Thursday, November 29, 2012


Sometimes I have this weird fantasy about being homeless. No, not a nightmare, just some weird imaginary world where I didn't have a home. I still have the same job, but I have almost no possessions. Could I make it work?

This fantasy is kind of inspired by a comment I read on Tony Bigcharles' blog where someone asked what his bankroll would be if he didn't have any monthly expenses, such as mortgage/insurance/utilities/taxes, 2 car notes, car/health/life insurance, private school tuition for 2 kids, cell, internet, cable, gas, food, dental, student loans, pet care, savings/retirement, maintenance, etc, etc, etc.  I have most of those expenses too.

Inspiration also comes from one of the people that works here in operations. He's kind of an inspirational story that aggravates the shit out of me. We are trying to hire another operator, and management keeps insisting we hire someone with higher education or training. We have hired two so far that haven't lasted over a month each. It's just not that kind of a job. Especially when you consider that the best operator we have is a guy who got his G.E.D. in prison. I wish management would look at the people who are good at the job now and try to find people like them, rather than some picture of a person that's never going to work out.

Anyway, the guy was homeless for a while, and he kind of lived in the office for that while. There's a gym with a shower, there are some empty labs and offices in our suites that he used at night without anybody knowing. It's even pretty safe considering all the keycard with punchpad access that's required to get in the building and each office. There are dozens of restaurants within walking distance and a mall nearby. I think there's even a coin-op laundry less than a mile away.

I wonder how long I could do it, and how miserable it would be? I have a feeling it would be like when I lived in Taiwan for six months. The first couple weeks were great, every thing was a challenge, figuring out how to get around, how to get food, finding things to do besides work. But after that everything became a pain in the ass, figuring out how to get around, how to get food and finding things to do besides work. Your life has routines you aren't even aware of, and you try to form new ones but when that is constantly disrupted it eventually gets frustrating.

Maybe it's just a "Peter Pan" type fantasy where you'd like to abandon all your responsibility and just live one day at a time, only worrying about what to do with yourself and your time. I'm sure I've wasted too much time thinking about it already. This is what my mind does.

I used to know guys who basically did this, but they did it by constantly traveling for work. They didn't keep a home or a car, they hit the road for work and just never came home. They didn't even pay for their own food, they ate on the company expense account. They basically traded their lives for a bank account. They all did have one personal expense. They were all, without exception, heavy drinkers. I don't think that's a coincidence.

But would it be worth it for the money? For me, mortgage/insurance/utilities/taxes/maintenance is probably two grand a month, car expenses are probably five or six hundred, plus internet/cable etc. so at most you'd be saving three thousand a month. If you did it for a whole year, you'd save $36,000. Enough to buy a mid-range car. I like cars a lot, but there's no way I'd go through that for a well-equipped Camry.

P.S. The homeless operator is on his feet now, and doing really great. He has a home and just bought a new (used) car. That's the inspirational part of the story.

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