Saturday, August 04, 2012

Entrepreneurs don't get paid when infrastructure fails -- and sometimes hourly workers don't either

When you’re on your own in any business area, you learn quickly how dependent you are on infrastructure working.  That’s power (including generator reliability), cable, use of cellular wireless hotspots for backup and for travel. That’s security. 

When you can’t work because infrastructure owned by somebody else fails, you don’t get paid.

In the conventional work world of “salaried professional” employment, I expected full pay and benefits even if “the system was down.” We got used to the idea that “they” were responsible for our infrastructure.  In the entrepreneurial world, there is no “they”.

Another thing is that when you’re deep within a conventional salaried environment, the particular issues of your workplace, however arcane in the grand scheme of things, becomes the subject of a lot personal focus. But after “forced retirement”, you get a taste of what the “real world”—whose infrastructure you depend on – does to survive.  Imagine a world where “volunteer firemen” fix downed power lines.

In fact, in one of my “interim jobs”, the collection agency in 2003, we actually didn’t get paid our hourly wage when the system was down, which did happen for two or three hours at a time on a couple of occasions. 

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