There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it. - Mary Wilson

A Warning for Dillgent Workers

Posted: February 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: | No Comments »

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You are not safe.  As long as someone else holds the purse strings they can take away the purse.  Four and a half years and $1,000,000 in billable hours later my services are no longer needed at my former employer.  Times are tough, profit is down, too many people, not enough work.  It’s all very simple, and in fact, that is the point.

When profit is down, or in my case up, but not up, as much as we’d like, your particular situation is not all that relevant.  Going through a divorce, financial trouble, selling your house, truck burned to the ground, death in the family, health problems…none of those things show up on the spreadsheet that has your billable hours for the month and salary.  They just aren’t there.  In fact the people looking at the spreadsheet probably don’t know what your face looks like much less that you are dealing with every one of the above.  They have numbers and numbers pay the bills…don’t they?

Despite all this I will be fine, but many others will not.  When you buy that new TV, car, house, or dinner for two, ask yourself what happens if you’re escorted out of the building tomorrow?  Can you make $1,500 COBRA payments for a while so you’re not uninsurable for the rest of your life?  Can you sell your house or pay off that American express with 4 weeks severance?

You’re not safe.  I generated $5 for every $1 I was paid in addition to managing others who did the same.  The morning I was laid off I was in the midst of scheduling 10 weeks of client work most of which was for this quarter.  I spent thousands  hours on airplanes, in basement offices hunched over a laptop, stuck in small town airports on friday nights, in the snow, in the rain, in hotels invested with mold, 4:00 AM hospital trips for food poisoning, weekends in the office fixing other peoples work, on endless conference calls and meetings with people who range from mildly entertaining  to fucking insane.  I showed up every day and did work for people who I hated, none of whom ever got to really find out how much I hated them.  But, these things do not result in job security because they can’t really be measured in a nice spreadsheet.  Shit sandwhiches consumed per hour of work doesn’t graph well.

Maybe you’ve doing the same, I hope not, but rest assured, it’s never enough.  No matter how awesome you are, you’re probably the only one who knows it.



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