05-01-07: pay the price

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.


    The facts:

  • 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.

  • The wrap-up:

  • 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.



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