Friday, October 10, 2008

Got to a Yes at last!

I just finished writing up our very first official Fee for Service contract agreement.

Have you ever tried to be all lawyer-speak with the parties of this part agreeing that the parties of that part shall blah blah blah with Agreement capitalized and such while bouncing up and down in your chair giggling inanely because HELLO! We’ve been in business precisely three (3) days and we’re already booking up our most expensive partner (that would be my husband) at close to our top billing rate for a four month engagement?!

It is not easy, people. Lawyer-speak is short on things like “squeee!” and “thank $DEITY!” and “yes-yes-yes-yes-YES!”

Furthermore, I have finally managed to get past the initial contact, the first interview AND a review of my technical skills on a nice contract right in my own backyard (for once). If things continue on their current course (and I don’t stick my foot all the way into my mouth during the final signing session and tickle my uvula with my toes while whistling the Star Spangled Banner, which could understandably cause a potential client to back nervously out the door muttering “We’ll, um, get back to you on this contract…”), I could be signing another contract for our less-expensive partner (uh, me) and starting more work-for-pay-hooray by next week!

Praise $DEITY, and pass me another diet Pepsi! I’m in a celebratin’ kind of mood, for a damned (and welcome) change!

In case you hadn’t noticed from the gloomy posts lately, the last few weeks (months, actually) have been pretty tough for me. Our bills have been mounting like crazy for a variety of inane things, most particularly around medical care. We’ve managed to rack up some impressive bills since summer began, and are charging into another round of expenses as the weather changes to Boo Bug Allergy Season. That’s at least another $300 a month in prescriptions, plus the inevitable “need” for a chest x-ray to rule out asthma (again), and probably a few other tests for good measure.

When I reluctantly admitted that we need more income than we’ve got and started beating the bushes for work…again and again, the same thing. My skills are impressive, my references solid, my education highly desirable, my personality a good fit for the team, BUT, unfortunately, our budget our client our hiring freeze blah blah blah.

As lead after lead fizzled out and died…and the bills mounted…and emergency after emergency had me writing bigger and bigger checks, seemingly hourly…I’ve kept telling myself again and again in my best Cheerful and Optimistic Tone of Voice…I just need one (1) phone call.

Just one phone call, just one word on the other end of the line. That’s all I need. Just one little word.

Just one yes.

Then when the yes-count stays stuck at ZERO for week after week, you start to wonder if, I dunno, you smell bad or something…I was actually starting to wonder if one of my references was torpedoing me…I’ve never had this much initial interest followed by this much silence, after all…where the heck is that “just one yes”?!

And then, glory be, we finally got one. Whew. That one yes means that the bills will get paid, our investments accounts are safe for a while yet, and we could actually start to sneak some cash into our emergency fund…vital to keep that fund plump now, because there is one thing that is completely certain about our new line of work, and that is a constant cycle of feast and famine.

If I can get that second yes, I could likely repair most of the damage we’ve taken by the end of the year.

Christmas will still be a touch on the, uh, cautious side…but at least we won’t have to cancel it.

Yessir. Gonna get me another diet Pepsi. Sure, it’s an extra $0.25 down the old hatch, but like I said…I’m celebratin’!

(Shoot, I might go whole-hog and make me a pumpkin pie! I’ve got a can of solid pack pumpkin in the cupboard, why the heck not! Live for today, that’s MY motto…at the moment, anyway…)


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Tama! That's awesome news.

LNS said...

Congratulations! Also, I must de-lurk myself to tell you how interesting and inspiring I find your blog! I'm a Public Heath Grad Student (which is a lot of capital letters for b-r-o-k-e) and thanks to Capt. Adventure (and another little boy I know) I've decided to do my thesis work on environmental contributors to autism-spectrum disorders. Also, you mentioned, a while back and in rich storytelling detail, that there are cockroaches in your area. Even just by proximity they can contribute to asthma-like (and allergy-like) symptoms in a whole lot of kids, so you may want to mention that to the Boo Bug medical team. Thanks again for your wonderful blog :-)

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Sounds like you are finding some light in your tunnel after a long drive in the dark. My husband has been self-employed for almost three years (in Real Estate, no less - his company does commercial investing, so they're actually doing well right now), so I know the feast/famine cycle well. The first few months/cycles take some getting used to, but with your resourcefulness, I'm sure you'll weather it.

And now you've got me craving pumpkin pie. Gonna go rustle one up - a stocked up pantry comes in handy, doesn't it? I love that you can find things to celebrate, even with today's craziness!

Lon said...

Pumpkin Pie is *ALWAYS* a good idea!

Anonymous said...


And don’t worry too much about having trouble nailing a contract. It really is the economy not you. The credit freezes are making even firms with solid capitalization nervous. Cause what if my supplier/clients/transport go under?

Okay, that may not have been as encouraging as I intended, but you get the general idea.

Louiz said...

Woohoo! Congratulations. You deserve it after the last couple of months

Judy said...

It is so good to hear that things are looking up for you.
Yay. you!!

PipneyJane said...

Congratulations Tama!!! That must be a huge relief.

- Pam