We’re living in fractious times and, with the pessimistic spouting of virtually everyone else on the planet, it’s not predicted to get any easier. Everything but doom-laden opinion is scarce. Employment is what concerns us most. And rightly so: no job = no shelter; no shoes; no Saturday night shenanigans under a bus shelter. We live in fear of being disconnected from our never popular money generator, the boss- Lord of our lives as well as our workplace these days. Most suffer under one tyrant, being a slave to only one full-time mistress, who takes us away from our own true love: our free time.
Count yourselves lucky. I have numerous mistresses gobbling up my precious hours like bulimic pie-eating contestants. Rather than plumping for the straight course of a “proper” full-time job, I’ve spread myself thinner than low-fat, smart-price spread on a miser’s floury baps, being self-employed in my own endeavours. Being your own boss is a useful fallacy. I pretend that I can write my own timetable and go to sleep when I bloody well like but it’s my clients who dictate when and where I will be; numerous employers chipping away at valuable lounging time. I could choose to ignore their demands but finances dictate I must clothe myself and subsist on a diet other than instant noodles, bourbon creams and whatever I can scrape from deep within, or in desperate times- behind, the fridge-freezer.
More often than not us small business types have to stray outwith our own comfort zones and take on some part-time graft to fill in our self imposed wage gap. There is hot competition for these bit-parts in the employment pantomime, even from Full-Time Joe/Josephine needing to bury their multiple credit card indiscretions racked up during the pseudo-religious shopping and drinking festival that happens at the end of the year. We are all scrabbling around for scraps that this disjointed economy has left us. Pieces of work litter the job pages like confetti poured out of a clown’s bucket with none of the laughter and all of the hassle of cleaning up afterwards.
These days, with half-cocked employment on the up, we are less committed to our employers for the simple fact that we are there for less than half the usual time. Like an unwanted lovechild we are pushed between benefactors and guardians, maybe having a favourite who spares the rod more than the others. We’re living in a part-time paradise where more and more of us are working in the equivalent of a broken home without the histrionics of a messy divorce but with all of the uncertainty. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.