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​I Love this Job

I LOVE this job. It's probably not fair to call it a job at all. Jobs are like work and this is like fun. There is nothing I'd rather do (full-time) than write. If I could do only one or the other for the rest of my life, I'd probably rather write than have sex (except on weekends, at nights and in the mornings.)

Seriously: writing is occasionally difficult to do – but it is never a toil.
And if compared to real jobs, it's like lying on the beach.
I don't have to be in the office by 7.45am and stay there until 5.30pm, pretending I’d rather be there than at Machel fete. I don’t have to dress appropriately. Or at all. I can go to work in my underwear (and often do). I don't worry about parking space or traffic jams or eardrum-shattering dub in the maxi or people with body odour in the taxi. I don't get mesmerised in interminable conversations with the guy from Marketing with the bad breath. I don't have to suffer the inhuman silence of the elevator, or feign interest in colleagues in the line at the photocopier, or appear intense and productive when the boss walks by. I don't depend on someone else to get on with my work.
Okay, I have to make sure my copy arrived at Newsday but, apart from that, I don't have to converse with anyone to do the work part of this job. For the research part, of course, I do sometimes need to telephone others, but the bulk of my research and discussion is done at cricket matches and in bars and restaurants and cinemas and bara stands. To perform their functions, people in real jobs have to go to the vault, or the accounts department, or the mail room. I have to go to the mall. That's the job. On the hardest days, when I have a lot of reading to get through, it is all I can do to haul my tired butt all the way to Maracas. Do you know how hard it is to read a newspaper on the beach?
This gig is even better than school because I don't have to go every day. And I get more holidays. And I don't have to call anyone Sir or Miss. And I don't have to hear disparaging remarks about my handwriting. And no one tells me not to start sentences with "and." And I write whatever I want. And then they give me money. Of course, I do have to sit a kind of an exam every Friday, whereas students have to do so only two or three times a year – but even that isn't so bad because, even when I fail, I get a chance to resit seven days later.
Easily the best part, though, is not having to wrestle with office politics. I don't have to kiss anyone's butt – that I don't want to, ie. (And aren't there a couple of butts at the office or congregation the boss or pastor themselves wouldn’t happily kiss?)
And all of that's worth 100 thousand a year to me. I don't have to try to remember the names of the department head's rude little children or say no to chocolate cake because the team leader is on a diet. I don't have to flirt with repellent people to get my forms stamped, or worry about how much status I lose or gain if I make the coffee, or consider volunteering to put the tools away before the foreman orders me to do it.
Unfortunately, the down side of this gig is as deep as the up is high: Yes, I avoid talking to the great jackasses of the office, the nation and the world... but I have to spend a lot of time thinking about them. You run into your sour supervisor three times on a bad day. You report to your department head on Monday morning and that's it. You fawn on the boss once a month or so and you're done.
I've had to think about prime ministers, from Keith Rowley to Rishis Sunak, all day, all week, all month, all year.
But the real down side, of course, is that the truly significant element in the job description of “freelance journalist” is contained in the first syllable.

BC Pires is a layabout making as eef

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