On my early morning walk today I saw, as usual, a motley array of people similarly engaged, whether walking on the beach or along the footpath that circles the beach. The common feature was that they were all dressed casually, in this casual, holiday mecca location, and walking casually, or with a spring in their step, to all intents and purposes without a care in the world.
Then, like an apparition from another world, two youngish guys emerged from one of the resort buildings, both clad in dark suits, with ties, lugging briefcases and each sporting a bit of a cascade effect of stomach over trousers – too many airline dinners and nights at the bar in cities away from home? – heading off purposefully for a no doubt Very Important Meeting.
And I thought, with some bemusement, that used to be me, dressed for maximum discomfort at dawn, heading off to yet another round of meetings, in pursuit of – for the most part – long forgotten meeting goals and agendas. All for what? Salary, status, paid holidays, a car after a while, an office someone else paid for, business cards someone else had printed, an expense account or at least a corporate credit card. Not bad, but unfortunately that was not all.
There was also uncreative stress. Getting the flu from working in air conditioned offices and sharing everyone’s bugs. Toeing the line for often wilful and sometimes ignorant people up the line (called ‘being flexible’). And having to collaborate sometimes with spiteful and jealous people (called ‘watching your back’). I could go on …
So when occasionally I feel that this home based business and the self-reliance caper is wearing a bit thin and I’d like someone else to take responsibility for paying me and give me a credit card to take my friends (sorry, clients) to lunch, I really should hop in the car and drive over to the airport, buy a cup of execrable airport coffee and watch the salarymen heading off to their important meetings.
Then I can pop down to the beach for a real coffee before I start working – for myself – for the day.
I know, it’s possible for people to work in the corporate world and be whole and happy. But I do like my present lot. And I like not having to wear a tie