Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

May 31, 2014

Nominal liberty

Filed under: news of the day,political sniping — Tags: , , — lexifab @ 10:30 am

How do I sum up my freedom from the shackles of paid employment, entering its fifth day as of this morning?

Eh, not that exciting. Basically it’s been one errand after another, crammed with as much writing as I’ve been able to get away with. The closest I’ve come to impersonating a gentleman of leisure was having a longish cafe lunch with Chris, a CSfG writing compadre. (Here’s his website, where I am quoted!).

On the job hunting front I have been cold calling a lot of builders to sound out some apprenticeship prospects. As I suspected, not much is happening on that front, although not quite for the reasons I anticipated. I had thought being in my mid-forties would be the biggest impediment to being offered an apprentice job in a physically demanding field. According to the few meaty conversations I’ve had, that’s not a huge barrier to entry. Instead the main problem appears to be that nobody in town is taking on any apprentices at all. the local building industry has been in a slump for going on eighteen months now, and with massive public service layoffs in the offing, the prospects of a sudden housing boom in the ACT are somewhere between slim and quite-the-opposite-of-boom.

So, I’ll continue to work my leads next week, but preparations to activate Plan B are already well underway. (Plan B basically involves a school-hours office job and the pursuit of a few other goals which I will go into later).

I keep wondering when the fact that I am, for the first time in twenty years, not an employee of the Commonwealth Government will hit me. It’s not that it doesn’t feel real to have walked away from it all – it doesn’t feel like anything. I suppose that means that I really had so little investment in what I’ve been doing over the past few months that I’d already walked away, and the only material change was not having to put on a suit and tie and hang around in an office all day.

One thing I am starting to feel, for which I am grateful, is the receding background sense of simmering fury that comes with being part of a government machine that I feel (strongly) is on the wrong track. I’m specifically talking about the international development program, which I think has taken a badly retrogressive step under the current government. But really, I don’t think they are doing one damn thing that works to the betterment of the Australian people, so to single out their butchery of one particular agency is probably just making it personal. Seriously, fuck those guys.

But, the point is, I’m beginning to enjoy the overwhelming sense of relief of not constantly feeling that I am a part of what I consider to be the active undermining of everything I value about my community. It’s pleasant to not be reminded every moment of the day that things are getting worse. The next step, I suppose, is to find ways to contribute more to making things better.

 

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