It’s Saturday evening, and I am sprawled in an armchair, watching cheesery and nonsense on the television, and already having oh-God-it’s-Monday-on-Monday anxst. Because on Monday I will have to get out of bed when the alarm goes off, and when I could’ve been curled up into a duvet roulade bellowing incoherently at John Humphrys, I will be shivering half-naked in the bathroom, bellowing incoherently at the old geyser.
And then I will go to work. In the gloom and the cold. And for what? I have three degrees, my job is of the professional sort that needs post-graduate qualifications (allegedly. It probably doesn’t) and yet, eheu, I get paid less than the ‘three A-levels please’ post in the admin offices the main duties of which are entering room-bookings into a spreadsheet (If I am very lucky and work very hard, I could be promoted into middle-management, and still get paid very little (no one gets paid much in Libraries) for doing a job I will now loathe. There are no more promotions without management. Management is mandatory. Even if it gives you hives).
And while I’m whining, the damned commute takes over an hour, and it’s not the sort of commute where you can sit down comfortably and read a good book. You can, if you like, be squashed uncomfortably and drop your good book irretrievably under the hooves of your fellow commuters. So I get paid really not very much for seven hours a day, and the job actually takes over ten hours of my day off me, ten hours in which I do not get to do that which I want to do. No, I can’t do what I want to do in my lunch-break. I have to eat lunch, go to the bank/chemist/supermarket/card-shop/weird-place-that-sells-CD-cases, check my non-work emails, use the loo, avoid the more talkative of my colleagues, read the good book always assuming I didn’t drop it, and generally decompress because sharing an open-plan office for more than three hours on the trot makes me feel like screaming ‘everyone get out of my room! Now! Stop breathing my air! Stop breathing my air!’
The strange thing is, I like my job. I really do. I can actually do my job without spraining anything, but it’s not so easy it’s brain-mincingly dull and repetitive. My colleagues are rather nice (some of them are very nice; a few are nuts. It balances out). My boss is very kind and understanding about my ugly health issues and need to take two or three days off every month in order to lie on the bathroom floor (it’s less hassle than going back to bed between gastric revolts). Every now and then the Powers That Be cut our funding by another eight trillion percent, and we all run around in small circles shouting ‘aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!’ while our jobs specs are hastily re-written for us, but so far none of us have been fired or made redundant against our wishes. And there’s a recession on, so having a job is really quite wonderful.
And mid-day people-overload freak-outs aside, I do go a bit weird if I spend days on end at home with no one to try to look sane infront of.
So I usually shut myself up at this point. I have a job, the job is good, good is the job, all is good.
I just wish I hadn’t wasted all the time I did have, back when I had it, on not knowing what I wanted to do with it. I don’t think I ever meant to spend it on commuting and wishing my colleagues would bloody answer their mobile phones.