How many have heard the " We are sorry but we are going to have to let you go". (Basically in a nutshell, you are fired). Also how many bosses have heard "I do not want to do this anymore, I quit" from their employees.
I can say that I have done each of both. Yes, I have heard the phrase, we are sorry but we are gonna have to let you go,(Toyota, Sircon) and I have also delivered the phrase, I quit (to my research Prof at UMR, I was getting paid here for RA NOT TA, and NO I did not quit because I had something better in hand, I quit because I just didn't want to do it anymore, infact afterwards I washed dishes and did the cafeteria thing for a while, but I did sleep very well though)
It isn't easy to do either though, $$$ are still essential. But each time, each of these disparate incidents happened it has been like a wakeup call. A wakeup call to salvage whatever is left and move forward. I am a consultant, I know that I get paid more because I am dispensable, I can get fired very easily without any explanations either because if the client isn't satisfied with my services I can be let go without any complications. No hard feelings. Just good business. Then again it isn't the worst thing to happen since there will always be some other client. Yes, it may entail moving bag and baggage to a totally new place but this is me we are talking about over here, for those who know me best know that making new friends, adjusting to a new place isn't the hardest thing for me to do. (I moved thru 4 states in 2008, MO, TX, CA, MI, I would know)
The reason I can do this right now is because I am not married (settled) yet. Am sure of course that over the natural course of time this will need some adjustments and will eventually settle down to a question of a comfortable life vs. more money. But for now its a question about how much can I cram into the limited amount of time that I have. (Before I get married) This can be interpreted in different ways as how much $$ can I make before the wife spends it all, how many places can I see before I get bogged down with baggage, the best car/techy goodies that I want etc etc.
I am still very much interested in 'fishing' (Can't elaborate much, my folks read this space too). But leaving everything aside if someone asks me today (01/12/2010) as to whether I want a FT versus consulting, I think I'll take the latter option. I probably may not have said this though when I got out of grad school.
Btw after reading this far it shouldn't come as a surprise that I typed this up after watching Jason Reitman's Up in the Air. Gold Stuff.