Here's the breakdown on how the current place (17 people) measures up:
Good: The dress code is very relaxed
(not that we actually even have a dress code). I am allowed to, and often do, wear this shirt.
Bad: I have gained so much weight as a result of stress eating, that I couldn't wear any of my suits if I wanted to.
Good: things that I couldn't do at my previous, large-firm job, that I can do now:
- take 90-minute to 2-hour lunches, and nobody says a thing
- drink beer at lunch
- work 40 hours a week maximum
- take vacation without having to answer my phone for a work-related call
Good/Bad: I didn't have Project Manager duties at my last job. I do now.
Bad: I'm getting paid less than my last job, though I have a whole lot more responsibility.
Good: I can cuss like a motherfucker, out loud, and it's perfectly acceptable.
Bad: I often have good reason to need to (see next item).
Bad: Things I had at my previous, large-firm job, that I don't have now:
- in-house ability to print larger than 11"x 17"
(My first job while in school was at a firm of 7 people. They had a plotter.)
- a copier and/or scanner that will handle larger than 8.5"x 11"
(we have a multifunction fax/copy/scan/print thing that is 5 years old, and does 90% of our printing)
- access to anybody else's calendars
(We don't have an exchange server. Seriously.)
- e-mail that will send files larger than 5MB
- IT support
(We have a guy, who is friends with Dude, comes from a wealthy family, and only does IT as a time-filler for when he's not playing golf.)
- access to MEP/structural consultants who are worth a damn
- a boss who allows me to look at the project contracts
(I only care about looking at the contract to determine what our firm's project-related responsibilities are. Dude is concerned that the staff will see "the numbers," by which he means "what the partners are getting paid." I really don't give a damn about that.)
- paid disability leave
- a retirement plan
- performance reviews
- a clear-cut timeline of when I could possibly receive a pay raise
(The absence of this, of all possible benefits, pisses me off the most.)
That puts the tally at 4 Good, 6 Bad.
But wait, should the last item count as one thing, or twelve? Some days it counts more heavily than others. For example, it was definitely a 12 during the week we were moving offices.
This is what our office felt like during that week: