This week’s something of a landmark week for me….
…for it marks the 5 year anniversary of my start in business.
It all started back in January 2009, an uncertain era of imploding banks and collapsing economies.
I was working as a broadcast engineer for a Dublin TV and film post-production house, and since the start of the year you could have cut the tension with a knife.
Before Christmas RTE (the Irish state “broadcaster”) had its share of exchequer funding slashed in the budget, and we were about to feel the pinch. Everyone knew bad news was imminent.
Rumours of redundancies and wage cuts abounded, and the stench of death hung high in the air like a dead rat rotting in a sideboard.
But rather than being fearful, I was angry.
This was the third time in 12 months I’d come face to face with the redundancy bullet, narrowly dodging it by inches at the start of 2008 only for it to hit me square in the kisser in September ‘08 after the global banking meltdown.
And after being let go a few months previously from my last job, I was back facing the same crap once again.
Eventually after a few weeks of speculation we were put out of our misery, and we were informed our wages were getting cut right across the board, for some by as much as 30%.
Granted, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was enough to get me thinking.
On the train home that evening, I spent the journey mired in deep thought.
I remember thinking as long as I remained a corporate stooge rotting away in a cubicle, in that company or elsewhere, I’d be forever subservient to the unholy trinity of the “BEG” (Banks, Employers and Government).
The Sword of Damocles would perpetually dangle over my neck, chipping away at my shrinking pay packet one week, inflating my mortgage interest rate the next, taunting me with redundancy the week after.
And I would just have to sit there and take it. Forever.
Or — I could do something about it.
I could put the power to produce squarely in my hands, wrestling it free of from influence of bumbling bureaucrats and corrupt politicos, inoculating myself from their idiocy.
So for the rest of the evening I thought about how I might do this.
It would mean working for myself in some capacity…but doing what exactly?
High-class male gigolo? International drug kingpin?
Well..I considered many possibilities but in the end I plumped for the more mundane world of web design.
I mean, I doubt I’d ever fetch more than a few schillings as a sex worker and I was far too nice a fella for the whole Scarface thing.
So I made my decision to begin throwing out my shingle as a designer for hire.
But my journey from cubicle drone to corporate refugee was fraught with difficulty.
I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow..
Keith “The Corporate Fugee” Commins