Monday, February 26, 2024

Back to the Beginning

 On Friday I got a phone call from the agency that "represents" me on my contract gig at No-Name Software Company Adjacent Company.

They told me that No-Name Software Company Adjacent Company is not renewing my contract and that my last day would be Feb 26th.  

While I'm not terribly upset that it ended, I wish it had gone on longer so I could use the experience to make my resume and LinkedIn profile more stable.  Because I've worked a few short-term contract jobs, I get penalized because:

  • Recruiters want me to list every job to show I'm hireable;
  • But the tasks and responsibilities are so mundane that no one would be impressed enough to choose me over another No-Name Software SME candidate.  

It is no coincidence that my Manager (Mel) rescheduled and canceled my One-On-One with her.  She, and our boss, don't like conflict and are just trying to hold onto their Corporate America jobs until they can retire.  They are on borrowed time because the Corporation that acquired their smaller company is not making money off their product.

What does irritate me is that Mel tried to pin it on me.  They could have, and did, go with Budget cuts.  But she also tried to put it on me that I didn't Step Up and In enough.  I should have been more of a self-starter.  let's ignore the snafu of my start date, or starting just as everyone is going on vacation after a long year of consulting.  

Translation:  I didn't realize I was going to have to be responsible for your Onboarding and be expected to help you succeed.  

Could I have been more aggressive?  Sure, but what would that have really accomplished when a company -- and by extension a team -- is somewhat dysfunctional?  I did my best to walk the line between asserting myself and respecting other people's downtime.  

  I'm writing these entries as they happen and as I have time to jot things down but I may not publish until months from now (or ever). Note: This post was written when the events were still fresh.  I waited for a while to post this because I didn’t want to risk my job-hunting efforts.

Monday, February 12, 2024

2024 Bears Playoff Prediction: early, optimistic edition

Even the Experts don't get it right
Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can turn our thoughts to next season.  A lot depends on what the Bears do and I have a decision to make.

I believe the Bears should stick with Justin Fields.  My theory is that each play a coach calls has a certain percentage of success based on practice and live games.  I believe the coaches willfully have
been calling up plays with lower percentages when there was a danger of winning a game in 2022 and 2023.  

If the Bears pick a QB in the first round then they are resetting and it probably isn't worth buying the expensive YouTubeTV package to watch games down here.  It's especially wasteful because most games are at noon on Sundays and that is the middle of the day, so watching them is problematic.

Two games each NFC North opponent (3 -3 )

I'm optimistic here and say they split.  Yeah, Green Bay will probably continue to own and sweep the Bears, but I want to be positive.  The Bears improved in the second half last year, not as much as the 2022 Lions, but there was improvement.  Also, they blew 3 games with double-digit leads.  If they can not do that this year, they have a better record.  Heck, maybe it's their turn to win a few games when they are behind by double-digit leads.

NFC West: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks / at Arizona Cardinals, at SF 49ers (2 -2 )

I believe the Cardinals and Seahawks are trending up and the Rams and 49ers are going in the other direction.  As always, it depends on when they play each other.  In 2022, the Bears beat the 49ers early in the season, yet San Francisco went on to the NFC championship.  

The Cardinals looked better at the end of last year so don't expect another Miracle in the Desert.  

AFC South: vs. Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars / at Houston Texans, at Indianapolis Colts (1 - 3)

I am being really optimistic here because it could easily be 0-4.  All of these teams are better than their records indicate, and Texan exceeded expectations by actually winning a playoff game with a rookie quarterback.  The Bears will be lucky to steal a win from one of these teams.

NFC South: vs Carolina Panthers,  AFC East: vs New England Patriots, NFC East: at Washington Commanders

(3 -0)

On paper, all three of these should be winnable games.  Two of the Three have new coaches so they can "afford" to lose games during their rebuilding season.  I would wager that the Panthers are done losing, especially if they don't get the number one draft pick for their effort.  The Commanders are now in rebuild mode and we'll see what they do with the draft.  The Patriots are gonna Patriot.