Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wrestling With My Alter(ed) Ego

It's A "Love/Hate" Relationship...

As I understand things today, very few people actually "own their own business" i.e. work for themselves.

When you add everything up at the end of any given day, there are probably more people out there in the "unemployed" category than there are people in our population gainfully employed with a business enterprise in which they are the primary shareholder/owner.

The "Devil," as always, being in "the details" of business ownership--or "self-(un)employed" as I tend to call it these days--is the reality of having to actually produce the end product that you have sold and expect to be paid for at the end of the process.

I also agree whole heartetly with the old adage saying that "It's Lonely at the Top," because being in business for yourself...BY YOURSELF...means that when the "Company Owner" tells the "Corporate President" that the "Chief Programmer" and the "Senior Field Installation Technician" needs to get off of his ass and finish up the two festering current projects...

...in the case of a little company located in eastern Tennessee called Plastics Engineering Technologies, Inc. things can get a more than a little exciting implementing the "Company Owner's" mandate.


So any way, today was what I would call "semi-successful" in as much as I got a version of my new program into the PLC and tested all of the basic input/output functions, but then the machine I am monitoring coughed up it's own PLC controller display and the plant maintenance guys had to manually run the machine for me on a hit or miss basis and that totally sucked.

When they initially demanded that I come up here this week to clean up some details, my only requirement was that they make the bottle production line available for an 8 to 12 hour period so I could tune the system performance.

As it stood after lunch yesterday...I MIGHT have had 30 minutes of total run time to measure and analyze.  Then I had to leave and come back to my B&B room to access the Internet and call my contract programmer.

What a total pain in the ass...

So now this morning I have to go back into the plant and screw around and attempt to get the final 2% of the bugs worked out of the system while at the same time the plant technicians are going to want to be replacing their broken crap they had delivered overnight by FedEX...and if I'm not finished by about 1:30 PM I'll miss my Amtrak connection to the airport and have to pay the stupid change fees and extra airfare.

That prospect could cost me five hundred bucks if I have to also stay another night here.

Dang it...

Then I also have to negotiate the details of who pays the extra cost and in the end it will probably be me because they have me over a barrel if I want to get any future new business...with no solid guarantee of same.

And when the stupid government comes to my house and asks for 35% of my hard earned money, and when people sit around blithering about not having a job and/or demanding that the government bring their accountants and guns and arrest powers to my house and take even more money from me next year and the year afterwards through the elimination of "tax cuts for the rich"...

...it really makes me think about whether running a business is really worth all of the hassle...

You know?

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