Hi all, there are lots of threads here about the salaries, interviews, etc., but I'm curious if anyone who is actually a consultant (or knows 1sthand) can shed light on the things that you get after you are hired? (just to give a bit more concrete info to imagine what the life is like, and to get an idea of the things that make consulting appealing? There must be concrete reasons, i.e. why we strive to get these jobs!) The more specific and detailed, the better, to help give a full picture.
For example, I hear that you get a Blackberry as standard issue -- what kind and what usage plan typically?
What laptop and what software packages are you running every day? What kind of email do you use?
What credit cards and what are the typical kinds of expenses that you incur in a day? What are some typical vs. outrageous things that you became accustomed to paying for as a consultant -- that you now don't blink twice at paying, but never would have spent money on before becoming a consultant? Related to that, anything special you never saw yourself doing/receiving until you became a consultant, that others would be in awe of? Willingness to take limos, private cars, or the like, because you value your time?
Related to that -- travel policies and perks? Is it first class all the time, top hotels, fine dining? Or Southwest Airlines, and Motel 6?
What kind of background support from the company do you get to make your job go smoothly? I.e. support/admin staff, or information network, or travel agents, etc?
Does your status as a consultant get you more interest from talking to friends, family, at parties, bars? Is there a mystique about it? Do people view you as important and worth knowing as a result?
I hope to have my interest in consulting increased by your answers -- Thank you!