S*lF-eMpLoYmEnT – The Ugly


This is the last entry in a Sergio Leone of posts on the subject of Self-employment. I have mentioned some of the virtues and vices of self-employment, and also had a nod to the internet charlatans who promote it. For this final post, I want to mention some of the straight existential dread that can come self-employment.

The longer you are self-employed, the more you start to realize that time management is fundamental. Arrogant ass that you are, you start off with the assumption that you can handle your time management on your own. And so you start doing basic time tracking on a literal back of an envelope. At the end of the week, you try to review the time you spent working and you find the numbers don’t make any sense. At some point you download some free time tracking software to do some figurative back of the envelope time tracking calculations. The numbers now make sense, in the respect that they follow ruled integers should follow, but you start to get the impression that your time is following down an invisible time sink. You decided to double down, really use the software as it is meant to be used, set it up correctly, and then promptly forget to ever set it for a solid week running. At some point, you get a solid week of good and accurate time tracking behind you, and you take a look at the data-

to find that you not only aren’t working as much as you think you are, but you just can’t figure out where your time is going. Try as you might, the hours just don’t add up to 24. At some point in all this it starts to become painfully obvious that you are closer to 40 than you are to 20, and you look around your bleak and meager house and start to wonder if this is it.

Is this it? Time isn’t the only thing that makes this question come up. I mentioned in the previous post how the days blend together in such a way that you really have to go out of your way to differentiate them. I began doing all this self-employment non-sense not only during the corona virus, but during the most stringent part of it, where the government was issuing heavy fines to anyone who went out when they shouldn’t have. It created a sense that this was what was normal. The only problem is that at some point that level of sheltering-in-place ceased, but my life never really improved when it did. I started to go out for exercise, but that too just became a part of my daily routine, inseparable from all the other parts of my day. It didn’t help that I had no social contact whatsoever. At some point I had a conversation with a clerk at my local supermarket and i realized it was the first conversation I had in almost a damn month.

Some of my friends are married and have kids and shit. I imagine for them all this self-employment must be fine. But try doing it when you live alone and you may find that something truly horrific is going on. The days don’t merely start to blend into each other, but you end up in a situation where you have whittled away at social construction itself. Wednesday? What in the actual fuck is a Wednesday? There are no days here. Only the work you do and the couch you do it from. Your life devolves into a journey from bed to couch and back to bed again, repeating this every day. You get a text message for your birthday and find yourself shocked that it is your birth month.

And after all this is said and done, you step on a scale and find that you are now the fattest you have ever been in your life.

Yes, self-employment is truly a joy.

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