Thursday, May 26, 2016

Not the Spice of Life

You know how people who do non-office based jobs like to go on about how the best thing about their job is that you never know what each new day will bring?  They're talking bollocks.  Whilst they'd like to convince you that the supposed variety that facing new 'challenges' every day brings, the truth is that it all becomes more than a little wearing.  I speak from experience: my job has become increasingly unpredictable and I can tell you that all this 'variety' of activity has left me craving for good old boring routines.  Believe me, knowing more or less what you are likely to encounter each day and when you are going to finish is a wonderful thing.  As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing 'exciting' or 'invigorating' about being suddenly thrust into potentially dangerous situations or, just when you thought that you were close to finishing for the day, getting called out to another potentially hazardous situation.  Give me routine any day.

I've no doubt that my feelings toward 'unpredictability' at work have a lot to do with my attitude toward my job.  At the end of the day, it's just something I do to earn the money I need to pay the bills.  As far as I'm concerned, the sooner the working day ends, the better, because I can then get back to doing the things I actually enjoy.  Thankfully, being in the middle of taking a couple of weeks off of work, (I'm still using up untaken leave from last year), this week, so far, I've had plenty of time to do stuff I like.  Interestingly, I've found myself falling into a new, non-work, routine: get up late, potter around the house or garden doing various bits of DIY, before driving off in the afternoon to find somewhere in the country I can take a long walk.  It's all very relaxing.  The stress and anxiety which has been characterising work of late has melted away completely.  I've caught up with lots of stuff I've been recording from the TV, caught up with my reading, listened to podcasts I haven't had time to listen to whilst working, and even recorded a new one of my own.  The best thing about being off work is that I haven't had to deal with people.  Sure, I've stopped for chats with other walkers in the country, exchanged pleasantries with shop assistants and talked the usual bollocks with fellow regulars in the pub, but I haven't had to have any of those stressful work-related conversations with people I'd ordinarily cross the street to avoid.

The fact is that I like being on my own.  For many years I worried that I was somehow abnormal, in the face of all the social pressure to socialise and 'join in'.  I really tried to do this, but it just left me feeling uncomfortable - especially all that attempting to socialise with the people I worked with.  Never a good idea, as you quickly realise that, apart from work, you have nothing in common.  So I stopped trying to 'fit in'.  Eventually people realised that it's nothing personal - I'm just a very private person who is highly selective about who I count as actual friends.  I'm very proud of the fact that I've only ever let one person I work with over the threshold of my house, (to be fair, by the time that happened, she'd changed jobs, so we were no longer colleagues, just friends, which we remain to this day).   Anyway, I seem to have wandered from the original point: just take it  from me, variety is not necessarily the spice of life.

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