The following is an email I received from a fellow engineer. It pretty much summarizes the times. The states / countries he mentioned are: California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, USA, Canada.
My Florida nuclear power plant work ended sooner than promised, so I
networked my contacts and in 6 working days landed 2 solid offers. Yep,
it's moving time again.
I'm flying to Vancouver CA to work for 3 weeks, then flying back to
Florida to move my stuff to AZ. I'm driving my truck the southern route –
New Orleans, San Antonio River Walk and Alamo, Austin City Limits, etc.
Should be in Phoenix the last few days of 2011, which gives me just enough
time for a round of golf and a hike up Squaw Peak. Then I'm going to
Nevada for my next job building a new gold mine.
Let's see, that makes 4 states, 3 companies, 2 countries, and 5 different
jobsites for me in the past 11 months. Packandmove and packandmove and
packandmove. My world is spinning faster and faster and I can barely hold
on anymore. I've rented my house, sold all my furniture, dumped my camping
gear, and given away my t-shirts, and now I live out of cardboard boxes.
Anything I buy is too much trouble to drag around. I have simplified so
much that all I own anymore is a cell phone, a laptop, and an email address.
Travel light, move fast, and stay alive. There's no middle ground anymore.
There are thousands of starving engineers, spun out into a ditch, unable to
make that next move, meet that upcoming deadline, or attend tomorrow's
meeting. So I travel light and move fast. Very fast. Always faster than
the last time. Always faster than the next guy. Always jumping higher and
farther and better than ever before. One day I'll just burn up, spin out,
or perhaps just give up. But not just yet. Somehow, somehow still, I keep
missing career death with that one well-placed contact. With that one quick
jump. With that one flexible move. Lucky me. I just survived another
crash. And, extra lucky me this time — the nukies downsized me in
November but paid me thru January, and by next week I'll be polishing gold
nuggets in my hotel room in Vancouver. Double-dipping sweet!
So tonight I'm heading to Wal-Mart to buy a trench coat with deep pockets,
extra sunglasses, and a 10 gallon hat. While you are sitting in your
cubicle smothered in paperclips and yellow stickies, I'll be surrounded with
tons of gold! I'm sure they won't miss an ounce or two every now and then.
And, so I spin. Faster and faster. Around the world. Where it stops
nobody knows. It's either spin or spin out in this business anymore.
Another job, another state, another company, another promise, another
airplane flight, another hotel. What day of the week is it? Sorry, I don't
have a clue. All I care about now is that this new job is good. I work 6
weeks on and get 2 weeks off. Free airplane, hotel, food, car, etc. They
pay for everything. Even overtime. See you on Squaw Peak every day for 2
weeks about mid-February. Or perhaps Hawaii, Mexico, or wherever the plane
lands next. Oh, and take a look at my new backyard (below!). Just 20
miles from my Nevada hotel.
It looks like I'll be living in hotels until the sky caves in, so if anyone
needs any towels, shampoos, or soaps, just let me know.
Hey, Freemon, you can certainly understand. What a fast unstable world! You
can do anything you want with this letter, but please change everything that
identifies me with it. Thousands of engineers like us are stuck in this
spin, and the corporate spin of "America needs more engineers, blah blah
blah…" We have thousands of engineers too many. We need a stable economy!