"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Been Going On

Hardly seems like a week's gone by since my TGIF post, and now it's already almost time for another one!

So, what's been going on this week? Well, today things have quieted down a bit, but that's mostly because some of the things I need to do in terms of New Think Tank set-up depend upon things Lawyer, Accountant, and Landlord must do first. In particular, Lawyer needs to complete Fancy Paperwork to make sure our EIN (IRS employer identification number) is properly under New Think Tank's name. Long story short, instead of getting a new EIN, we're taking over one that belongs to a dormant organization because that saves us several steps and a lot of time and effort applying for nonprofit status as a totally new organization. We need this number for all sorts of things related to set-up, and, given the abrupt nature of our departure from Think Tank, the sooner we have it the better. The ball is in Lawyer's court, so to speak.

Here's a run-down of what the rest of the week's been like:
  • On Monday, we got our @NEWthinktank.org email set up and approved designs for our logo and website. I talked to a bunch of CPAs about what they could offer in terms of accounting and payroll and circulated tax forms for everyone to fill out (which, as of today, almost everyone has returned).
  • On Tuesday, I talked with the CPA we've decided to go ahead with about a timeline for getting everything in order so that we don't miss a paycheck after the last one from Think Tank -- especially important because I am doubtful we will actually get that last paycheck, which is supposed to include unused vacation pay, too. The severance from Think Tank ended up being a "gentleman's agreement" between Think Tank Boss and Think Tank Boss's Boss (a.k.a. Delusional Lunatic) rather than a legally binding agreement. This "gentleman's agreement" included expense reimbursement, as well as pay, through the end of this month, but Think Tank has already refused to reimburse expenses for us this week. They also have not paid our mobile phone bill, which was due a few days ago. They claim they don't have the funds, which may be true, but that doesn't bode well for getting paid ...
  • Later on Tuesday, Think Tank Boss, Coworker, and myself went to the bank and opened a small business account for New Think Tank.
  • On Wednesday, we invoiced Large Donor for ... a six-figure sum. This amount is supposed to cover New Think Tank's operating costs, including salaries and rent, for 2 months. Large Donor has already verbally promised to support us in this amount, and we are expecting a check or wire transfer within the next few days. It is almost certain we will have other donations coming in long before the end of these first 2 months (essentially by the end of July), but it feels a little like walking on thin ice, not knowing where your salary is going to come from 2 months down the line.
  • Later on Wednesday, I talked to Landlord about having the office lease transferred from Think Tank to New Think Tank. This shouldn't be a problem, but Landlord is a bit of a space case and tends towards the absent-minded and careless (who in their right mind would otherwise neglect putting a recycling bin out for the building for so long that they accrued multiple fines from the city?). The lease issue will be resolved but probably not without several more phone calls and some nagging on my part.
  • Today (Thursday) we ordered business cards, and I tried to get our mobile phones, office phone/internet, and electric bill transferred to new accounts under our new EIN. I didn't think this would be possible until Lawyer had finished with Fancy Paperwork, but I figured it was worth a try. Turns out I was right and we'll have to wait for Lawyer. At least I got the billing addresses changed to New Think Tank. Since Think Tank, despite the "gentleman's agreement," is no longer paying our bills, at least our service won't be interrupted ...
  • Also today, we reviewed some applications for summer interns.The interns are sponsored by Infamous Foundation and farmed out to various organizations in the area. A great many of these potential interns wrote on their applications that their future goal was to become a professor -- in fields like philosophy. At the top of our list was one of the only ones who did NOT list becoming a professor as a career goal -- not because of this but largely because the other things this person said indicated ze did not have hir head up hir ass and would generally do a better job at the things we would ask hir to do. Should this be surprising?
All in all, the week before this one felt a lot like the Season 3 finale of Mad Men with the breaking off from one organization and the beginning of a new one in a fly-by-night sort of crazy frenzy -- down to the stealing of contacts (crucially important to an organization like this, about as important as accounts for an ad agency like Sterling Cooper Draper Price) out of the online system before Think Tank changed the password.

This week, let's just say the ship has sailed:

As a thank-you gift to Large Donor, we are having a caricature artist draw us as pirates. At the top of the drawing, a banner will say "Thank you for your support!" At the bottom, a caption will say "We still believe in pirates. Do you?"

No comments:

Post a Comment