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Keep looking for other work. If you keep getting paid until you find other work, or your current contract runs out, bonus.
If you're still available when/if your current employer wants to renew your contract, stipulate what conditions you want in place before you accept: i.e. that you will be paid for a minimum of x hours per week, regardless of whether there is that much work for you to do or not; that you can break the contract if you are not given access to SMEs or other necessary resources, etc.
Overall, though, given sudden leaves of absence and your bosses' negative mood shift, it sounds like this workplace is in trouble/about to go down.
I also encourage you to re-think your attitude about having to freelance remotely in order to have the freedom to travel... I mean, how much travelling can you afford to do if you're living on dubious and scarce contracts? There's a lot to be said for a regular, full-time employment. Most established companies offer several weeks of vacation time per year; many allow you to work from home a few days a week... and do not underestimate the value of having health/dental coverage! I'm totally in a 9-5 situation, but I do not in any way feel "tied to a desk" because I like my job and the people I work with; and the company I work for has a lot of flexible policies to enable a decent work-life balance. It way better than my freelancing days, when I was constantly stressed about whether I'd be struggling to pay my rent in 3 months.
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Tony G. Rocco
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 1:56 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Shoddy Treatment
Greetings, dear tech writers,
I've been contracting since 2006 and I've seen some lousy clients and bad managers, but this one beats all. I've never seen so much managerial ineptitude in one place in my life.
I've been working for a major Bay Area software company remotely from San Diego since last August. Halfway through, the project I was hired for fell apart due to a lack of SME resources - poor planning on their part - and my lead contact unexpectedly left on a six-week sabbatical. I've been left hanging ever since, with only makeshift busy work to keep me occupied on less than a full-time basis. After initially trying to help me, my boss became indifferent, defensive and blaming, imploring me to "take charge" of a nonexistent project.
Oddly, my boss has asked my recruiter to renew my contract, but has told me privately that due to an impending reorg, he doesn't know if/when he'll have any actual work for me to do. In fact, he doesn't even know if funding for my position will be available. I've informed my recruiter of the situation, but they are not allowed to contact my manager directly to get clarification or sort things out. They have never had a client ask to renew a contract without know if funding is available.
I resent being left in limbo, waiting to find out how this situation is going to play out, and have started looking another opportunity. But remote gigs are hard to come by for some reason and I'm not willing to take a job that doesn't let me work independently. I plan to travel and I can't travel while tied to a desk.
Any thoughts about how you would deal with a situation like this? Ever been in a situation like this before? Any feedback is welcome.
I am a freelance technical writer and author of fiction, biographical non-fiction, first-person journalism and essays. My work can be found on the BrooWaha.com online community newspaper <http://www.broowaha.com/search-author/tony-g-rocco> under my own name and my pen name, cityfeller.
*No Regrets: Memoirs of a Punk*, my first ebook, is available from Smashwords Publishing. It recounts my early days on the San Francisco punk scene, and tells the tale of a young Catholic boy who escapes his conservative Texas upbringing to live the life of a free-spirited punk rocker in the San Francisco of the 1970's. Download it at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/315495.
My first novel, *On the Steps of St. Dymphna*, is due out in the Spring of 2019.
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