Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Nine to Five

It is a common enough question, "Where do you work?". Since I was fifteen I always had an answer to that. My first official job was as a hostess at a Chinese restaurant where the kitchen staff only spoke Cantonese and the waitresses were surly and complained bitterly when I sat some hungry family in their section. As a bonus they let me take home the broken fortune cookies for free. Now in this time, simple things like being asked for my phone number at work inspires something akin to panic. What if this complete stranger finds out I have no position and heaps all sorts of judgements upon me as it is clear, I believe, from looking at me that I am not an heiress nor do I possess that haughty air of the independently wealthy. If work defines us, as it so often does in our society, who are we when we are not gainfully employed? What are we but a drain on an otherwise productive landscape where everyone is busily getting ahead. Struggling to identify what remains when that critical piece of our identity is shelved is a puzzle I continue to try and piece together for myself all the while wistfully dreaming I might return to that place of certainty - that costume that may be ill-fitting, but familiar nonetheless.


  1. For so many of us, you will always be teacher, mentor, leader, the one who showed us how to do ‘this’ well and right and effectively. You might not travel the world wheeling and dealing, you might not have a bestseller, you might never again save a dumb politician from a terrible communication mishap – but you’re right there with us when we do those things.

    So you tell those judgmental people to call any one of us who’ve had the incredible honour and privilege of working with you and seeing you in action...

    We’ll tell them exactly what your value is.

    1. Wow...such kind thoughts...and yet everything I learned...I learned from people like you...:)