FANTASY VS. REALITY
“...they visualize consulting
I spent over 33 years with only two primary employers - the
U.S. Department of the Interior, a Federal agency, and Sierra
Pacific Power Company, a mid-size corporate public utility.
The image of embarking on a whole new career chapter
can be both exciting and daunting. Our typical human
nature is to develop a vision or fantasy to support our
wishful thinking of a positive outcome. A number of folks
still employed by large agencies or corporations have told
me they visualize consulting work as a type of permanent,
highly-paid vacation comprised of luxury travel and short
work days while lording over corporate or agency staff with
advice of mixed relevance. In this fantasy, they come and go
as they please, pontificate on any subject requested, while
ensuring their consulting schedule never conflicts with
rounds of golf, ocean cruises, or visits to the bank to deposit
their fat checks.
Engineers, mechanics, and managers tried in vain to figure
out what was wrong and how to fix it. In final desperation,
the factory manager called Fred and asked him if he could
fix the machine. Fred agreed and arrived at the factory the
very next morning. He turned on the machine, listened,
turned it off, went behind the machine, tightened a screw
and turned it back on. The machine ran perfectly. Fred
handed the manager a bill for $10,000.
The manager fumed, “This is crazy! $10,000? All you did was
tighten one screw!”
Fred took the bill, re-wrote it and handed it back. It said,
“Tighten loose screw, $1. Knowing what screw to tighten,
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day.