When Does the Roller Coaster Ride End?

In the last installment of this blog,  you saw me make a decision.  I found a third way – one that seemed to allow me to hold 2 beliefs as true at the same time, even though they would normally lead to opposite conclusions.  So now what?  Say “Whew!!! That’s over.” And ride off into the sunset?

(c)AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

Not exactly.

You’re heard the expression that says something like, “When you successfully do something, it means you get to do it again.”?  So here I thought I had that decision-making thing all settled.  And guess what?  I get to do it again.  Oh the irony.

Here’s what happened.  I met with a guy who owns a contracting company.  If I want to consult with XXX Company, they don’t just pay consultants directly.  You have to be an approved vendor.  To be an approved vendor takes a lot of time and paperwork.  You have to be bigger than me.  A lot bigger.  I would never get approved by myself.  So the way to get in is through a middle-man who’s already approved.

I heard this guy was good at ZZZ Contracting Company.  A straight-shooter.  And I’m sure he is.  But, (There always seems to be a but, doesn’t there?) he has a previously-agreed rate structure with this company.  And the highest rate is well below market value for what I’d be doing.  Not only that, but his cut is 2 ½-3 times what I anticipated.  My share would be almost half what I expected.

Suddenly this looks less attractive.  I don’t know how negotiable this is.  Now I have another decision to make.  Do I try and work with someone else to do the invoicing?  Do I ask the hiring manager to find a workable solution?  Do I see what I can negotiate on the percentage and accept the fact that even the gross rate is below market?  Or do I see this as a sign to just abandon the whole idea?

I don’t know.  I’ve never done this before.  And then I have Andy Andrews in my ear saying, “Well, if you DID know what to do, what would you do?”  I realize that not to decide is to decide.  Again, I want to get good at this.  The only way that’s going to happen is if I keep practicing.  So I decide I’m going to do something to take action.  I’m not going to simply quit trying.

I decide I’m not going push it super-hard.  I’m going to honestly state what I believe and respectfully advocate for what I think is right.  And then let the chips fall where they may.  I just have to give a bit more thought to what I want to say.  I may use one of my decision templates even for this.  To decide on the best approach for this situation.  I’ll you know what I decide to do in another post.

If you’ve ever felt relieved when you did something hard – like make a decision or have a difficult conversation – and then “get” to do it again almost immediately, you know how I feel right now.  Wishing I didn’t seem to need so much practice.  And at the same time, this is exactly what I signed up for when I left my job.  I wanted to be responsible for my own decisions and outcomes.  I guess I got what I asked for.  And this is a pretty low-stakes situation.  It didn’t feel like it when I was going around in circles last week, but it is.

What have you had the “opportunity” to practice lately?  How has it changed you?  Share your story in the comments.

P.S., If you haven't picked up a copy of my decision-making template and want one, send an email to kathleen@kathleenannthompson.com.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Hi Kathleen. What a ride you are on. Thanks for bringing me along as I too someday will face difficult choices once I leave what may be by then a 30+ year at a government job. I will admit that half way through your post I was already jumping to conclusions but you spelled everything so clearly that by the end I knew exactly what you were talking about. So with that said, I encourage you to stay on track with what you have said so far. Advocate for yourself and see what happens. It seems like you have nothing to lose and everything to gain even if it’s just the experience of having a situation like this on hand. And when the next one shows up (and there will always be a next one right?), you’ll have better experience on how to move forward. Keep us all posted.

    • It is indeed a ride, isn’t it? And I never was a big fan of roller coasters. I think you’ve nailed it – I have nothing to lose and everything to gain even if it’s just the experience. I’m learning how to hold on with a loose grip, or even an open hand. It’s different and uncomfortable and exciting all at the same time.
      I will definitely keep you posted. Let me know how you’re doing too.