Contractor Money Problems
Here is a tale of a contractors money problems and how he got into debt.
First of all, three things to paint a picture prior to reading the rest of this article.
1) I have an English name (my parents have been somewhat creative) and live in Holland
2) I am Dutch (but I do not smoke joints every day at the Amsterdam coffee shops hehe)
3) I do not look Dutch, do think in English, and I cannot afford buying joints anymore
4) My body weight has gone down from 79 to 67 kilos since I got unemployed
So my lingo may not be at Shakespeare level, my (in)directness not the British style. But I am sure you will appreciate some sob-story-news from the European continent.
Nap the Day Away
Every day I wake up with the song “Always look at the daAark side of life – tadaa, tada-tada-tada-tadaaah”. After noon I take a nap again, hoping the day will pass soon and wake me up by dusk. Then I feel somewhat soothed by the night and by outside office hours keeping me from getting phone calls from those to whom I owe loads of money.
Perhaps you might recognize a few things like, “God gimme a job”, “can’t keep ends meet”, “unfortunately we cannot take your candidacy into consideration”, “your CV is in our database and you will hear from us bla-bla-bla”, “your age is a problem”, “wellfare hardly pays me the bread, let alone the rent”, “why do companies ask for guys who are both techie and manager”, “we, ICT-ers made the world, and now we are trashed”, and so forth.
Just a few months before the WTC event, I took a wonderful Portuguese photo-model girlfriend, with a hi-IQ daughter, on board – a bunch of angels. No problemo to pay for a good life for them. I already had plans to marry and adopt the child – big house, big car, big garden, big bed, big fridge. Oh yes, life tasted good. Champagnacola. Every couple of days in a big jet, big hotel, big conference room, big Powerpoint presentation, big lunch; dinner, well, nothing was small except our underwear 😉
September 11. KaboOom! And that be it. Company broke, no pay, no wellfare, no insurance coverage, and, oh yeah, a house with huge mortgage, no support from the bureaucrazy government, and bills from here to the top of Mount Everest. All of a sudden the whole world changed overnight. And so did my life. And yours.
September 12. ICT was no more. Zillions of great professionals got put on the street. And the avalanche continues up to the day of today. It’s been now almost a year and a half. Time went fast, carried by the silent hope that ICT will catch up soon again.
Ran Out of Money
By the end of 2013, I seriously ran out of money. I‘d been sending out 2100+ job applications those months. I had huge phone bill; internet bills, and I saw that I just wouldn’t be able to give my beloved woman and daughter the life they expected. I put them on the plane and sent them back to her parents in Faro for the time being until I’d clear up the mess. I had to put my house on sale.
In the meantime I moved to a very small and cheap and poor apartment in The Hague. Only 10 months later the house got sold. I got no money out of it, as I had to clear up major mortgage debts and keep creditors on a safe distance. I got an e-mail from my princess. She found another guy, couldn’t wait for me. Good for her. Perhaps good for me too, in a way, but I just couldn’t help feeling cheated, disrespected, trashed. No money, no job, no love.
That’s reality, these days. We seem to live in quite an unromantic era. All seem to scent to hi-tech, hi-effects, hi-speed, hi-cash, hi-fly, hi-dult huh. It cannot be hi enough. Life hi-sux.
Over the past year, after more than 3280 job applications sent out of the door in the firewall, I decided to take on a new study – stress counselling. It is very hard to do a study, to do creative things, to go out, to enjoy, to stay healthy and fit, because in the back of my mind it is fear that dominates everything.
I am afraid that I’ll be literally put on the street, because I cannot pay the rent anymore. I am afraid that during an interview my face cannot hide the misery I am in. So, I am afraid that I will never succeed anymore in recovering. I am afraid that nobody will want me anymore. Moreover, I am afraid that I will end up with nothing but mud in a dark moist forest. I am afraid that I will have to commit suicide as the only option to get out of this shit.
You too ?
Contractors Money Problems – The Dream
There may be no hope but for the day to pass soon. But there is a dream. All goodies in life started with a dream, a fantasy. I am sure you too have had a couple of wonderful things & moments in the good ole days in life. And you want them back, or again, or even better than before.
So I decided – and I do not have this from the stress counsellor course – to dream, to fantasy, about all I want to do and have in life. I decided that all I undertake, yes, the tiny small things, such as brushing my teeth, combing my hair, writing an e-mail, making a phone call, walking down town, moving things in the house, well, you name it, all and every movement & act I undertake must be such as to get me closer towards realisation of that goddam dream.
Programmed for Success
For example: I brush my teeth, and I think “they be shining the day I kiss a new lover”. I comb my hair, and I think “my hair be outperforming the VP”. I write an e-mail, and I think “all I write gets me moving towards my goals, else I don’t write”.
So, I make a phone-call, and I think “all I say gets me closing into my desires, if not, then I better hang up. I walk down town, and I smile and greet the ones that I wouldn’t mind having a chat with, thinking “that person may be useful for me”. I move a desk lamp over some coins next to my PC, thinking “this light will make my wealth shine again”.
All in all, try to program myself towards success. All those many little things every day add up to something big, something hi, the realization of your dream – many small steps, for the giant leap to come. And I am sure that this leap will come. It is just a matter of taking all those “”unimportant”” steps. There are no other steps available anyway, eh ?
We‘re not Losers
Ex-ICT-ers are not losers. They have always been, and will always be, winners. Without ICT there is no world. Simple. The world needs us. But when we need the world to help us, oh yeah, that’s another story.
I applied even for jobs as a waiter, a cleaner, a clerk, not bad eh for a 51 year old MSc/MBA ICT executive and Professor Emiritus. But nobody wanted me. Once in a while I am helping an old guy at the market square, to set up his stand and sell some oriental gadgets, incense and stuff, making sky-rocketing earnings of 35 Euros a day – so I can have a meal sometimes. It is Winter, it is cold, and it adds up to the feeling of not being welcome to the world that once supported even dreams we did not have. Counting coins and stacking bills in order of priority (kind of risk assessment) seem the daily meat.
The Bright Side
There is no bright side of life anymore. Hope is a mere tiny spark of a far away star. But if you look up there long enough, you’ll see more stars. And that’s what I mean with all those little steps. Keep on focusing. Keep on opening up your mind for the future.
To stay drowned in today’s shit you are in right now is pointless.
Why? Because you are in it anyway. If you’d be in a swamp, would you look down into the swamp or look up to see if there is any means to pull yourself up? Yah, but that piece of grass cannot hold my weight.
Strong rope is made of weak fibers. It’s just a matter of getting a fiber today, another fiber tomorrow, and so forth, all small fibers, for a giant rope.
We all know about change management. So let’s apply it to ourselves.
Contractors Money Problems – Want Stress Counselling?
Okay my friends, here is the deal: you find me a position as a stress counsellor, and I counsel you for free!
Good luck and great strength to all of you. The world is small. One day we might meet. And smile.
Kindest personal regards,
X from Holland International (not the travel agency) The Hague
Make sure you don’thave this contractors money problems. Set aside some cash for a rainy day.