He speaks! He isn’t dead! Yet!

April 22nd, 2006 by Jeff | 5 Core Dumps

I apologize for the crushing silence lately. As I will be mentioning in Monday’s GPF News update (note: the link won’t work until then), things have been really hectic around here, and it’s been more personal stuff than it’s been GPF-related. So while the News item will be somewhat sparse, I’ll try to summarize here what’s been keeping me so gosh darn busy.

As some of you may know, ever since I was laid off from IBM back in December of 2002, I’ve essentially been bouncing from contract job to contract job, usually for a few months a time, little islands of employment between stretches of unemployment. Oddly enough, these short jobs have usually earned enough cash to keep us around the same income level as before the layoff. Also oddly enough, three of the four contracts were back with IBM, working for the same customer I was with before the layoff. However, my current contract is coming to another close. I’ve been on borrowed time for a while now; my original contract was just for three months, but I’ve already been kept on for a year. The time of extensions is over, though, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to be out the door by the end of April.

The good news, however, is that I already have another job prospect waiting in the wings. It’s not a done deal, but it’s supposed to be “90%” there. Essentially, the employer wants me, but since this is a government contract, they have to wait for the government to sign the check to have the funding to bring me on. They’re hoping to bring me on in the beginning of May (convenient with the current job ending this month), but I’m still assuming that 90% is still less than 100% and that no further assumptions should be made. 😉

The bad news is (and yes, this will sound like one of those “good news, bad news” jokes for a while) the job is in West Virginia, my old home state. This means we will most likely have to move from our current location in North Carolina. Lots of headaches, frustrations, and heavy lifting. Even though it’s been years now, I still remember the headaches of moving from WV to NC, and I’ve accumulated a lot more stuff since then.

The good news is that West Virginia is where all our family is, which is especially good with the baby on the way. With both sets of grandparents, one sister, and a number of uncles, aunts, and cousins readily accessible, we’ll have a lot more help when the baby finally arrives. At the least, that many built-in babysitters will be handy.

The bad news is that this is yet again another contract job, just six months.

The good news is, it’s also right-to-hire, meaning the customer has the option of bringing me on full time once the contract is up if they want to keep me.

The bad news is, right-to-hire means they can also decide not to keep me. I’ve been on right-to-hire before; I’m not still employed at those places.

The good news is that my wife’s job is already remote, so it doesn’t matter where she works from. WV is just as good as NC for her, so long as she has Internet access and a second phone line.

The bad news is, we’ll also have to start over with a new set of doctors, hospitals, OB/GYNs, etc. We’ve already set up a rapport with the doctors here, and it’s not going to be fun picking up a new set of docs in the middle of a pregnancy.

As you might guess, I can keep on going like this for some time. In many ways, it’s a positive move to return to WV, but there a lot of advantages to remaining here in NC. The big advantage of NC over WV is my job future: it’s a simple yet unfortunate fact that high tech jobs are a lot easier to find in NC than they are in WV. That is, after all, why I moved to NC in the first place. If this contract ends and I don’t get brought on permanently, it could be fatal blow to my IT career to move there. And while GPF is probably more profitable now than ever, after seven and a half years it still hasn’t reached a level where it could sustain us as a full time job.

Anyhoo, the long story short: This job situation has taken up a good bit of my time lately. While I’ve been able to keep up with the strip itself, I’ve unfortunately let a lot of extra things slide (like the News, extra PREMIUM content, etc.). While this potential job change and move could potentially impact the strip, I’m hoping that it won’t. That’s one reason for the buffer and all the fore-planning I’ve done over the years.

For those of you who consider yourself to be religious, I would appreciate your prayers. While I’m already trusting that God will put me where He wants me, I want His Will to be done, where ever it may lead. If that means my family should move to WV, then so be it. NC has just enough little hills to keep me from getting too homesick, but I do miss those mountains….

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