A ray of sunshine and an industrial wilderness

I have just come home from another scintilating day as a professional wage slave. If only I saw things like other people do. A close friend of mine is a real regular ray of sunshine. Nothing fazes her and as far as she is concerned the glass is always half full, never half empty. A few months ago a group of us were walking long the beach trying to keep the rain off our heads, the sand storm from stinging our eyeballs and the cold from freezing our genitals off , when up pipes little Miss Sunshine with “oh look at them clouds, arent they pretty”? It was open mouths for the rest of us. A few months earlier when I had been relating as to how the weather was affecting me she said “well never mind you have got work to look forward to in the morning”. I guess it was the sound of my jaw hitting the carpet that caused her to explain that I would seeing all my work colleagues and meeting new people and generally having a high old time and getting paid for it. I had never looked at work like that before and to be truthfull I have never met any one since, well maybe one.

Anyway this prompted me to think about my past working life. I have had numerous jobs from the age of 16 until I was 21 and from then I have been in work continuously with the exception of 6 weeks where I claimed unemployment benefit. All in all over 30 years of almost continuous employment and 36 in total.  I then decided to to try and remember which jobs I had enjoyed. I know some jobs are horrible until you get there and are then in the swing of things, but others just leave you feeling depressed, trapped and a  longing to be anywhere else other than in work. Some jobs have you waking up in a cold sweat about 30 minutes before the alarm goes off, praying that somehow it wont and its all a horrible dream.

In truth I did once have a job I enjoyed. I worked in a printers where I met some really good friends, enjoyed the work immensely and genuinely looked forward to going into work. Of the three other people I worked with I am still in touch with two of them almost 19 years later and they are what i would call good friends. The job lasted two years before we were all split up to go into other departments. I guess the management hated to see any one having a good time and figured it would demoralise the rest of the workforce if they knew a small group were actually happy to be there. I stuck it out another four years before I found something else I could actually do without coming close to a nervous breakdown.

I can think of loads of things I would rather do than work for a living, real important things like check the beer fridge is full, top up the tan, get in the garden, go for long walks and bike rides. Little Miss sunshine has said that she would hate to not be in work, she would be bored. I reckon being bored is a sign of a lack of imagination and the inability to organise time. All in all its a shock to realise that out of the last 30 years 28 of them have been spent in an industrial wilderness and wasteland being in places I did not want to be, doing things I did not want to do for people I didnt really like or care for that much. That last statement may be a tad harsh but its a fact that most of the people, but not all, that I have worked with over the years are not the sort of people I would have gone to the pub with or invited back to my place for a beer or two.

Bearing in mind I have another 15 years to go before I can “officially” retire its time to rethink life and figure how to get the best out of what is left. This will ineviteably mean selling up and leaving these shores for sunnier climes and a much less stressful lifestyle. In short get the hell out of the rat race!

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