Friday, March 05, 2010

My working history again

There was a time I blogged nearly every day, but I've had a second blog for a while now on Funtrivia and bore them with the continuity of my normally dull life more often and try and save the highlights and criticism of the worst aspects of life for here. But as I've had rather more free time than usual (no more grandma to visit now), there's more time here and I prefer to create than observe most of the time. On the stage rather than in the audience.
My grandma's house was valued today and is encouraging, and will soon go on the market. They are disputing the estate after accepting our figures for a second time and can basically go and fuck themselves. The fact my mother is a judge, my father a barrister and I have a law degree and all say they haven't a case (which we explained in full detail) fell on deaf ears and rather than do the work before sorting the estate out pretend it's OK and then when you've spent the money come back afterwards. Anyone who thinks this is a free and democratic country have missed something.

This week was free again besides one session, the money is required so welcome, I've taken lots of photos around Golders Green (nothing new there) and done some shopping and had the car cleaned, and that's normal life. Of course doing the same things with someone else add a dimension I rarely see now, (er, sorry Roger but only stating the bleedin' obvious), but still better than being stuck at work which is something I rarely did more than tolerate. I've gone through my work history already (how much is there to look at in ones life?) but basically was limited to part time work for most of it as I was at college one morning a week and no one would give me the time off. I worked pretty hard anyway teaching all over North London (a couple of places a day minimum right till 10pm at times), did one or two evenings a week on placement either in a youth club or counselling, and in my year between courses worked full time from Oxford, came home Friday night, did a couple of hours teaching in a school on Saturday and at someone's house Sunday before going back Sunday night for work the next day. OK it only lasted a few months but could have gone on much longer if the firm hadn't let us all go.

So I'm no stranger to work, although that job was the cushiest ever, the sort of office job I always assumed most were, with lots of banter, crosswords, tea, and all I did was sort and enter papers. I used to think 'wow, I'm sitting here looking out of the window and getting paid for this'- the work I did was essential and basically ended up being responsible for every sale record for a British branch of a white goods company. That was me after a few months as I had got someone's job after they left when I was standing in for them. Every sale had to be accounted for both on paper (I checked and filed them all), and double entered on the computer as well which I did the rest of the time. A monkey could have done both as it was as simple as it sounds, but when one was lost (not by me, by the people further down the chain), it was my job to track it down, and don't think I missed any by the last day. Not many if I did anyway. I took phone orders and helped out on the despatch desk as well once they realised I'd memorised the UK postcodes in location order, so planned the lorry loads and routes as well which was a proper qualified job judging by the staff who did it.

So I rose to my own capabilities as even if you start with a cushy number anyone could do who can count, the fact I could do more and more meant in a short time I ended up with the top security codes or I couldn't locate the missing invoices. When I left college for good in 1991 I wanted a similar job and start a private counselling practice before trying a job in that. My applications averaged 3 a week for 18 months as we had to keep records (I was told I was one of the only ones who did, although nowadays people would lose their benefits for it), had three interviews, was fully prepared for full time work with the only restriction not within the ring road as it is the gate to hell. Most jobs are there as they were located there when London barely extended beyond it and went to work on a horse. The fact London extends 15 miles out now most jobs stubbornly remain within the ring road so the few elsewhere are like gold. In the end I worked for a friend and part time as I said yesterday, and could never do full time again after 5 years, only doing a couple of weeks full time when he was away.

So, I have time and space, do my best not to waste it and fill the space, appreciate where I am and where I go (especially since my health stopped it for so long), and the people I see. But things shouldn't be rationed once you do appreciate them. You'd think with the millions of people within a few miles there'd be others like me and able to locate them and meet up, but you need to live in a small town to do that, we are all lost here in the social desert.

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