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Thrym

Thrym's New Web Development Business (formerly His Tough Decision Day)

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[PREFACE]

As the new title implies - the spoiler ahead is that I made a decision to start my own business.  I decided to update the title because the topic of the thread has turned toward the new business more than the decision to go back or strike out on my own.  However, if you haven't read this thread before I invite you to read the story of my inevitable decision not to return to the place that fired me after 13-years of employment.

 

If on the other hand you want to skip the decision discussion and jump right ahead to where I forge my new path.  Then please, by all means, jump ahead to page 2 to learn more about my new adventure in sole-proprietorship, Foothold Digital.

[/PREFACE]

 

As some of you may know, I have been fairly absent from the forums mainly because I have been working a lot.

 

I have been the lead web developer for FingerLakes1.com here in the Finger Lakes of NY for 13 years.  What that has come to mean is, I am the only web developer at the office with two 15 hour employees, a graphic artist and a content developer.  The work load at this time basically requires, at a minimum, two full time people doing what I do.

 

Mind you, we used to have that person and that person wasn't replaced fully.  We also used to have a systems manager and that person wasn't replaced at all and their duties fell to me.

 

So, after months of wading against a large stream of work load and trying very hard to keep my head above water my boss and I got into it again on Wednesday and we have parted ways.

 

The boss reached out to me Friday morning, after I cleared out some of my stuff Thursday night, to have a call.  We had that call Saturday.

 

I would say the call went pretty much as I expected, he continued with the same BS and I restated my case for needing more people who do what I can do to get the work we have scheduled done.

 

The end result of the call was him leaving me with a decision.  I can resume work or stay "fired".

 

The considerations are as follows for the old job:

 

  • Nothing is going to change if I go back except we now have an even more adversarial relationship.
  • He says he might be willing to hire someone to assist me "without the commensurate income compensating for their paycheck." There aren't many, if any, people in this area who will work for what we could offer as a pay rate in this line of work compared to the neighboring cities of Rochester, Syracuse or Ithaca.
  • Going back will now have put me three-five days behind on everything and zero contact with all of my clients.
  • I honestly don't think I can fulfill all of the projects without literally pulling 12-16 hour days 6-7 days a week for who knows how long
  • I don't foresee my health being maintained throughout the process
  • I would continue to receive a paycheck
  • I would continue to host my websites for free
  • I might eventually be able to take my vacation days
  • I won't have to start over at some place new or on my own

 

The options for moving on:

 

  1. I can get a job within the week back in retail.
  2. I can start my own web development business.  I already own footholddigital.com as a potential business domain.
  3. I can look for a job in web development elsewhere.
  4. I can shift fields. Which is not outside the realm of possibility. It will just require some effort.
  5. I can partner with someone who already is in web development or similar related field.
  6. I can collect unemployment if all else fails.

 

Overall, I have to decide today before 7:00pm Eastern. 

 

At this point, I am submitting this to the cloud for thoughts and ideas.  Perhaps even some encouragement.  A laugh or two wouldn't go amiss.

 

Thanks,

Thom

 

Edited by Thrym
Updated Title and Added Preface
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Looking at the way you stated your options, I think you already know.

 

You want to feel good and maintain your health.

You are certain that you can provide for yourself by acquiring income somehow

You Are also certain that your relationship with your boss is botched.

 

If I look at these points alone I think you will go to option 2.

You just want some confirmation.

 

I think that if you are indeed capable of getting a new job soon, that will be the best path.

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Since you already have an adversarial relationship with your boss, any option to just say "nope, I've been doing too much overtime and I'm worn out, no more overtime for the foreseeable future"? Obviously projects are going to go way late and you don't want that, but if you weren't the one making ridiculous promises then it's not your fault those promises aren't being met...

 

Personally, I'd be inclined to walk away. I've worked in toxic environments before, when I finally got fired my ex and I had a party to celebrate. As a bonus, your boss is likely to have a heart attack at some point when he realises he's screwed himself by chasing you away, and may come back and offer you more money to save him from himself...

 

That said... I'm in a field and a region where I can expect to find another decent job within a couple months, if that - the last time I actually looked for work was 2001. Since then, it's been friends or recruiters finding me and asking me to take on new jobs. So I don't have any real reason to stick around in a job I don't like.

