Atman (1000+ posts)
Tue Jul-01-08 08:58 PM
OK, it's time to fess up...The reason I left DU (kind of) . And it's a GOOD one.
Edited on Tue Jul-01-08 09:14 PM by Atman
I haven't actually left. I get to post every now and then. This is the now.
No, this isn't one of those long "I can't take it anymore" don't let the door hit ya on the way out posts. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Some background: as some of you may remember, I've been self-employed virtually my entire life. I've started a couple of businesses and, with the exception of a four-year stint in the home office of a major U.S. womens' clothing retailer, I've never actually been on anyone's payroll. I've been a freelancer or "creative consultant" for most of my nearly thirty-year career in graphic design, advertising and marketing.
Around the first of this year I was cruising Craigslist looking for some freelance work and found a rather interesting ad seeking a freelance-to-fulltime position that seemed almost too good to be true for this DUer...an Art Director position for an advertising agency that does nothing but DEMOCRATIC advertising! I responded. I received an e-mail at midnight on a Sunday night about a week later asking if I could come in the next morning. Being a freelancer, it was easy to open up my schedule. I went in...they gave me an office with a top-o-the-line Mac system with dual 24" wide-screen monitors.
I was in heaven. Not only was there no dress code (the full-timers were wearing jeans, t-shirts, Tevas, your basic weekend hangout wear), but the company also bought lunch every day. AND, there was a full kitchen stocked to the brim with organic foods and coffees, everything you could imagine. It was amazing. They liked the stuff I churned out the first day, even though I received more instruction on how to use the coffee machine than I did about the workings of the agency. They asked me to come back the next day. And the next. And kept calling me back, for nearly three months, paying me my full freelance rate for 8-10 hours a day!
When I started, I was told the office would be moving about 30 miles away in a few months. Hmm. No prob, not at the rate they were paying me. The day after the move to the new office I was called back for more freelance work. By the end of the week they called me in to meet with the principals of the agency. Despite the fact that I was considerably older than most of the people in the agency (the "girl" that hired me, a former Clinton campaign worker, is 27), they asked me to stay on full-time.
So, at 49 years old, I'm working full time, for only the second time in my entire life. It's awesome. I wear flip-flops and shorts to work. I come and go as I please (hours aren't important, just get the work done). The new office has -- get this, now! -- a chef who cooks for us three days a week. As if that all weren't sweet enough, the new office is located in a state park, and we frequently break to play Frisbee alongside the lake (yeah, it's on a lake, too).
It gets even better...right after I got hired full time, my wife and I responded to a listing in the paper for a house on another lake about ten miles from the new office. We were the first, and made an offer that weekend, and moved in six weeks later. Now, I'm out of the city, living on a beautiful lake in the boonies just ten minutes from my office -- doing nothing but Democratic political advertising. Did I say that already? From Oregon to Ohio, Connecticut to Colorado, I've been creating mailers and web ads for Democratic candidates across the country. Some of you have undoubtedly received the mailers I've created. I've done the campaigns for two of the three recent Republican-to-Democrat turnovers. I helped throw Woody Jenkins out of Louisiana!
I finally feel like all my time I've spent on DU and in "freelance politicking" has finally paid off, and I'm finally actually making a real difference.
The downside...I've been afraid to post much on DU because I don't want any conflicts with clients. So I check in every now and then, post a few remarks, but for the most part I just don't have the time anymore (though I work in place where they obviously don't mind if I cruise DU during down-time).
So there you have it. I'm not posting much, but I still read DU first thing (and second and third) every day to keep up with the headlines. I'm not as active -- I've even pulled most of the political content off my own web site -- but I'm still here every day.
Thanks, DU. I don't think I could have made this transition without the background this site has helped provide. Though it's still kind of weird working full time.