Words by Clinton Barnes
A friend was rushing past me on my way to work. He seemed deflated and distracted. A quick hello and he was on his way. 12 hours later, I saw him again. While I was on my way to a show, he was heading home after a day and a half's work. We got to talking.
I know we don't live in a workers' paradise. The hard fought for 8-hour-day is long forgotten by suits in the city. His long day that isn't unusual for him isn't unusual for many. But his story was familiar.
A well-qualified person in a job that only university-degree people do by law, he's always struck me as hard-working and conscientious. Mobile, he moves where work takes him and he's had a diverse career, working in several sectors and specialties.
Asking about his life, he's busy all the time and has no energy for anyone. Any downtime is spent being a hermit at home / having a quiet one / just relaxing / catching up on shows / not doing much.
More than just long hours, he's studying. Again. Because a degree and a decade's experience doesn't seem to be enough.
He doesn't have to do the long hours, he says. He just needs to 'get things done'. But the truth turned out to be, 'I need to make sure I'm in a good position to get a promotion'.
A degree, decade's experience, and more study isn't enough. You've also got to kill your life--but only for a brief time. It'll be better next year.