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Do what's good for you (and your family if you've one). Sounds like nothings going to get better where you've been, so, of it's run you to the end of your rope, you know exactly where you're going to be.

 

 

Alternatively,

 

9e840cc2cfb5e5345300a94b54ca15bc00853a88

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I agree. You should unbound yourself and move on. For me everything your described sounds like nothing will improve.

 

Threre is no point in staying, may it be out of a wrong feeling of responsibility or your own expectations.

 

I don't know you well, but from what I read you should be able to tackle a new beginning. And as the saying goes: Endings are just beginnings.

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Though I am NOW retired, I had a three year toxic relationship at work with a Vice-President.

Guy didn't know my job, but made it a point to insult me at every turn when I encountered him.

I worked as a Computer Scientist/Test Directer and Department head. 

I would go to senseless meeting that took up my valuable time, and cause me to put in

overtime to get my reports in. (I did NOT get paid overtime).

The last meeting I attended the "Vice-President" said that he didn't care what I thought,

didn't like what I did, and would I please just shut up.  So I obliged by taking off a shoe,

placing it in my mouth, and just glared at the idiot through the rest of the meeting. 

I took out a pen, piece of paper, and wrote neatly, and clearly...

"This is my resignation, effective immediately. and signed it.

When meeting was over, placed shoe back on foot, walked into VP's office

and tossed resignation on his desk in front of him, walked to me office, took what was mine,

and gave the receptionist my keys.  I moved , and had another job in five days.

That location with the idiot no longer exists.  Smartest thing I ever did was walk out

of that place.  Recommend you do the same, you are being used and Abused.

Edited by Jasonator
Typo
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Thank you all for your input and encouragement.  At this point I don't think I am going back.  The way forward is a little less clear.

 

As I have mentioned, I have purchased a domain name for my own development company.

 

I had also developed a logo and slogan for said company:

 

foothold-digital-rockface_fw.thumb.png.dd472a492f2d0c174e0451a0b77d970f.png

 

I think the idea is sound and has a great presence.  The domain is parked with Amazon's AWS at the moment so it wouldn't take much to put it to use and get things rolling.  It would be nice if I had more savings to put an office location together but that will have to wait.

 

In the interim, I will likely be getting a job on the side to keep income up for the family until I have steady work.

 

Any other thoughts are appreciated.

 

---------

 

59 minutes ago, Marvin said:

Alternatively,

 

9e840cc2cfb5e5345300a94b54ca15bc00853a88

 

I don't think the landlord of the building we're in would appreciate that.  Especially since we're friends.

Edited by Thrym
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From what you have stated I can only conclude that you are in a Toxic Work Environment and the only way for you to maintain your health and sanity [aren't these things worth more than whatever paycheck you are receiving?]is to distance yourself from that environment as quickly and cleanly as possible.

You state that nearby towns will pay more for the same services, perhaps this is a starting point for re-ordering your life.

You already have at least the glimmer of an idea for starting your own business, I'd start investing some time in getting that up and running on at least a part time basis.

I would caution you that under no circumstances should you allow yourself to provide any advice or services to your now former employer, no matter how much the knucklehead you used to work for begs and pleads.  If there is a level of management above this person, you might consider keeping a channel open with that person or person but in no circumstances should you allow your self to be put in a subordinate position to the individual who is making life so difficult for you now.

I know this is a tumultuous situation and it is never easy to be in the position of having to make these decisions.

Good Luck, and know that we on the forums are here for support should you need a friendly ear to talk to.

GEM

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4 minutes ago, Thrym said:

Thank you all for your input and encouragement.  At this point I don't think I am going back.  The way forward is a little less clear.

 

As I have mentioned, I have purchased a domain name for my own development company.

 

I had also developed a logo and slogan for said company:

 

foothold-digital-rockface_fw.thumb.png.dd472a492f2d0c174e0451a0b77d970f.png

 

I think the idea is sound and has a great presence.  The domain is parked with Amazon's AWS at the moment so it wouldn't take much to put it to use and get things rolling.  It would be nice if I had more savings to put an office location together but that will have to wait.

 

In the interim, I will likely be getting a job on the side to keep income up for the family until I have steady work.

 

Any other thoughts are appreciated.

 

---------

 

 

I don't think the landlord of the building we're in would appreciate that.  Especially since we're friends.

