"Freedom's a chain"
- The Stranglers
As of three days ago, I walk a free man. Free from the bonds of corporate control. Originally scheduled for 29/02/2008 (the 'leap day', appropriately), it's been delayed by two separate extensions due to 'unforseen delays'. With a severance payment sufficiently large to provide a reasonable cushion for my diminishing material needs, I have an extensive sabbatical in which to re-group and lay the foundations for the mid-term. The concept of the 'career' is now meaningless for me (in sooth, it always was); 9 - 5 is reserved only for emergency; I am not a greatly social creature. And so I must find a way to earn a living from home, online.Skills (as they occur to me)
fractal art - good
general digital/graphics - patchy
spreadsheets - excellent
creative writing - good, but undisciplined
professional writing - very good
general IT (excluding networks) - good
information management (feeds, and the X/OP/AP MLs) - moderate
web design - moderate
I shan't list weaknesses - it would go on, as Larkin once noted, "over the page"
Distilling a function that fully utilises my skillset: creating, writing about and syndicating fractal art? (I often use spreadsheets in coding, for example in creating a feeds outline or attention profile). Not going to pay.
A more realistic approach: generate a sub-self that creates and sells stock images (fractals, photography). Attempt to get the occasional spreadsheet-driven project through some outsourcing agency. Install/clean/immunise/troubleshoot PCs in the locality. Create websites for small businesses. A trickle-model for income.
I've been feeling a kind of constipation of the soul these last 2 or 3 months: hopefully, that will pass. As things grew steadily more surreal, it felt like a mini-preparation for the singularity (whatever that is!). Rewind to November 2006, at which point an announcement was made concerning the relocation of a substantial fraction of the site's production elsewhere within the company. This was to result in a concomitant reduction in permanent head-count (job cuts to those but poorly versed in corporatespeak). Based on the scene and information available at the time (and this was now into February 2007), I expressed interest in taking voluntary redundancy and this was accepted, with a leaving date of 29/02/2008, the projected completion date of the ' project'. The changes that transpired over the year threw the wisdom of my decision into doubt, but this I accepted with equanimity. Fast-forward to the beginning of this year, and they announce total site closure as part of a completely different project, this time run by 'Global' rather than the Business Unit. The original decision once again looks good: I get to finish for the summer and don't have the sad task of (and I slip into corporatespeak) redistributing assets.
Colleagues gave me a rather magical send-off. It began Friday afternoon and I didn't get back home until Saturday lunch! I think I'm only just getting it out of my system. Physically, that is - the emotional aspect shall remain. It was deeply affecting to realise that an old misfit like me could have made such a positive impression.