Impossible jobs and moving on

Subject: Impossible jobs and moving on
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 12:48:29 -0500

Moshe Koenig described an impossible situation that
combined unreasonable (albeit relatively pleasant) bosses
and an unbearable level of stress.

Moshe, you have my sincerest condolences. The job and your
personal situation would have been intolerable alone, but
put them together... Ugh. In one sense, the answer to your
questions is easy: keep working as long as the client keeps
paying. But there's far more to it than that. My philosophy
is that, much though I love my work, I work to support my
life, not vice versa. It's one reason I'm full-time rather
than freelance: so long as the kids still want me around, I
want to be with them. You mentioned burnout: if you do burn
out, you'll be no good to yourself, your family or the
client. The occasional all-nighter is part of life, but if
it becomes a regular occurrence, it's time to leave. You
didn't mention whether the client had considered hiring
more staff. Have they? If not...

Advice? That's always dangerous. Personally, I'd go with
the full-time job and get my life back together. If you can
help your freelance client by referring them to another
freelancer, you can leave with a clean conscience, provided
you warn the freelancer what to expect. You've noted that
you've left jobs before because clients were intolerable;
here, the same principle applies, but since you seem to
like the client enough to have stayed, make it clear what
you're doing and what they must do to survive. If they
won't accept your sensible advice, then the problem and the
guilt are theirs, not yours.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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