Sunday, November 3, 2013

Unemployed, but not homeless

I'm unemployed, for the first time since 1981.  Technically, I'm 'retired', but I've just given up the day job to concentrate on - oh, that's right, having a life.  I joined the public service first in 1978, it was my third full time job after being rejected for a job as a data processor (those were the days) in 1976 because I was only young, had a boyfriend and "was likely to get married and have children". I kid you not. 

My Dad was beside himself with joy when I said I had a permanent public service job.  He impressed upon me that the superannuation was wonderful and that I would retire on a good income.  As a 20 year old, I could really grasp the concept of being retirement age.  Damn it, he was right. 

The workplace was a different world back then.  People smoked at their desks and anywhere else they liked.  The cleaner used to regularly vacuum around another staff member who would crash on the floor behind his desk after a big night at the pub, he would emerge from his sleeping bag about 9ish and get on with the day. It had only been 12 years since married women were not allowed to work in the public service, up until 1966 you had to resign when you got married. ( I guess that made the whole maternity leave thing moot.)  We worked without a calculator, let alone a computer, and data went off to be 'input' into the computer.  There was no freedom of information, no equal opportunity, occupational health and safety was casual at best. Statistics happened somewhere else.

But there was a transparent selection process, a career structure, promotion prospects.  Training was
a new work in progress
delivered professionally in person BEFORE you were let loose on the public.  You had to know what you were doing, because there was no computer to say 'no'. I made friends who have been my friends for the rest of my life.  Loyalty and hard work were valued and rewarded.

There are some people who say that if they won Lotto they would keep working, because they wouldn't know what to do.  In my view those people should not be allowed to play, because wealth would be wasted on them.  I barely had time to go to work, so many things to do, places to go, people to see.  Work was seriously inhibiting my social life.  I didn't win Lotto, but I have a lot to do and enough to do it with.

And suddenly Mondays have been reinvented as a day worth getting up for.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Judy - I'm sure you will do many wonderful things now you're "retired". I'll never forget the wonderful days of the Gin & Tonic club! All the bestXX