Saturday, September 22, 2007

The one where...

…he moans about work.

It’s Saturday morning, and I’m working. There’s nothing unusual about this, as it happens, and I’ll no doubt work tomorrow too – the only difference this weekend is that Bea’s got her days off, and so I’ll feel a little guilty about it as well as being slightly more cross than I usually am that I can’t just switch off for a couple of days like most other people.

For the last few weeks, my work day has tended to start at around 6.30am and finish somewhere near 10pm… not every day, but most days. From Monday it’s going to get worse, because I have one project that’ll be hitting a peak and another (involving some work in Turkey) that’s about to start. The reality is that there’s no divide between my working day and whatever everyone else seems to have – I think it’s called “leisure time”. And it isn’t just me, I know, because a friend who’s running a similar business (another consultancy in the same sector) works longer hours than I do.

This year – from January to December – it looks like I’m going to bill double what I earned in my last year as a salaried employee. My costs (overheads and subcontractors) only amount to around 20% and I pay less in tax than I would have done as an employee, so I should be happy. But the truth is that any surplus income I have needs to be set aside in case next year is a quiet one; I don’t even feel like I’m reaping the benefits because the consequence of this constant uncertainly is that I don’t actually spend any more than I used to. I just don’t have any immediate financial worries like I might have done, and perhaps used to.

I’m sorry if this sounds like I’m complaining when, instead, I should be rejoicing in my good fortune. But I’m fed up with being tired, and I have a headache. My friend (who I referred to above, and who’s also effectively the subcontractor I mentioned) has let me down big time on a piece of work he was meant to be doing for me, and I’m probably going to spend much my day doing what I’ve paid him to do. And I have a headache - did I mention that?

Enjoy the weekend… those of you that have one. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

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