Today marks the first week that I have transitioned away from my 9-5 job into working for myself. My life has become a lot less secure. I do not know how much money I will have next week. I am not even sure if I will make any money at all for the entire month. I hope I do, of course, but if things don’t go according to plan I may even have to use my credit cards a bit. My routine has become unpredictable, it could change at a moments notice.
And it feels fantastic!
Because my time is MINE. I own it. No one can tell me what to do with it. No one can tell me when to wake up, or when to show up at work. No one can tell me when I am allowed to go home. No one can give me attitude because I take a washroom break. And no one can cut my shift short and suddenly leave my paycheck smaller without warning.
This is a powerful thing.
Today I was committed to working at a promotional booth for a company I do business with. I won’t pretend it was exciting, it was actually pretty boring, but the time went by in a flash. Why? Because I knew I could leave whenever I wanted. I knew I could wander off and buy lunch at my leisure. I knew I could do these things without consequence and without losing anyone’s respect.
When you work a 9-5 job, you are the property of your employer. Legally, they own your time. You must show up when they say you must, and you do not get to leave until they say you can leave. The opposite is not true of course, they can cancel your shift without any notice (unless you are unionized), send you home early if it’s convenient for them, and there is nothing you can do about it, except quit, in which case you no longer have an income. It’s is a classic abusive relationship. You are the battered spouse, and your employer is battering you (Incidentally, this is the true purpose of the public school system, to create willing, obedient workers).