Monday, May 6, 2013

Off the rez

So I did end up going to that meeting at my corporate office last Wednesday, and that went pretty well. I had been harboring a small yet distinct concern over the fact that I have not attended a staff meeting with my government boss since before I went on paternity leave (at least March 13, in other words, although it may have been longer) and staff meetings are on Wednesdays and I was anticipating finally being able to put in an appearance at one except that the corporate meeting was scheduled at the same time. However, the main reason I still haven’t been to a staff meeting lately, despite having been back at the full-time grind for several weeks now, is because my government boss has been busy herself and keeps cancelling them. And sure enough, she cancelled last week’s meeting, so I was free and clear for the corporate note-comparing.

It’s always a little strange to be on the clock but outside the government offices, because usually at work I go into a default mode of being as pleasant and inoffensive as possible, never giving voice to any complaints about the idiosyncrasies of the DoD and the way they do business and so on. That’s just the contractor’s lot, to take it all in stride and swallow indignities through a happy-to-be-here grin. It’s just safer to stay in that nodding-along mindset at all times, because even though my fellow contractors might be sympathetic, inside the office you never know when someone else might overhear you (specifically someone with input into the contract renewal process). Plus, lots of my fellow contractors are former military folks who went into the private sector to leverage that experience, and they more or less accept the bureaucracy and backwardsness all as a matter of course, which makes me feel like my gripes only come from a place of relative ignorance. The point being, suddenly I’m in a room beyond the walls of the government offices, with five other people who all work for my employer (so not only are they all contractors like me but none of them are competitors from different contracting firms who might throw me under the bus, or subcontractors I’m supposed to set a good example for) and the amount of commiserative eye-rolling and general snark just skyrockets. It’s nice, if a touch disorienting.

At any rate, the other folks from my company liked what we told them about the system I work on and how it could be adapted to another contract. If they decided to go the route of co-opting the design and setting up their own instance, they would want a full-time developer to make that happen as fast as possible, which means it’s not something I would be involved with unless their project doesn’t really ramp up until around the same time that my current gig completely unravels. Not that I’m expecting that outcome (knock on cubicle particle-board). Honestly the best case scenario at this point would be for my current assignment to extend itself indefinitely, the other team to need a new developer to set up their own app, and then for me to recommend a developer to them and get a nifty referral bonus for my trouble. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

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