In the Space of No Thing...

OK. Fine.


I didn't want any of it, and yet, here it is. At least the EIN didn't cost me anything. Filing with the State of Vermont, for those three letters after my name was $150 which beats NYS with a stick. I suppose. 

It was meant to be ten weeks of work that wasn't ever going to start on time and as the clock ticks I keep looking at that December 1 deadline. I can start on November 1, if that's how long it takes to get through the onboarding process, but that doesn't help the customer much. 


Go way back, now, in COVID time, that is. 

In the middle of December 2019, I had a contract in hand. I made the terrible mistake of reading the contract(s) because it's a thing I do that I can't seem to stop doing. There was something in the Master Services Agreement that was just insane. No reasonable contractor would ever agree to wait payment until the customer paid the company. That includes expenses, of which there would have been many. 

After six weeks of dicking around, I dropped that thing on the floor and walked away. This is a setup, you can see it coming, right?

Now it's February and I've taken a six week project from a friend that's about to start, except it didn't. 


I made one and took two phone calls, back to back in the same hour.

The first incoming call was from the internal recruiter from The Beckett Group standing on his head in a jug of water.

His instructions were: Get her signed NOW or we lose the SOW (Statement of Work). Apparently the client wasn't going to sign without a full time project manager on board. They didn't actually need a full time project manager. They didn't need any sort of PM at all. 

The outgoing call was to my friend Kate, and one time exceptional business contact. I might as well have said: "Hey, woman! I'm about to drop a steaming pile of monkey doo doo on your head, but please don't be too mad, OK? I'm giving you back that six week project you needed me to take because I have to take the W2 in hand." We haven't spoken since. 

The second incoming call was from a recruiter out of the Boston area. I know him fairly well but our timing's never been in alignment. He had the sweetest deal: "You're perfect for it, Heather, it's right in your sweet spot."

"Brian. I'm really, really sorry. I literally just signed with the The Beckett Group. Yeah. Like thirty seconds before you called."

So I took that W2 with The Beckett Group and I think I started February 19, 2020. On March 31 I was out the door. Didn't matter how much documentation I had, I didn't have the fight and it was good to be out. 


We, the Job Ninja and I, started working on the next 1099 in the middle of April. The start date got pushed back to May 4 and then the hiring manager vanished. Since the Job Ninja still had the contract, he did his job. He kept pushing. I think I might have started first week of June and fell into the biggest shit show since. I'm thinking. Never mind, don't need to go there. Leave it at: The Biggest Shit Show Since...


That's my employment history in the Year of COVID.

This year has been one giant timeout and I was perfectly OK submitting a tax return for 2021 that reported zero income.

Except the Job Ninja. Dammit. We've got a long history together, all the way back to 2016. He put me in the two best assignments I've ever had (we won't discuss the 2020). 

The small business with the MSA problem smelled bad and I walked away.

The Beckett Group looked and felt off, and I did it anyway.

Otis? Oh my heavens. If I'd had sense, I'd have driven the computer to Farmington day one and left it at the door. But I didn't.


This one looks, smells, tastes, and feels like that big steaming pile of monkey doo doo I dropped on Kate's head. But here we are, Job Ninja and me. Here we are with our collective dicks in our hands wondering what the hell we're going to do about this. 

Because my inbox is suddenly full and they're all name brand recruiters.

Now I'm gonna show you a flow chart (two, actually) that oughta curl your armpit hairs. I am not making ANY of this up. Except the names to avoid litigation.


See? There's me. I'm right next to the Job Ninja. On a good day the Job Ninja works directly with the client. That lovely lady at the end of the chain. 

Sometimes there's a VLCF - Very Large Consulting Firm (you'll work it out, it's not Deloitte) in the middle, and that's OK too. In this case, it's the actual truth. I spoke with the manager and the PM a week and a half ago and they looked like they were going to fall over. They need help, wicked bad. 

Here's where it got messy. The independent onboarding company is used to working with businesses that are not a single person with services for hire. The VLCF hires them to handle their onboarding. They're very bad at it.

And the preferred vendor? I only know about this because the onboarding person told me to use their name in the twenty page questionnaire which required all forms of documentation to be uploaded by me. I didn't have half of it. I think the preferred vendor is a quick way to get around the VLCF hiring requirements. OK. Fine. That's supply chain and it might be working. 

Let's talk about money. That's why we're here. We might as well.

This is the invoicing cycle. I think. Maybe. I guess we'll find out. Red arrows are for invoices and green arrows are for checks and I know where I'm getting mine...

Aren't those kids adorable?

Invoicing cycle

I have seriously not so much as proofed this. Probably left trade secrets in one of those run-on sentences.