Dazed and Contused

Ramblings, reviews and ridiculousness from my mind to yours.

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Thursday, June 19, 2003
 

Let's Go To Ray's Place


The internet (which, you will recall, was invented by Al Gore) is a wonderful publishing medium. It allows people to distribute wonderful pieces of writing, not to mention a lot of complete crap (which includes this blog).

Something that surprised me was the number of online comic strips. One thing about comic strips - generally they just suck completely. Don't believe me? Go to the nearest newspaper you can find, turn to the comics page, and read all the strips there. Then try not to gouge out your eyes.

I'm not saying that all comic strips online rule, if for no other reason than most comic strips syndicated in newspapers can be found online (Exhibit A: Cathy). Which means that there are a lot of sucky comic strips on the web, before you even get to the online only strips.

One of the good comic strips I've come across is Achewood. It is definitely an aquired taste, and isn't for everyone. I spent an afternoon going through the archives from earliest strip to latest strip, and was hooked.

One of the main characters, who has been dominating the action lately, is Ray the cat. Each Wednesday Ray writes a column, which has lately morphed into an advice column. An extremely funny advice column. Go now and bask in Ray's wisdom.

And stay the hell away from Cathy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
 

Deadline Approachin'


Been a bit quiet around here lately - been concentrating on things happening in real life, rather than describing them in a virtual forum. A lot of my time has been spent thinking and dealing with my potential move to the US - which has been a lot of fun in itself. In fact, let's recap (all times Australian Eastern, probably).

  • 6th May - Employee resigns in the US office. Manager sends company-wide email detailing the resignation, and says there is a position open in the US. I write a one-liner reply, idly wondering what the pay, terms and conditions are for a transfer from Sydney. My team leader writes a similar email.

  • 13th May - US manager replies, with fairly extensive terms and conditions description. I'm a little taken aback, and have to actually consider the offer. I reply the same day, listing a bunch of questions I have about the conditions described. US manager answers some of my questions. Also makes it clear he has to check with our CEO and CFO.

  • 14th May - I write a more detailed reply, stating further consderations. US manager has emailed the Sydney boss, detailing our discussions about my possible transfer to the US.

  • 15th May - I ask a quick question, get a quick answer.

  • 28th May - I approach my boss to try and find out the transfer status during the weekly conference call with the US. Immediately after, US manager requests a conference call with me, him and other US staff.

  • 29th May - We have the meeting, which goes well, and gets into nitty-gritty detail of the potential move. I still haven't received a contract letter. US manager states his intent to have the letter signed off "within 2 weeks".

  • 3rd June - After I ask my boss if there is any info for me after the weekly US conference call, I am told that the US manager has interviewed a local candidate who is "in contention" for the position.

  • 6th June - Annoyed that I haven't heard anything from the US, I write a diplomatic email requesting a status update.

  • 7th June - At this point I start coming in on weekends to see if I get email from the US (their Friday is our Saturday, essentially). The US manager has sent me an email telling me that, yes, they had interviewed and then offered the position to a local, who turned it down. Which "means we are back on". US manager changes certain terms and conditions we had already discussed bu also says he is waiting for comments on a draft letter from the CFO.

  • 9th June - I reply, addressing the changes to the terms and conditions states, the most important being starting in the US on August the 4th. I come back from a holiday in Eorope on July 29th, which gives me a few days in Sydney before flying out - which I would like to have anyway. I also inform the US manager that if I don't have a contract signed off by 20th June, I'm not going. This is partly because even if I sign on the 20th of June I have only one week before I go on holidays (plus 3 days when I come back) before I have to move to the US. It is also partly to set a deadline to pressure the US into getting organised.

  • 10th June - US manager replies, saying the letter is still being reviewed. Asks me if I could fly straight from London to the US instead of coming back to Sydney. I reply immediately, informingthe manager that I am NOT prepared to do that. I want my 3 days to organise things.

  • 12th June - I actually receive a contract! It's mostly OK, despite the fact that some terms and conditions have changed markedly from what had ever been discussed before. The deal-breaker, however, is how I am re-imbursed for the first 6 months "trial-period". Essentially I am getting screwed. My Australian boss agrees, and sends an email to the US manager, stating same, which I am bcc'd on (i.e. US manager doesn't see me on the Australian manager's recipient's list).

  • 13th June - US manager replies to my boss saying he wasnts to see if I accept the contract. I inform the US manager that I think I am getting screwed in the first 6 months, and state what I am prepared to accept (which I consider fair for both parties).

  • 14th June - US manager replies, essentially saying that he has redrafted the letter in line with my wishes, and has sent it to the CFO for comments/approval.

  • 16th June - I reply, saying that I look forward to reviewing the redrafted contract letter. I also restate that my deadline is the 20th of June. I approach my Australian boss, asking him to reinforce the deadline.

  • 17th June - At meeting, after Australian boss reiterates the deadline, US manager says he will try and contact the CFO after the meeting to enquire about progress.

  • 18th June - I still haven't received a redrafter contract.

  • So it is now well over a month since the position opened up in the US, and I still haven't clapped eyes on a contract that I think is fair. I'm not trying to be greedy here, I just don't see why I should subsidise my transfer. Not to mention my frustration with terms and conditions constantly changing, the lack of feedback with progress in the US, and the fact that (without telling me) the US tried to hire someone locally while I was left dangling.

    At this stage some of you may be wondering why the hell I would still want to transfer across to the US, let alone continue working for my company.

    At the end of the day, I still think this is a neat opportunity. If it happens, great - if it doesn't happen, that's OK. And the US has two more days to get me a decent contract - and even if I receive a contract tomorrow that I think isn't quite right, they aren't going to be able to redraft it and get it to me in time.

    Keeps things interesting, I guess...