Happily UnOverMedicated (aka. Libido in life and everything else ;)))))))….unemployed independant consultant

[STAY WITH THE STORY, ELSE, YOU'LL KICK YOURSELF IF YOU HEAR IT FROM SOMEONE ELSE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAD PAID GOOD $$ TO BUY THE BOOK LATER ;) ]

Ever felt like kicking yourself a million times for quiting? At least I would have kicked myself 82,000 times, plus change. One kick for every $$ in salary, plus stock options.

I had quit my ‘dream job’ in May 2001, right after my wife’s birthday and right before our 8th annivesary. Oooohhhhh, bad, BAD, BAAADDDD, timing!

[ Looking back, I guess that would've qualified me as the first unemployed person in this recession. (smile!) Unlike those people, I can't qualify for unemployment since it was I that quit. ] Also qualified me as a big idiot at the time. They didn’t fire me, I simply walked out, disgusted with them and didn’t want to waste anymore time there trying to ‘fake myself out’ about the situation at work.

Thought it was my Bipolar kicking in at the time. Went from one medication to another: Effexor, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, with the topping off of Meclazine/Dramamine/Advil/High-dose-caffeine drinks ( RedBull, 180’s, Viper, etc…) Life was hell, I thought.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I asked my doctor to increase my dosage on Paxil (not a very smart thing to do, looking back to it.)

Sure, I had gripes about my previous boss’s incompetencies, my other boss’s ego, my third boss’s infantile behavior, — yes, I had many, many, mannnnyyyyy bosses at that single idiotic company. There were direct line report, indirect line report, helpdesk report, and oursourced reporting line to the corporate office. Any there was only little ol’ me to do all the reporting to those people. Ironically, I was higher in both rank and salary than my direct line boss (long story!!!).

Where’s the ‘Happily’ portion of the story, you ask? Well, I’m now an independent consultant. Pick my time to tend the yard, play with my son, or watch TV. Sure, there’s down time between projects (and there’s a dirth of any projects right now.) But you really have to have faith in yourself to see things through.

I found that the skills I had wished for to ’stay put’ in the fulltime job market were the same skills to go independent: being modest, do a solid job, keep the client/customer happy, communicate status, and don’t sweat it when they ask you to leave. It’s part of doing business, and planning ahead to smooth out the bumps when a project is completed.

For now, down time is simply a time to invest in myself, my education, and my relationship with family. It is like I’m putting my emotional coins in the piggy bank, for the actual time that I’ll be gone on the next project. My wife and son will have to withdraw from their emotional piggy banks for the time when I’m not there, working onsite for customers. The next gig could be anywhere (Louisville, KY probably). I was hoping Bermuda (hear that Trout Management Company? I really like to pick up a project with your company in Bermuda!).

What did I do when I initially didn’t have a project (and not a clue on how I was going to survive the marriage)?

I took my family to Disney World, Orlando, FL, for a week. Then, I painted the fence (it’s the best looking one in the neighborhood).

Seriously, I had a tough time finding projects. Hey, it’s tough to show up for work in the morning when you don’t want to work for those $^%$^%$^%$^ people too, at the last fulltime job. I think we would all concur on that issue.

Why did you think I was on all those medications WHEN I was working for a company as a fulltime employee?????

How much work do I have to do to get the next project? I spend the same 40hours/week that other people spend at their jobs. But, in my case, I spread those hours around the things I consider important, like my family life for example. My ‘working’ hours are times when my wife and son are either out-of-the-house or asleep at night, like 3:04AM right now.

The ‘NET’ is also less congested during those hours anyway, so I’m really taking advantage of the situation to be more productive in my hunt for projects.

Working for myself allowed me to clear my head and think both positively and responsibly.

My wife and I have decided to sell the house and save money to travel instead (Italy and Ireland being the first potential trip. Canada is in March. )

We had already traveled to England, Scottland, Belgium, France and Amsterdam on our 2nd anniversary, so this simply extends our mental map of the world towards the far east side of Europe.

When faced with the first budget crises the day after I had quit, we both had to look realistically at what we really wanted out of life. The big house that I bought to please my wife didn’t turn out to be a nice idea after all. She had always wanted to travel, and this house had become the boat anchor, tying us down.

