I ended up having to leave my job without getting paid and after working overtime for three weeks. How is that?

 

As I probably mentioned, it was about creating a system for the so-called "escape rooms". This is an entertainment place where you are paying to go through a series of rooms full of different riddles and tasks which you need to complete in order to get out of the room in the specified time - usually one hour. My job was to make a room fully automated, since all these quests were interconnected and the game operator (basically, a guy in front of the computer monitoring participants using cameras and communicating with them using a sound system) needed to be able to open the doors remotely. I'd developed the software side of things before the thing started, as ordered, as well as prototyped most of the sensors from these I were to install. Installation, however, took longer than planned due to many unforeseen circumstances, changes of plans, such as changes of game plot or materials we needed to get because of materials appearing not suitable for the changed task. It was also partly my mistakes due to lack of experience - it was my first time installing this system on a real-life object, and thus a learning experience after all, with mistakes made and things taking more time than they should have if it was, say, my third escape room. It also appeared that I'm prone to undervalue time that's to be taken by unexpected problems, as well as work in general - I learned to count in time margins for hardware and software bugs, tiredness, unexpected changes of plans and innovations, as well as trying to communicate the current state of things to my boss. However, my boss weren't exactly understanding the technical side of things, and trying to explain him that software+hardware development problems do have their problems appearing out of the blue which are hard to account for proved to be a task close to impossible in the end. As my part of project was coming to the conclusion, he decided that he doesn't want me working there and fired me, without paying me, hiring a company to re-do the system from scratch. We had no written agreement between us, which turned out to be bad for me - I didn't receive half of the money, having received half of the payment before I started the hardware work, but that doesn't cover me working for 3 weeks overtime - about 10-11 hours a day average, with night shifts and so. I had a plan for the case where I were to finish the system and not receive the payment, but not for the case where I were to be stopped before completing my work and told that it's not needed. If I were to have a contract, though, it turned out that any delay caused by me installing the system for too long would be to be covered by me, as he told. Seems like I had not much ways of preventing this problem before, except for requiring a contract before work starts and discussing it with my lawyer before signing - which seems like common sense now, but I just couldn't think of this particular problem and all the other possible problems seemed to be covered by precautions of mine. Anyway, not getting paid for work I've done is not a thing I'll allow in the future. But this is not the important part.


I appeared to be much more closer to getting rid of depression than I thought. I had a depressive episode the day my dismissal was announced. Honestly, I was shocked. That night I had a lot of trouble sleeping, as well as thinking. I couldn't just accept the situation and search for the ways to get out of it the most profitable way for me. Not so much the next day, when I managed to get my thoughts in order and start to formulate my opinion about this whole situation - I'm not a quick thinker when it comes to forming an opinion, since I'm cautious. The day after that, I started preparing to work on my next projects. Such a quick recoverey would be impossible if I were depressed - I'm speaking from my experience. This is big news for me. One of my reasons for continuing this project - support of my mental state - is disappearing, together with my illness, which, I honestly thought, would take much, much longer to get through. This does not mean anything for how I'm determined to finish this, it just means that my goals change a little bit =)

 

Here's that "once I finish my job" moment. What I'm gonna do now?

  1. I have to re-make many of my room's computers. My room is my workplace, with many services provided by different computers, from development and maintenance functions to commodity (i.e. printing/scanning/copying) and entertainment services. Therefore, if I don't have a workplace, it's gonna be quite complicated to take on any project. My estimate - one week (that's with my improved estimation capabilities now!)
  2. Then, I'm making a portable router using a Black Swift Board - one of AR9331 devboards, this one being the smallest out of any and IMO fastest in terms of computing power. It's gonna be a fully custom router worn on your belt or so, able to work a day or two without being charged. My estimate - two weeks. Reasons for taking this on before this one - network connectivity is gonna be absolutely crucial for my wearable setup.
  3. Finally these are done, I'm continuing this project, and you'll know once I'm ready to start. I'll also post a timeline on when to expect it, as well as make a couple of announcements on other resources - I'm more and more sure this is gonna be a big thing. I'm also going to read through my previous posts, in case I made any (not time-related) promises about the project in the previous posts, since these will have to happen first.

 

I'm going to post pictures of how things are going in the meantime, so look out! I'm happy I'm finally continuing this project, no matter how late i am - better late than never. See you, and expect updates soon!