Did you ever notice that when you stay at an expensive hotel, nothing is free?
You have to pay $10/day for the wireless.
They don't have extra toothpaste at the front desk; instead, they have a store where you can buy a traveler-size toothpaste for $2.50.
They don't have a free continental breakfast; instead, you pay $9.95 for an omelette. (Or worse: $12.95 for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, where all you really eat is a banana and kiddie-box of raisin bran.)
You have to tip the doorman a buck or two for getting you a taxi, when you could get it for free if you hailed it yourself 30 footsteps away.
It's as if when you're rich, spending more money makes you somehow feel richer. I dunno.
Following similar but also weird logic, for some reason I have been whining a lot that my new job is forcing me to work my ass off, yet I feel like I should be allowed to take it easier now; as if somehow earning what I earn is a privilege or something.
I have not been home for 40 consecutive hours since the first week in April.
(I typically fly out Sunday afternoon and get home very late Friday night.)
When I am working, I am "on stage" all day. If I'm teaching, I am talking for 8 hours straight, trying to make dry material educational and entertaining. If I'm consulting, I am being asked difficult questions, leading discussions and giving presentations and operational direction to CIOs and their direct reports. I can never relax or coast.
When I am working, I do not have Internet access, and I don't get any breaks or goof-off time. (When I give my students breaks, I have to stay behind and prepare the next chapter.)
Since I get no breaks during the day, I have to check my work email after I'm back at the hotel when I should be unwinding. Also, personal email is no longer the joy it used to be; now it is an obligation and just one more thing that prevents me from going to sleep on time.
I don't get to read or post to LJ much anymore... and when I do post, it's a whopper like this, which will probably get the TL DR treatment (justifiably).
When I get home, I need to wash all my work clothes and pack them again, as well as refill any travel-size toiletries. (Suck it: Yes, I wear the same things every week. They all fit, and I now have my packing down to a science.) This takes about two hours.
When I get home, I have to use my home office tools to process the exams for the courses I just taught the previous week. This takes about two hours.
When I am home, I want to spend quality time with , but when we get together I am so rushed and wound up that I am unpleasant, unduly snippy and unable to just freakin' relaaaaaaax.
When I am home, my friends are excited that I am home, so they want to hang out. Trying to fit in time to freakin' read a magazine and poop (not that I do that, that is strictly a phrase used to illustrate a point) is a near-impossibility, so finding time to linger over brunch simply isn't in the cards. Both of these points kill me. I hate telling friends no, and I hate not pooping.
I met a new cool new person at my birthday pie party, and she asked when we could go to karaoke together. I looked at my calendar, and the next time I have more than 40 hours at home is looking like JUNE 11TH. And that can change very easily.
I pay $920 per month to live in my apartment... for 5 days out of that month.
Additional fun facts:
My company's policy is that vacation needs to be taken in one-week increments. I can't take a random Tuesday off from work because that makes me unscheduleable (as a trainer) for the whole week. So, I haven't been able to get to the dentist or get my bloodwork done, because taking an entire week off just to go to the dentist for an hour seems stupid.
My company gives 5 weeks vacation right off the bat. Since I had weeknight Industrial Jazz Group gigs lined up before I took the job, I've taken a lot of vacation already. As of May 20th, 3 weeks of my 5 will be used up. I do not regret any of that!
I have a new hobby: Finding good Thai food near whatever hotel I'm staying at, and then reviewing it on Yelp.
I actually really like my job. I love the travel, I love the people I meet, I like watching the country go by from over the wing.
My company admittedly pays their trainer/consultants very well. I am not complaining about my pay.
I thoroughly understand that they pay me this salary because they know that I am inconvenienced.
So whenever I get whiny about how hard I'm working, I also keep reminding myself that I am getting paid combat pay, and that I am getting paid not to see my friends, and not to be able to read Glamour while pooping, and not to have a relaxing brunch, and not to see my family, and not to snuggle with Matt ever again, etc etc etc etc.
I keep telling myself that I don't have to work this job forever... only until I rebuild a respectable nest egg. At that point I can work a job with more reasonable hours.
If this lifestyle suits you, and you have IT consulting or training experience, come work for us.