Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Advent-ures: Number Seven, Work

Never blog about the workplace.
It's a fundamental rule isn't it?
You could so easily embroil yourself in an implied criticism of your employer and end up in breach of contract.

But this is not really about my workplace, so much as the work I do there.
I love it.
Hear me out, people!

The Girl Who Wrote a Love Letter
Pietro Antonio Rotari - 1755

Once upon a time I had a husband who believed that The Employer was evil incarnate.
Not any employer in particular - just the concept of an organisation which contracts you to a certain number of hours a day / week / year and therefore enslaves you.
This made my life difficult.
If I was seen to be, in his eyes, subservient to The Employer, I was failing as an independent human being.  So I was discouraged from going in early / staying late / working at home.
Career suicide.

Ironically, when FL fell ill, I had to become more flexible.  He understood that my employer was being generous towards me, allowing me to take him to hospital appointments or to work from home when he needed me around, so he grudgingly accepted the laptop on the kitchen table.

This time last year I was "restructured".
I had no idea who was going to line manage me, or even if my role would continue to exist.
And my husband was dying.
It all felt terribly precarious.

Fast forward to where I am now...

Yesterday morning, I was at my desk by 8 am.
It was still dark, and my lamp cast a lovely pool of golden light on my salvaged real-wood desk.
I had the window open and the frosty air was filling my lungs as I sipped my tea.
I sat there, reading and writing the hours away.
I did not leave the workplace until 6.30 pm.
It didn't feel like an imposition.

As I explained recently to a mystified Professor, when I told him that I loved my role:  what more could anyone want from their job?
To have a Room Of One's Own and be paid to write all day?


  1. This makes me smile! Such a lovely position to be in.

  2. Just curious - what is you actual job? I'm guessing it involves writing? editing?

    1. The job title is "Policy Adviser". I write stuff about things :)

  3. Lovely, it's always nice to spend the work day doing what you love.

  4. I am thrilled you love your work. I do too, although technically the pay and conditions are's not all about money and time, something that makes you want to get out of bed and engage with the world is worth far, far more. (For context, I work in care on a zero hours contract.) Also, although I haven't commented on every one, I am so enjoying your 'adventures'. It makes me happy that you are finding new and happy things in life. Love, Philippa

  5. That sounds like my working days - sometimes my job can be difficult and frustrating, but mostly I love it and will willingly spend long hours at my desk (though admittedly not as long as the ones my academic colleagues put in!). I'm so glad that the restructuring has worked out well for you.

  6. Glad you are in a good place! My mom floated through law for years, unable to find a good fit, until she finally landed in a policy-writing position with a state regulatory agency. She went in thinking it was her temporary final stop on the way to figuring out a non-law career, and was there for 30+ years.

  7. What a lovely description of a days work.

  8. As Confucious said (or didn't) "Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life"...or something like that...
    You make it sound blissful.