a day to for a new client to get setup.

But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I finally got a computer. That’s right – a computer. And being in the writing and design business, it is kind of hard to do my job without one.

I just got an office too around the same time period – more than a month into my contract. Up until that point, I dutifully followed my naïve, pathetic excuse of a manager around the office like a little lost puppy, as she asked people who was away on vacation or ill. If I was lucky, I’d get a cubicle, if not, I’d get stuck working my manager’s desk, with her along for the ride.

I still haven’t got any software to do my work either – and my two-month mark on this contract is fast approaching. I have the basic MS-Office programs, but they expect me to create animated avatars, interactive online eLearning courses, and other wondrous things, which requires far more advanced technology.

And I think that’s what kills me the most about this gig – they aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities in providing me with the resources to do the job, yet they still demand that I fulfill mine. I’ve asked for more time, and the tools they keep promising to give me, but they constantly give me a song and dance.

Maybe I should have been a cockroach.

Today, one of my colleagues spotted one lonely cockroach in the office. Within an hour or two, someone had arrived from to spray some sort of anti-cockroach gel.
Cockroaches aren’t pretty, and can be pretty nasty. But, I find it deeply disturbing that one small bug gets an immediate reaction, yet the new hire still is sitting in a corner, fretting about an approaching deadline, which he can’t meet, because no one has bothered to order the software he needs to do his job.

I’ve been exceptionally patient – the longest I’ve ever had to wait for a computer and a desk to do an on-site contract prior to this fiasco was three-hours. In just over a week, it’ll be two-months – and I’d bet easy money that if I do hold out that long, they still will be playing these games.

And that is what it appears to be – a game – at least to them. They apologize for the delay, act all cute and make up every excuse possible. They tell me they’ve ordered the software, then when it doesn’t arrive, they tell me they forgot to send it – duh! They say that they are waiting for the corporate credit card to clear, or they blame someone else. All the while they keep harassing me, pestering me, to ensure I still do my job.

How I’m supposed to do my job is still unclear to me. It’s like asking a bricklayer to brick a house, but hiding the bricks on him.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go in dressed like a cockroach?

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