Imagine an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster. You've stood in line and stutter stepped yourself through the fenced-in area that looks like a cattle chute snaking over the hot pavement. Finally, you make it to the head of the line.
You're excited, you sit grasping the safety bar with anticipation.
The coaster begins the long, slow climb up the first hill, the chains and gears clanging and jerking the cars up the steep incline.
The anticipation and anxiety build - will this be the best ride ever?
Then, WHOOSH, and you're off. You are tossed about your seat in the sharp twists and turns. There are more hills to climb; more thrilling descents. Adrenaline courses through your body, you scream and glimpse at the rickety wooden framework and wonder if it will fail, hurtling you to an untimely demise.
Twenty seconds later, the ride is over, and you exit your seat, giddy and windblown. Safe on the ground, you marvel at the decrepit structure and thank your lucky stars that you survived...and you contemplate getting back in line to ride again.
Now, instead of being on the coaster, imagine that you're starting a new job. You've survived the interview, you've completed all the paperwork and peed in the cup. You receive your acceptance message.
You're excited, and you log onto the computer with anticipation.
Computer-related work projects (like the coaster) start slowly, the internal machinations of corporate America with its gears and cogs and endless meetings - the project starts, then jerks to a stop.
The anticipation and anxiety build - will this be the best job you've ever had?
Or will this be an excursion to amusement park Kiddieland?
Maybe I'll find out this week...until then, I sit and check my email 49 times a day, and look forward to Tuesday's telephone meeting and Thursday's one-on-one. I'll sit in my little red firetruck and go 'round and 'round - yet get nowhere.
'Tis the plight of the contractor to only get paid when one actually does work. There's no thrill in waiting - and no money, either. I'm dependent upon the project team.
I've met the height requirements for the coaster, I'm just waiting for the operator to push the big red button and release the emergency brake so I can enjoy the ride.