I have now been back from my hols for not even a fortnight, yet San Francisco already seems like a beautiful, clement, flower-filled dream. (I mean, seriously, a city where there are dolphins in the bay and grapefruits on the trees and you go up and down the hills in the city centre on a tram pulled along by an underground wire? honestly, brain, you are making this stuff up!) So it is back to the griping about how it’s all falling apart at work and there’s ever more stuff to do because every single department has more than they can cope with and the backlog goes round and round faster than even the casenotes do. Which is admittedly not terribly fast these days, because we still only have one porter and he’s getting well sick of it.
The griping was abruptly halted, however, by the jungle-drums. Now the jungle-drums pound day and night (only stopping for the dreaded bass solo – ah the old ones are the best), and already this year they have brought the rumours that my personal workload is getting increased. Again.
But this news, this was worse. Well worse. Everyone’s workload is getting Reviewed, the rumours have it. And everyone is getting to reapply for their own job, the rumours have it. And if you are lucky enough to actually get your own job back, it will be a different job, the rumours continue. For instance, it will be A BONUS 25% OFF! (your pay packet).
‘Of course, it’s just rumours,’ said my Colleague of Skull Scarves gloomily, as we stared somberly into our Starbucks (ha, I had been raring to go that morning, and was dragged out practically by the hair for a burst of Sudden Despairing). ‘They might well be making the rumours so that people run away and solve the problem for them. It happened to the Husband of Kit Cars many years ago, they threatened this exact thing, and then people went, screw that, and left, and so it never happened.’
‘Of course, one of the other hospitals have already received their letters about it,’ she added. ‘But… it might be just rumours.’
Well and I can finally welcome myself to the world of the world recession; and I guess a latecomer like myself can’t really gripe too hard, because anyone reading this probably at least knows of someone who got screwed worse. And screw me if the joke ain’t on me that it is now my turn; I mean, I took the paycut to get this job for the financial security. Ah how true it is that those who would give up a little freedom, etc.
In desperation I blocked out this news by studying really hard, interspersed with pulling out the contents of every single cupboard in the flat and moving them around (being tragically short of actual deckchairs to reorganise). It was not until the Friday, when the Bossman showed up, that he pointed out that what I should have been doing is getting his best mate to look over my CV and suggest ways in which it could be tarted up, and get on the internet to look at Other jobs.
So I did, and I realised why I’d been avoiding it. Oh god, I have truly been spoiled by my four years of mostly living in terror of being shouted at by Dr Hurricane. For lo, there are still some jobs out there. And as I looked at them all, I remembered well my decade spent temping in the wilderness; being shopped out to a different location each week, where my Properly Employed ‘peers’ shunned me (oh, if I had a quid for every time I heard the words, What Would You Know, You Are Just A Temp), and a (very) junior manager younger and less qualified than I am jackbooted about, criticising my unruly appearance (I never did find out what was so unruly about it, but they all hated it) and refusing to give me any actual work to do. (And in my memory, at least, they all look exactly the same. To the Hitler-esque ‘tache, even on the lassies, boom boom.)
So yeah, time and distance work wonders, not only with the blotting-out; so I can see, from a safe vantage point, that perhaps they all felt a bit in awe of their new-found power and desperate to impress their respective bosses and eager to keep a Qualified person like myself in check in case they got Usurped (snort). But I can also see that it was turning me into Marvin the ‘Paranoid’ Android (I mean, here I am, brain the size of a, well, sizeable asteroid, at any rate, and they want me to photocopy this piece of paper. ONCE. And to tell me this, they came past the photo- oh FUCK IT.) Ah, eight hours of staring at the backs of one’s neatly-clasped hands sure can make one contemplate the many ways one could ‘accidentally’ fall under a truck so as not to go through it all again tomorrow. At that point, I also remembered exactly why I once ran away from it all to be a slave labourer in France.
Something equally drastic may be called for here. Let us hope that, this time, it doesn’t leave me a penniless husk of my former self!
In conclusion: so, ungrateful besom who calls herself Beshemoth, how do you like your current job now? Like manna from the very heavens, is how! Oh how the mighty have fallen. For a given value of ‘mighty’.
Now, can I live on a 25% pay-cut; assuming I actually luck out and get it?