God, I need a job

There was an article in one of the weekend papers written by a mother floundering about, not knowing what the hell to do with herself now her children are at school. Apart from the fact that she made a throwaway remark about cashmere bring-and-buy sales, from which I deduced, with Sherlock-Holmesian perspicacity, that her children are at private school, I identified with her. I’ve spent seven or eight months since my daughter started full-time school flapping around like babygro on a washing line. With no structure to my day, I’m paralysed by uncertainty – should I mop the floor, volunteer for the PTA, make my children a nutritious casserole or phone people I used to work with five years ago so they can remind me there’s a recession on, and anyway there’s a queue of younger, fresher candidates outside their door a mile long? Hmmm, what’ll it be? Casserole! No, humiliating phone calls! No, PTA! Ooh, look – it’s 3.30pm already.
Anyway, the article also included some advice from some American expert who’s written a book about women returning to the workplace. You know, the usual stuff about spinning the skills you’ve learnt during your career break to make them attractive to employers – if you’ve been secretary of the PTA you’ve acquired budgeting skills, if you’ve juggled a busy family schedule you’re a time-management whizz, and so on. Apparently, if you’ve spent two or three years arguing with a toddler about why he should put on his shoes, your negotiating skills are automatically on a par with Ban Ki-moons. So by that reckoning, if I should ever land a job with a top-tier commercial company, it’ll be OK to conclude my meetings with potential Japanese investors with ‘Why should you come on board? BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT’S WHY!!!’

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “God, I need a job

  1. I had a foray into the world of work when I had 3 small kids, having been away for years, and the frightening discovery I made was this: when your preschooler is behaving badly, you correct the behaviour, and explain why it was unacceptable. In the world of work, when your boss is behaving badly, you smile sweetly, say “of course”, and can only give V-signs to his departing back when the door is closed. There are no naughty chairs in the workplace.

    At least in your own home you are Chairman and Chief Exec (though unpaid, sadly).

  2. Love it ! I’ll try that last line of yours in my next fund-raising meeting …

    Interesting work/home analogy from Iota, too. Two thoughts spring to mind:

    1) The naughty step is (or rather, should be) well worn-out in our office,

    2) There are plenty of blokes who actually work very hard on that Non-Exec Chairman role…

    Adding you to my blogroll, forthwith.

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