Monday, February 09, 2004

It's a professional career 

The trouble with consulting is that you are, basically, for sale. A prostitute. It’s better than acting because you don’t have to wait on tables between jobs, but projects are often out of your control. Current problem: it looks like I am about to find myself on a 6 month project in Johannesburg. It looks like being a good project, for all the reasons that I enjoy this type of work – it’s a challenge, it’s helping the client to do something new and exciting, it’s going to make a difference to people’s lives, and it promises to be fun. But it’s in Jo’burg. Jo’burg is a lively, happening city – with a bit of a crime problem – but it is 2 hours by plane from Cape Town.

When you first start as a young – single – consultant, the life of travel, hotels and expenses is exciting. It remains that way for three or four weeks. At that point, you realise that you haven’t seen your friends for a while, you know the hotel’s room service menu better than the waiters, and you are on first name terms with the night porter. A friend of mine used to complain that his dog wouldn’t let him in the front door when he got home.

The net result of this job will be that I won’t see my kids from Sunday evening to Friday morning. That’s assuming that I can swing only four (long) days a week up in Gotham, then one back here. If the project doesn’t live up to expectations in terms of entertainment value, then I am going to be really depressed.

Sole upside: lots of reading time on the plane.

Listening to: an old mix tape, Costello to Creedence to Chuck Berry.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?