Friday, December 19, 2008

On birthdays and the nature of work

So here it is, another year gone. I guess it's lucky to have a birthday at the time of year when everyone else is reflecting upon the year-gone-by so that I can have reflective synchronicity. Perhaps people with birthdays at other times of the year have bigger getting-older-and-what-do-I-have-to-show-for-it crises because they have to do it all in isolation.

Anyway, this year I have to reflect that I am in the same career position as people ten to sixteen years younger than me. They are single and spend all of their disposable income on clothes and drink. Which is what I did at 21, of course, I just had less to dispose of than my youthful co-workers do. I don't know if they are happier, but they certainly have a lot more stuff.

The upside is that this point is still a career peak for me. Having a grown-up job is quite the astonishing thing. For one thing, you get paid better and also the work is more interesting. Which is much more important for me personally (partly because if I start thinking about the whole breadwinner thing my head will explode). There's a big part of me that thinks if I'm worrying about getting paid, then I'm insulting the work. Crazy, I know. I think I am fundamentally missing something about our whole economic system (no news there, though). When I used to work at Safeway as a 15-year old I hated lining up for my pay every week. I thought it was rude to ask to be paid. I felt like this particularly because I hated that job so much it made me want to be sick every week, which you'd think would make me keener to get the pay than not, but not.

I was sick once, but that was because I had a thorn in my ankle. Tragically I did not manage to projectile vomit into anyone's actual shopping. I wish I had a better developed sense of narrative and less honesty. No memoirs from me.

For my birthday I got ace presents including a bike (every child and Mum's dream), some books to read on our trip to Melbourne and some bath things from Perfect Potion from my Dad. If you live in Brisbane you should try their things if you are a bathy person. Or just go and stand in their shop for a few minutes to calm your shopping headache. Mum sent me a Judy Horacek shopping bag which made me laugh. And the lads made me pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. And tonight we will eat laksa at the Dickson Asian Noodle House. I will now stop endorsing things.

Restrain your envy, gentle readers. One day it will be your birthday, and I will be doing the vacuuming.

1 comment:

ThirdCat said...

many happies!
and funny thing...the vacuum cleaner is indeed out (though as a noun, not a verb)