I modestly agreed, and assured him that I was very excited about working on his website. Which I was, and possibly am.
“You ready to move here?”
I said that while I was very happy with the salary they had in mind, if I stayed where I was, it didn’t seem to me to be the kind of salary a person would be expected to move for.
He went into a practiced speech about the benefits, what a great place it was to work in, and how well I’d fit in. It sounds great, actually.
That’s the possible workplace, up there in the picture. The v-c’s office is about four feet square. He has two monitors side by side on his desk. He showed me the CMS; it’s as cute as a puppy. I love it. It would be such fun for me. What’s more, they have a new website they’ll be launching in January, and it is exactly what they’d have gotten if they had taken all the advice I had for them.
“You actually want physical presence?” I asked him. “Why?” We were getting on like a house afire at that point — he’d recoved from his alarm when I had moved in and asked “Could I view your source?” — and I felt I could be direct.
At this point he said the he realized that wasn’t the norm, and that there wasn’t a single thing I could do there that I couldn’t do at home, but apparently they’d tried letting the web team work from home, and it seemed like discrimination to the other staff.
Yep, the administrative assistants and nurses and stuff felt that they should get to stay home if the writers did.
It’s very flat there .
They have an office up here. I suggested that if fairness was the issue, then I could go in every day to the local office.
It didn’t seem to the v-c that that would work.
“So,” I said, “would you say that it’s impossible?”
“Not impossible. Just improbable.”
Much depends on the new Web Center Director. He encouraged me to apply for that position. I told him incautiously that it didn’t look like as much fun, but he said it was better paying. And then of course I could allow the writers to work from home. Here’s the description of that job:
“The Web Center Director will supervise and participate in the development of software for the creation and maintenance of the official web site; supervise the development of page design and graphics for official web pages; supervise and participate in the development of policies and procedures. Develop and monitor tracking system to measure effectiveness of web site in acquiring patients and other targeted customers; continually update and improve the web site utilizing the content management system and new developments in applications of technology; develop, implement, and manage content management system. Supervise the development of training manuals and classes for content and management team members; act as webmaster/web team leader; assist co-chairs and facilitate the activities of the clinical web center operations committee and carry out committee recommendations. Develop implement and monitor annual budget for Web center; develop plan to ensure future funding; stay abreast of web-related technological, creative and media advances and trends in the advertising, communications, higher education and health care and modify departmental resources to best take advantage of those that help accomplish goals of institution.”
I mean, I can certainly do those things, but it doesn’t sound amusing, does it? And I bet that person never gets to work from home.
“Close your eyes and I’ll talk to you,” she said in a soothing voice, as of one accustomed to talking to crazy people. “You’re not driving, so you don’t have to look at it.”
Over lunch, she told us they’d had four murders last week. She has decided to go into environmental law, on the theory that there will be fewer photographs of mutilated children to look at in that field. She has all As in school, and we’re very proud of her.
She thinks I should go ahead and move. In fact, she thinks I should apply for the admin job. The v-c thought that I could work down there for six months and then probably be fine working at a distance. “Once the chancellor has confidence.” No one who has worked with me for a week would worry that I wouldn’t work just as steadily if I were at home, or in a tree house for that matter. Maybe I can move into the dorms for six months. No? A hotel? There’s one right there near the hospital. I could walk to work.
In some ways, this is simple: I’m happily but nervously self-employed and I’m up for a good job that I would really like. During an international economic meltdown. I should take it if it’s offered to me. I can still do my ten hours a week of freelance work, and I just won’t have to worry about searching for more than that.