After San Francisco, we worked toward finding a new normal. We were turning our marriage around and working on rebuilding our family. T didn’t love his job, but it was good enough for right now and contract work was light, uncomplicated, and manageable. We were headed into November and feeling excited about the upcoming holidays. And then….
November 21 the email came. T’s boss shifted him from his current job to an exciting new opportunity. After getting to know T better in San Francisco, the boss realized that T was the right guy for a new venture he wanted to try.
A small firm in India needed help keeping the lights on. T was just the guy to help them figure out how to turn it around. If it succeeded, T would become the CEO of the new company. If it failed, well T would be out of a job. Not because he’d failed, but the company needed to fill his current position and no one knew if there would be a position open for him.
I think I just laughed. The irony of it all. Once again we were looking forward to calm and predicable and we were shoved in the opposite direction. I couldn’t be angry and I couldn’t say no. It was moving forward, and that was the direction we were headed, but most importantly it was perfect for T. There isn’t anything he loves more than helping other people. He loves to teach. He loves to mentor. This was that and more.
We packed up our expectations and headed off in a new direction. An advantage this time was an illusion of control. T carefully asked about expectations and was told to just go, do, try. And he did. He talked to people, did research, and learned what options the Indian agency had available to it.
Then the unspoken expectations reared their ugly head. The boss did indeed want some specific things done. And just like that, two weeks before Christmas, we were back in the demanding, unrealistic expectations of start up hell.
T was excited. It’s fun for the person who’s part of the discussion, who gets to make choices, who sees “the vision”. It’s not fun and exciting for the single parent trying to pull Christmas together (after four unbelievably horrible Christmases), educate the children, and keep the house from falling apart. It’s not fun for the person who has to live with the chaos and has no choices in what’s happening.
About every third day the focus changed. There were time zone issues that led to odd working hours/days. A third person was brought in who also had ideas and made changes. Everything was important. Everything was timely. Everything had to be done now. Everything that was work related, that is. Once again money was tight, family was always second, and there was no time for anything else. And it was likely that at the end, we would once again be out of a job.
And we were. By March we were back to freelancing. The boss had worked hard to find a place at the company, but it felt like moving backwards and T was done being there. We picked up a three month contract with them to clean up some projects and started talking to a new prospective employer. T had begun the conversation around the end of January. The work looked interesting, the employer looked honest and family-oriented, and now it was just a matter of timing.