I don’t know why but last Monday, I was busily singing Dolly and Kenny’s Islands In The Stream until I caught myself out, so I thought I would go with an appropriately Dolly Partonesque Nine to Five. Along with The Bangles’ Manic Monday is there anything better to sum up the working life? I think not.
It’s for this reason alone that I love working for myself. I don’t think I could ever go back to the world of work. Issues galore. When I did one of my Masters’ assignments on the ‘Shadow Side of Organisations’, I even went to work in the place where I did the analysis. It wasn’t much different from the inside, let me tell you. Possibly one of my quite bizarre interests is the understanding of organisations and how they function – if you too are interested and haven’t read Gerard Egan’s Working the Shadow Side, it’s very interesting. Essentially, it’s the half of the work world that is messy and unproductive, filled with issues and neurotics, psychotics and crazy politics. It’s what can bring productivity grinding to a halt. Unfortunately, I only ever worked in one school where they didn’t hamper the general wellbeing of the workplace. And a greengrocer’s.
Anyway, suffice to say, Much Love for working on my own. I sometimes miss the great teams I’ve been a part of, but often they function like a healthy gallbladder in a diseased body – totally fine on their own, but completely useless on the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps it’s just a Manchester socialist thing to think about the workplace and expect it to give quality to life. No matter what we Mancunians do, we can’t shake off the Marxist in us.
Still, Nine to Five is a great movie. Sometimes I wish I could help all organisations be productive and effective and have a tiny, tiny shadow side that mostly revolves around who ate somebody else’s sandwich other than the fact that, by and large, the boss has been off playing golf and the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. One day, I will publish a list of my worst bosses. My number 1 position would be occupied by a previous head teacher of mine who famously asked why a colleague of mine was off work for the first time in three years. “Is it because she is fat?” she asked.
My chin hit the floor.
I was the union rep, and I’m pretty sure that even if I were not, even if I were a little Southern girl with no red Peterloo blood in her soul, I would have been a little astounded.
“No,” I said. “It’s because she has flu.”
“Well, fat people sometimes have health issues,” this woman said.
“And so do skinny people.”
I would like to point out at this point that she was a size 16 if anything and wasn’t exactly on the skinny side. She used to tell me to tell people in my department to change their jumper or clean their shoes. I never did. She would forget she asked me and get a bee in her bonnet about something else in someone else’s department.
Bosses are great.
Sometimes, you get the feeling that the Peter Principle is the best explanation of why so many incompetent people are in positions of power. And the most capable insight into organisational behaviour? Dilbert. I still read Scott Adams’ comic strip every day. Much Love to Dogbert. My uncle said I was like Dogbert. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment.
What’s not to love about a talking dog who acts as a consultant and really harbours delusions of grandeur?
This is my favourite though:
I think my uncle might have a point.
Anyway, you can see why I am glad to be my own boss and you might also understand why some people are glad I’m not their boss.
So what else lovely do I have to share this Monday?
Well, it’s autumn, so I’m getting my craft on. My pinterest boards are filling up nicely, I have more red felt than you can shake a stick at, some embroidery thread and some sequins. Doesn’t take much to make me happy. Plus, I got to go to a warehouse that is just a temple of fabric. I’ve got my stocks in. I’ll see you in spring!