My Recession

Yes, it's been a while since I've last updated. I do, however, have an excellent excuse. Since I last wrote, I have become a money-grubbing whore who doesn't care about much besides making a buck. This lifestyle choice does not leave a lot of opportunity for blogging.

As people who know me personally already know, I've spent the recession in severely underemployed circumstances. In George Bush's America, such difficulties don't count for much. The term unemployment has been redefined to exclude all but a few unfortunate stiffs that fit very specific circumstances. It certainly doesn't count anybody I know, even though I know many people who are suffering considerably during these times. The qualifying circumstances to claim unemployed status have become so narrow and rigid, it a matter of astonishment the number could ever go up. It is a sign of our president's poor stewardship of the economy that it has done so by so much.

People who know me personally also know that while I may have suffered financial distress during the downturn, I've not been idle or unproductive. I've been busy, and I've had some significant accomplishments. I learned how to be a lobbyist, and, during the last regular session of the Texas legislature, helped affect the course of several technology bills. I helped found the Austin Bloggers group. I appeared on panels at a bunch of conferences. I was appointed a commissioner by the Austin City Council. I fell in love. I got very drunk and played guitar at an open mike.

All of these endeavors, while noteworthy, resulted in no financial benefit. I get a little whiny about that sometimes, but then I realize that I suffer a severe handicap. I lack the gene that provides the ability for effective business networking. Some people, in such circumstances, can work a room. I hide under the tablecloth.

Recently, my situation took a marked turn for the better. I was offerered a nine month contract on an interesting, challenging project, at a rate that pleases me greatly. I started this past week. Between winding down old commitments and starting up new ones, it's been like working two jobs. It's been running me ragged. Fortunately, things will start easing up next week.

So, now it's time for me to refocus priorities. During the bust I did a lot of cool stuff without making a lot of money. Now that my recession is ending, I will flip that around. For rest of this year, my client is job one. And job two, and three, and four through twenty.

I do not plan to give up blogging, but I'm not sure where I'll go with it. I'll be involved in fewer interesting projects, which means less grist for blogging. I'll be focusing intently on my work, and I have a policy not to write about my clients. So, I anticipate some difficulty finding interesting things to write about, not to mention the time to do so.

In the meantime, for those of you still waiting for your ship to arrive, hang in there. These continue to be discouraging times, but I've seen there still is hope.

Comments

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re: My Recession

Congratulations on your economic upturn! Your message to those of us who know you from the non-money-making part of your life is well put. Here's wishing you success for the duration of the contract and that it helps you get both sides of the ship in balance by about, say, 2nd quarter '05.

I just hope this good economic fortune doesn't mean you'll start voting Republican. :-)

re: My Recession

Congratulations on the job, and happy $$$$.

re: My Recession

Congratulations, Chip.

re: My Recession

Interesting entry. Last year I deciced to go back to school for either a BS or MS in computer science so I've been paying keen attention to anecdotes such as yours. I'm not out to make a mountain of money but just once I was hoping that I could train myself in something that I enjoyed and that was actually useful.

But the real reason I'm writing is that your blog title is just hilarious. The Firesign Theater reference is not lost on me!

re: My Recession

My neighbor and I were talking, he was laid off off a few weeks ago, and says he doesn't know how long unemployment will keep up for him. He's worked every day of his life and it seems the system is about to fail him now.

It seems to me (at least in my little geeky world) the economy is picking up, but forgetting to bring everyone along for the ride.

Glad things are starting to turn around for you.