Published: September 06 2006

I've stolen the title from one of the best TV shows ever: Six Feet Under. Although "Everything ... Ends" sounds like a truism, the way and speed at which things sometimes do end surprises me...

Being an IT consultant is sometimes hard. Customers often expect the utmost flexibility as for the time you invest in your current project -- flexibility being a euphemism for "working as much as necessary at the necessary time". The recurring problem is that the exact terms of necessary are never being spelled out, let alone negotiated with the consultant. It's taken for granted that the daily rate - despite having eight hours per day in the contract - comprises anything and everything and your soul on top.

Well, you don't have to give in to the customer's pressure by obvious expectation, but I wonder how many customers will "set you free" regardless of your competence and your contributions to the project if your availability time-wise cannot keep-up with the expectance. It happened to me recently -- although this particular customer would rate my contributions differently, I guess.

In the aftermath of this incident I tried to rethink and re-evaluate what makes my personal work life balance sane and sustainable. The result of this careful consideration was probably as surprising to me as it was to my employer: I quit my job more or less overnight.

Summary: I am available for software development and alike.

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