All cards on the table face up. That's not a bad place to start. This writer has looked at life from two very different sides. I was a well-paid adviser from July 2007 onwards, with an exaggerated job title and a posh office in Government Buildings.
And three-and-a-half years later, from February 2011, I was a regular signer at my local dole office gratefully collecting €188 per week.
Somehow, I had managed "signing the labour" through the 1970s and 1980s, when most of my pals were twice-weekly attendees at the labour exchange.
Signing on in those raw days of early 2011, when the country was run by the ECB-EU-IMF troika was a great leveller.
I'm not a great fan of lessons from the school of hard knocks. But I learned that these do have their points. So, what is the political point of these musings, we hear you ask?
Well, it is simply this: We are looking at a three-party coalition bedding in.
And at times they appear to be behaving as though we were in the middle of an economic boom - which we very definitely are not.
The three Government parties have had more than their share of celebrated opening calamities, which are well documented.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and his colleagues should be able to move things on to more solid ground and do more valid and necessary government work.
We look to Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to step up.
But there are many other nasty things in the offing for this nation and its new Government.
Many of these are hidden in plain view and it will not take much to put them centre stage.
And here I am talking specifically about the optics of a new coalition bedding in and spending taxpayers' money on themselves as they go.
As night follows day, such spending leads to opposition Dáil questions and allegations of exaggeration and waste.
Now, the reality is that government is becoming increasingly complex and demanding.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the economic and social need for big public spending.
People know this and very many appreciate that - while the pubs will not open next Monday, the €350 per week Covid dole has been a godsend.
But, while the new Government is bedding in, a hard reckoning also beckons for the entire nation.
Very recent history teaches us a very simple lesson. That is that in good times people find tales of official extravagance a bit naughty and mildly annoying.
In tougher times, that annoyance can quickly turn to rage.
Now if we look at current events, we have several low-key reports of appointments as government advisers.
We have learned that former Tánaiste Simon Coveney has successfully fought to keep his garda-driven State car.
We have learned that the new Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, is keeping a military aide-de-camp.
True, the sums - in a State that turns over €60bn per year - are small.
Many of them, involving hiring in necessary expertise, are justified.
But let's remember that we are on the brink of the biggest economic challenge in the country's history.
There will be little good news in the coming months.
A quarter of our workers are on welfare - compared with just 4pc five months ago.
New economic challenges emerge every day as the Covid-19 crisis continues to batter the fortunes of countries around the world.
As our public health experts warn of the danger of rising infections in this country, we would do well to remember that this emergency is far from over.
So, memo to Government: Go easy on the spend.