Our daughter has a business building Professional Resumes for people in need of such services.

The business has been up and running for several years, she has a client base, some of whom have used her services for multiple iterations of their resume as their needs change.

The entire business is run from a laptop computer and a desk dedicated to the purpose.

My point being, you can get a startup business up and running without the expense and ongoing overhead of an office.  You can make the lack of an office a selling point for your services by emphasizing that you "come to the client", allowing your client to remain productive by not having to travel for an appointment.  Later on, when you can bear the overhead costs more easily, you can establish an office outside your living environment.

 

As to the landlord being a friend, you might want to give him a heads-up about your former employer and the shaky situation your former boss has placed the business in.  Point being, your friend needs the rent checks on time and your now former employer doesn't sound like they are a viable business under the current management.

GEM

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3 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

Our daughter has a business building Professional Resumes for people in need of such services.

The business has been up and running for several years, she has a client base, some of whom have used her services for multiple iterations of their resume as their needs change.

The entire business is run from a laptop computer and a desk dedicated to the purpose.

My point being, you can get a startup business up and running without the expense and ongoing overhead of an office.  You can make the lack of an office a selling point for your services by emphasizing that you "come to the client", allowing your client to remain productive by not having to travel for an appointment.  Later on, when you can bear the overhead costs more easily, you can establish an office outside your living environment.

 

As to the landlord being a friend, you might want to give him a heads-up about your former employer and the shaky situation your former boss has placed the business in.  Point being, your friend needs the rent checks on time and your now former employer doesn't sound like they are a viable business under the current management.

GEM

 

Thanks, I know I can do this from my living room and have performed emergency updates from my phone while out of state.  I just like to avoid the temptation of the workshop and other things by having an office to go to.

 

As to the landlord, I approached him last Wednesday after the blow out to talk to him about moving some of my stuff into a storage space at the building while I make room for it at home.  He knows what me leaving the business will do to the business. 

 

As does the News Editor at FL1 and my two part-time employees.  My department has been the financial backbone of the business which my boss, the owner, as admitted on many occasions.  That is why I have been confounded to be in the position I have been in since business jumped and I have been behind.  We should have hired someone immediately to at least backstop me much less to continue crunching projects out.

 

Oh well.  I can't fix the priorities of other people.

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I will suggest that you write a GOOD handover document and have it delivered to your boss, signed for  and all.

(feel free to also send it to other people in the company, if you think it will do any good...   I assume your boss will just toss it in a desk drawer or the round filing cabinet)

 

In that document you need to put down everything you know about the systems, that the poor schmuck taking over for you need to know. 

Everything.

It also MUST include any account you have had access to. With passwords, if you have it. And a note that these MUST be disabled or changed soonest.

 

Any support contracts the company is paying for, yearly license deals, or internet servies you pay for should also be listed if you've had anything to do with at all, or suspect that they exist, but that the previous Sysadmin never documented.  

 

The one thing it should NOT list is your private email or phone numbers. 

 

Keep a copy of the document, together with the returned signature in case of issues. 

This is for CYA reasons.

 

Unless you send this your ex-boss will probably blame you when the company goes under. 

Actually, he probably will anyway, but with the document, you can show that you did a 'good faith' attempt to make the transition as smooth as possible, and that any issues that developed was not your fault.   

 

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Move on. You’re awesome at what you do. I’d like to see you be able to become your own boss. To that end, the webpage you helped me create and maintain will be going wherever you go. 

Edited by ub3r_n3rd
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Ultimately only you can make the decision of what's best for you and your family. However, from my personal experience, no amount of money can make up for hating your job/work environment. About 14 years ago, both my wife and I quit our jobs within about a month of each other. I had another job already lined up, she did not and it took her several months. Both of us had a higher income potential at the old jobs than we do now, but we were both instantly happier. Sure, there were some lean times in the interim, but we've mustered on and are now in a pretty good position financially. We won't be buying BMWs or R8s, but we can comfortably afford our house (and are actually going to be moving very soon to a bigger house/lot) and we are much, much happier. We no longer dread going to work, etc.

 

At the end of the day, you need to enjoy what you do. Its the same thing with hobbies, a hobby you hate is not worth it, and a job you hate is not worth it.

 

Best of luck in your future endeavors, whatever you decide!

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