July 09, 2003


The week is quickly coming to a close, which means I have to finish up packing my life's belongings into cardboard boxes. On Monday I move most of the boxes into storage. Then on Tuesday I drive to the ancestral home (i.e. I'm moving back in with Mom for a while). It'll be nice to spend time with family. For the past ten years I've only seen my mom and brother a few times a year at most, so over the next few months I'll be trying to make up for lost time.

As nice as it will be, being 39, unemployed, and one step ahead of homeless isn't very fun. I might even have to do some reflecting on how I got where I am and where I want to go from here - which is never really any fun unless you've just won the lottery or are Bill Gates. As my career has progressed and my income increased the control I've had over my work environments has decreased. One of my father's favorite books was The Peter Principal, whose premise was that organizations tend to promote people until they reach their level of incompetence. Once there they tenaciously entrench themselves by zealously protecting their equally incompetent bosses. They then proceed to drain the company of resources through executive bonus programs until only an empty husk of a once healthy enterprise remains. Fortunately this only works during the boom times when there is lots of extra money floating around to skim from. Once the boom is over they suddenly find themselves in an alien universe - one where they are actually expected to fix problems and make money instead of simply shifting blame and cashing in stock options.

Which bring us back to today. Recessions aren't any fun at all, but they serve an invaluable function: They weed out the incompetent and open up new opportunities for those who secretly believe they are smarter than their boss. I believe I'm in the latter category (okay, I might fall into both categories). I have some ideas that I want to develop further — hopefully some downtime will give me a chance to do that.

Posted by thom at July 9, 2003 05:54 PM
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