I have 7 years of experience as a software developer and I just moved from North America to Europe/Lichtenstein for this job. My visa doesn't depend on that job, I can stay in the country regardless. I live in a small city and don't speak the local language well enough to work, I interact in English with my colleagues; but that makes it more complicated because most jobs require fluency in the local language.
About five months ago, I had two offers and I took the one that sounded the most interesting at the time (and that paid more.) I was promised I'd be acting as a developer but also some kind of mentor because their employees don't know about best practices and modern techniques (but I do.) I also liked what the cooperative does in the sense that it wouldn't be just another SaaS or useless piece of software making some billionaire CEO richer, but actually useful software that makes the government better. Basically, I was excited about the job.
Five months later, however, I'm not so enthusiastic anymore even though I passed my probation period with flying colors.
The project I was initially hired for keeps getting delayed, and I don't think it will start for another 6-9 months.
Instead, I have been put on a small greenfield project where I was working on my own, and then abruptly re-tasked to modify the ugliest code base I have ever seen.
I've been on this application for about 2.5 months now. I keep telling my boss that this is too big of a task considering the very low quality of the spaghetti code, my total lack of context regarding the business logic (it's very specific), which is compounded by the fact that none of the libraries have been updated, ever, and thus none of the versions in use are currently supported anymore. I have also told my boss several times that I am not enjoying this work at all and that I'd sooner be doing what I was hired for (mentoring etc.) I have also shared my doubts regarding a successful outcome because of the problems above.
I spend most of my days fighting bugs that come up in this application (no tests, remember), or issues due to libraries being outdated and not working well together anymore. That takes up a lot of my energy so I only really spend 30-50% actually working on the problem at hand and just procrastinating the rest of the time.
This company also turns out to be very backwards in the way they do software. It's rather waterfall in most things it does with old farts at the top that are stuck doing software like it was done 20 years ago and imposing it to everyone else below. Because we make software for the government and we are a cooperative owned by the towns and administrations we serve, this is not as a big of a competitive disadvantage as it might seem. But it sucks.
I can't decide what my best course of action is.
On the one hand, this is a large organization where my job is relatively safe (which is something I wanted after working for years in North America), it pays rather well, and it's not that demanding because the expectations are fairly low. But on the other hand, I'm dying of boredom and frustration. My boss doesn't seem to consider getting me off this project until my task of modifying it is done, and I am not sure I will ever make this modification successfully.
On the other hand, I could talk to the other company that made me an offer. The mission isn't as compelling but at least they're not operating their software business like if it was 2001 anymore. But I'm not certain it will be stress-free because they're a consultancy and we all know the kind of software that comes out of these. I'd also be taking a pay cut, and the job is likely not as stable. I am also worried that because this is a small town, word might get around that I'm looking to jump ship.
I'm looking for a solution to my situation from people who have had more experience dealing with this or from "the other side": HR, manager... I would also like an opinion from a European perspective (I have only every worked in North America where things are a little different.)
What is the most acceptable and professional way of handling such a situation?