Think about it, 3 people in a 4 bedroom house? A big fat kitchen for two people who don’t know how to cook? A big finished basement when the kid is only 4 years old? What use is the big pool table down there when he can’t even see over the top?

As of tonight, Feb14th, 2002, my son is happily asleep to see me home, my wife will get her Valentines card tomorrow, and I’m free of any medication for about a month now, not even Caffeine.

[ I might be overreaching my text limitation now, for this article, so hang on, in case I lose you for the moment. ]

Hey, you wonder, “where’s the libido part of the story?”

That’s the funny thing about going independent. You have to take care of everything!!!! That includes finding a place to stay while working on-site, entertaining yourself when wife and son are far away at home, foraging for food after hours, and pretty much have to find yourself new friends to stay ’sane’ since you have no one at work to talk to (Big rule #1: don’t socialize with clients or client’s employees — tried that and got bitten.)

While scrounging for an apartment room-mate, I was bless by ‘heavens above’ with a Blond, 6′4″, college girl. It was an interesting situation, because she and I would swap stories about our life: mine as a married man, and hers as a college girl with her first true boyfriend (puppy love, aaaahhhh, how cute!!!!!).

To be honest, I didn’t try to mess with her. (Big rule #2: don’t mess with roomie! Didn’t even bother to try it.)

Giving her a shoulder and neck massage is perfectly legit, ok? I had to, she was crying about how she had broken up with her boyfriend. ( counseling ones roommate is recommended at this time, no matter how hot looking she is ;) ))

The result of my having to work in Memphis, TN??? The client location was also the local for the hottest club, called Platinum! (worth the money)

I eventually followed the Big rule #1.

Instead of trying to hook-up with the client’s employees (harassment central!!!), I would take lunch break at Platinum, just to have a place to go for lunch without looking stupid in a typical diner eating by myself (stuffing ones face with food in the span of 5 minutes because there’s no one to talk to.) “Porky is not a compliment, no matter how nice the intention.”

Orignally, I had tried to do the proper thing, and I had favored the local French restaurant. However, it dawned on me that I was spending $65 per lunch, looking majorly stupid eating by myself, feeling sorry for myself, drinking my self pity away on wine.

Plus, the chef’s jealousy was really ticking me off. He would dump salt into my soup whenever I tried to strike a conversation with the MatreD, his wife. Her cooking was better than his, BTW.

Putting 2+2 together, I decided that I could go on a diet ( I had gained a lot of weight while sitting on my rear during the time between the last job and this first contract.) The $5 door fee, the $1 diet coke, and the $59 for the chat with the gals at platinum.

I ended up getting to know some very interesting folks there. ‘Nuff said. ;)

I would recommend this diet plan for everyone who want to be BOTH HAPPY and LOSING weight at the same time!

As for keeping my marriage together?

As long as I don’t ask for ‘tricks’ from the girls at the club, I’m following rule #3: no pimping if you’re married.

Plus, the girls at the club are so nice, you can get your thrills, even if they kept all their clothes on (not that they were inclined to. ;)

Well, I’m pretty much rounding out the story here, back to the title: Libido and UnOverMedicated.

Ever wonder what Paxil (and other SRI medications) do to your libido? (don’t forget to add allergy medication to the list.)

Let’s put it this way: even if all the best looking girls at Platinum and all the hottest chicks at the client sites were to offer themselfs to the Vestal Sacrifice, I wouldn’t have a chance at enjoying it. (damn!)

So, a lesson to be learned?

— Rule to work by ————

1) don’t put up with &&**&^ bosses!

2) don’t blame yourself

3) don’t take medication because

you blamed yourself

4) be happy

5) work for yourself

6) make sure you’re totally off of

all the side effects of SRI’s

7) get a good contract/gig/consultancy

8) go reward yourself!!!!!!!!!!

9) don’t forget why you went to make

$$ in the first place

10) if you’re cleansed of SRI’s, enjoy

the fruit of your labor. Just

don’t forget the Big Rule #3 if

you happen to be married.

———— thank you ————–

p.s. Please let me know if you need an independent consultant, especially if you are located on the islands or near Platinum ;) ))))))))))))))))))))))))))