Those of you who’ve worked in an office environment, particularly those who are in repetitive, boring jobs which don’t quite keep them busy enough, will know exactly what I mean by the title. When I think of the hours of my life I’ve spent in grey cubicles or open-plan desks, the flickering strip lights illuminating the quiet desperation in my eyes. The yawning, gaping chasm of boredom that sets in at around, ooh, 9.26am and stretches on, like a pallid, deathly eternity, until finally the clock ticks round to 5.30pm and once again, for a few hours, I am FREE.
The parcelling out of cups of coffee, to give me a reason to escape my desk if only for three minutes. The endless shuffling of paper, of moving words around on a page, of sitting in meetings where everyone pretends what we’re talking about is really important when inside, I’m screaming out THIS IS ALL SO POINTLESS.
The trouble is, these weren’t bad jobs. I worked (generally) with pleasant people, doing stuff that wasn’t particularly onerous or difficult. But I distinctly remember one appraisal at work when I was asked what I enjoyed most about my job. How could I answer with the truth, which was ‘when I switch my computer off and leave the office’?
Before I worked for myself, I often wondered whether anyone actually enjoyed their job. I mean, really enjoyed it, as opposed to tolerating it for the money. Then I started working for myself and while it is sometimes very hard and lonely and financially precarious, most of the time it never feels like work. Or rather, it never feels like work used to feel.
What about you? Do you work for the Ministry of the Dead? Or have you broken free?