The Ballad of the nine to five

So, apparently I am terrible at this regular blogging business. Juggling a marriage, a career, a big family, ten thousand stupidly hard exams and some semblance of a social life is a lot harder than it seems. 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough.

For anyone else who juggles for a living, you know the feeling: you may be doing a great job at satisfactorily dealing with all the balls, but you still are and always will be a clown.

So I am back! Today I am wearing my blogger hat, and I am going to talk about the one place I often spend 12 hours of my valuable 24 hour day. Work.

According the the Great People’s (well lazy students and can’t be bothered curious types) Encyclopedia or Wikipedia as it is popularly known,

Work may refer to:

Human labor:

Other than the manual labour bit, I think the above succinctly summarises what I, and millions like me, do for a living. Some of us are lucky enough to get paid to have a 9-5(ish) job. The thing they fail to tell you as a wide-eyed naive graduate, or an eager, hopeful job seeker is that most jobs are pretty much the same. I mean, the value they produce may have differing strengths, but ultimately, the work that goes into the work, often follows the same pattern.
The Pattern
1) After snoozing the life out of your alarm clock, wake up at some ungodly hour, thinking I really ought to sleep a bit earlier.
2) Rifle through an uninspiring wardrobe to try and pick an outfit to wear. This has been made harder by Corporate culture attempting to put some power/control back in your hands and stating the firm dress policy as : Business Casual. Whatever the heck that means. Pull out the same-ish variation of outfit and attempt to accesorize with a brightly coloured accessory.
3) Rub sleep out of eyes and slap on some war paint.
4) Commute uselessly for several minutes/hours. Complain about it, in your head/out loud to anyone caring to listen, constantly. Traffic is shit. Public transport is shittier.
5) Reach your desk and sift through 14,000 emails of which about 63% relate to you. Of the 63% related to you, 86% require to be dealt with urgently. First cup of black coffee, no sugar.
6) Ignore the emails and check facebook. Twice. If feeling particularly uninspired, read The Financial Times and check twitter. Second cup of Black coffee, no sugar.
7) Have banter with colleagues. Somebody will bring in cakes/donuts/biscuits/sweets because of a special occaison. Eye up cakes suspiciously, google “How many calories in a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut” obsessively and then proceed to scoff down 2.5 in the space of 7 minutes. Swear to yourself you will run up and down the stairs to make up for it.
8) Deal with a few of the urgent emails. Feel very hardworking and accomplished.
9) Start thinking about what to do with the rest of your tasks for the day. Feel mildly nauseated by the length of your to-do list so go on a coffee run instead. Third cup of Black coffee, no sugar of the day.
10) Surely it can’t be lunchtime already?! Where does the day fly! Check facebook again and head to the on-site restaurant with colleagues to have more banter.
11) Return from lunch, attend to 2 of the 28 things on your to-do list. Simultaneously chat to your mum, best friend and husband on BBM. Who said women can’t multi task?
12) Attend the first of your three scheduled meetings for the day. Try very best to look professional and pay attention, but casually drift off and think about what to buy on ASOS on your weekly online shopping trip. When asked for comments, look wise and answer “I do agree with you Joe, I think it is really important we keep the trajectory flowing on this….” Never. Fails.
13) Return from meeting. Attend to seven of the 28 to-do tasks. Feel pooped and do an ASOS faux shop (the kind where you add everything you love to your basket…only to get a minor shock at the total, push X on the browser and feel somewhat guilty but sated.)
14) Re-check facebook, feel guilty and panic-plow through another two tasks before going to another snooze-fest meeting.
15) Return from meeting feeling inspired, attend to some more tasks. Find the list has magically increased multiple-fold and start having a mild anxiety attack. Hyperventilate in bathroom stall for few minutes, then resume work.
16) Do constructive, rewarding, hard work for the rest of the day. In between checking facebook and attending more snooze-fest meetings of course.
17) Look at the clock…6pm- another mild anxiety attack.
18) Finally make the executive decision to put all un-done tasks on to-do list (now as long as three Harry Potters) for tomorrow and guiltily start to pack up. Cast furtive glances to make sure nobody else looks like they are thinking “what a slacker”, promise self to work hard ALL day tomorrow with NO facebook/asos faux shop/coffee runs and run for it.
19) Reach the exit, and realise, you forgot something SUPER important that just HAS to be done tonight. Resignedly trudge back upstairs, pack up your laptop to complete work from home that evening, between half-watching telly and spending quality time with your husband, who is doing something very similar.
20) Commute uselessly for several minutes/hours. Complain about it, in your head/out loud to anyone caring to listen, constantly. Traffic is shit. Public transport is shittier.
So whatever it is you do, if you are required to do it in a Corporate-esque environment, sat mostly behind a desk for the required hours of 9am to 5pm (ha!) The Pattern above is probably pretty familiar for most of your working days. Most, not all of course.
For those of you who have a different, varied job which involves being in exotic locations, doing varied, consistently exciting and challenging work every single minute of your working life: bite me.
In that spirit:
“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”- Martin Luther King Jr.
Right, better get back to work then.
May the blue sky trajectory, four-box model and endless cups of black coffee be with you,
If I had six minute to live…I’d write a little faster x


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