This is the Message Centre for Jimbo
Jimbo Started conversation May 5, 1999
I read an article in a magazine about 'Facilities Management' today (don't ask why) which was discussing the merits of employing a Fool (with a capital 'F') To summarise: someone who always questions, makes people laugh, is argumentative for the sake of it etc. the list goes on... is a valuable asset to any team as he promotes teamwork, creative thinking and lots of other buzzwords and mumbo-jumbo.
Now on the whole, I agreed with the jist of the article (written by David Firth out of interest) and in an ideal world, it is/would be a good strategy. However this is the real world!
Now when I tried being an employee (I gave up 7 years ago) I was a classic Fool (with a capital 'F') but it never got me anywhere. In my experience, the larger an organisation gets, the more inefficient it gets, too full of politics and personalities. Bosses, and managers and all other responsible suit types are totally irritated by any Fool like behaviour and snuff it out. Being an employee is no life for a Fool, so I got out and now work for myself. I'd recommend it to any other Fools out there.
There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho Posted Aug 5, 2000
I had no boss other than myself for nearly 20 years, and my accountant once said to me that there are some people whose mentality is simply not suited to being an employee and that they should always work for themselves, run their own businesses if at all possible.... was she trying to tell me that I'm a Fool
Seriously though, I wholeheartedly recommend being self-employed if you have what it takes. As long as you have the discipline to work, and not look upon it as some kind of extended holiday (which in fact it is if you do it right), the benefits and freedoms are just wonderful. Nobody except yourself telling you what to do. No office or factory hours to keep. No workplace politics (that one's a BIG plus!). And all those tax deductions!!!
I was a Fool during my time as an employee in that I asked a lot of questions, mostly "How do I do that?" and "Why do we do it that way when this way seems more sensible?". It got me nowhere apart from on one occasion, and as anyone who has ever taken on a job with any responsibility attached to it in an inept company, the phrase
"banging your head against the wall" really doesn't do justice to the experience.
So, with a little help from my friends, I became self employed, and I never looked back. I worked as a furniture maker in partnership and on my own, and until September 1999 as a driver - man and van for hire. For 13 years I helped people to move around, into, and out of London. I made some wonderful friends, met some very strange people. saw inside every kind of home from the dingiest squat in Hackney to million pound (and more) apartments in places like Mayfair and Hampstead. It was as a result of one of those friendships that I now find myself living in Austin, Texas, married to a Texas gal, and working at a used cd store, for an hourly rate which is a fraction of what I used to charge. I'm enjoying it though because after 18 years on my own, it's nice to be working with people again, and a place which has very enlightened views about involving the employees in the running of the business, providing them with any training they may want to do, even down to profit share. It's almost like being part of a co-op. They actively encourage questions and suggestions. And those staff discounts! It's like getting cd's for 1/4 their original price!
I plan to stay there for a while - at the moment I'm still in the process of applying for residency, the much sought-after green card, and until I get my feet planted here more firmly, I'm happy with my situation.
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