That’s part of why this week has been so hard.
I might not have told you all, though I mentioned it on the radio last week; my day job has changed. Its just a secondment, but I’m working for another team within my business for six months, possibly more. It required me to up sticks from my old team super fast last Friday – which was actually my last day – and move my stationary, my cute little toys, my chair backrest and drawers to the other side of the building so I could start afresh on another team.
Its been pretty good so far, mainly in that I’m enjoying the fact that its something utterly new, and the fact that for the first time in four and a half years, I’m not the one with all the answers. I didn’t realise how wearying it could be to have people pressing you for answers and solutions day in, day out, until I didn’t have to do it any more. On the flip side of that, I really miss my old team. Really miss them. They’re such a lovely bunch and every now and then I still look over where I can see them laughing and joking. And yet my new team is lovely. Its a very different type of humour, but its definitely there and there’s certainly no worry of me not feeling welcome. They’ve swept me right into the fold and made me feel right at home.
Anyway, with all that going on, its made me tired. I trooped back home today (at 5.15 instead of 4.15 which is only a small difference, but enough to be really noticeable) and wanted to fall over and sleep. Not tired so much as pleasantly weary. Its hard to describe, but my brain wanted a chance to rest while my body was lively and wanting to hop up and down. I did neither of those things, instead spent a good deal of time trying to calm my brain by talking quietly with my partner and enjoying shiggles* with Miranda. Then another friend came by, one I’ve not seen for ages and we all spent a pleasant evening just being daft and talking.
The grind, however, is just the right word. I’m writing this as much to share it with you as to remind myself of the fact that this is not what I want. Many of my new team mates are key time or part time. Some of them only work a three day week. Even with the extra money this position gives me, I’m in no position to consider that right now. I need the work I have to enable me to live and eat and sleep in relative comfort. But this is just a job. I’m reminding myself that its not my career. I have been working with my employer for almost six years now – in fact it will be six years as of July 18. I headed there less than three days after my graduation ceremony from university and haven’t had a chance to look back. I have been in the same team for four and a half of those six years. It might be warm and it might be comfortable but the truth of the matter is simply this; that’s called stagnating.
Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed myself and learned a great deal, because I have. However even my manager acknowledged towards the end that the time was long passed for my skills to be recognised elsewhere and for me to move on. I know this new role is just a secondment, but it does put me in a good position for the future.
‘But why?’ I hear you ask. ‘Why are you so worried about this when you want to be a writer?’
Well… for starters, I am a writer. There is no longer any want about it. As soon as the opportunity came up I was telling my new team about my projects here, my business card is in plain sight on my desk (with extras if anybody wants to take one), and I was offering to help write dialogue for a short film being made by HR. I am making my true skills known.
Yes, I have project management, people management and complaint handling skills. Yes, I’m trained as a classic letter writer with nine years customer service experience at my back. Yes, I am university educated and pro actively bettering myself through additional NVQs and Apprenticeships. Yes, I even have experience in leading a difficult team of 17 heads.
But all that… great as it may sound… that’s not me. All that is simply what allows me to come home at night and sit down at my computer, guilt free and tap away at the keyboard for five hours. All that is what helps pay for the electricity to do that, what keeps me fed while I do that, is what gives me a roof and a bed to sleep in too.
So, the point of all this, the reason I am so excited, is because the more I progress, the more people I meet, the more I expose my name, the quicker I will be in a position to take a little bit more time over my writing. A better base rate of hours may mean that I can afford to reduce my working hours and spend more time on my writing. It also means that my ability to live while I write remains in tact because, let’s face it; the 9-5 grind may be soul sapping and boring, but it beats the living hell out of working 80 hour weeks in a supermarket just to afford toilet paper. Its a damn sight better than not having a job at all!
At least this way, after I’ve spent eight hours in the office tapping out letters and fielding customers, I can spend another five hours at home, safely looking after my real job.
*A short term of the colloquialism ‘shits and giggles.’