Great Strides Forward!

If it takes ten hours to achieve three hours of actual work, who am I really cheating?

This update is a bit long in coming, because I took off for Salem, Oregon to attend theĀ Emrg-n-See Festival with Trent and a bunch of other amazing people. The vacation was welcome, even though it ventured into the United States, which as of late has made me somewhat wary.

Regardless, I’m back now, and back at my ugly little cubicle desk in North Vancouver. There’s one major difference though…

This is my last week. I am done this coming Tuesday!

So I gave my notice last Tuesday – the big boss was neither surprised nor alarmed. I guess it’s been pretty obvious for a while now that our department has just been sitting here spinning our wheels, waiting for some guidance from the “new management” that never actually arrived. I mean seriously.. I was supposed to be reporting to a guy in the head office downtown, but I didn’t actually hear anything back from him for four solid months?!

The two things I need to sort out currently are my cellphone and a laptop for the new job. The new Evil Masters have provided a nice little budget for a new machine, but frankly after taxes it isn’t enough to cover a brand new Macbook Pro. I’m currently trying to see if I’ll be allowed to purchase my current Macbook Pro from this job – I negotiated a clause in my original contract here where I could buy out my laptop after one year of employment. I’m just a couple of days shy of nine months with the company, so I’ve offered them $100 per month on top of the original buyout fee. $1300 total for a Macbook Pro – albeit a used one – isn’t too shabby.

On the cellphone front however I got some bad news today – the boss here agreed to let me carry my cellphone number with me when I left, but Telus (who are bitches) have a grip on the number with nasty, sharp, pointy teeth. Looks like I’ll have to have a new cellphone number shortly. I’m currently deciding between pay-as-you-go and a regular cellular plan.

The more I think about this whole detach-from-the-office plan (and the more I read ‘The Four Hour Workweek’), the more I am convinced that it is a good idea. The biggest challenge will be to be honest with myself about what does and what does not work; maybe working in a coffeeshop will be fun, but will it be productive? If it takes ten hours to achieve three hours of actual work, who am I really cheating?

My last day here is Tuesday, and then I have Wednesday and Thursday off, and then Friday I begin my new contract. I will be working the following Monday through Wednesday, and then Thursday I pack up and leave for two weeks in New Brunswick! This is going to be the really big test: can I work successfully from the east coast, possibly without my new Evil Masters even noticing that I’m not around?

Another big question: as an independent contractor, how can I best track my hours? I saw a web app on Daring Fireball, but I foolishly neglected to bookmark it…