Thursday, 15 July 2010

Work Life

Big table or small tent?

The graduation ceremonies are upon us, and I had the surprise and pleasure of an old friend turning up in my office -- a fellow fugitive from Stevenage New Town -- whose daughter has graduated from our highly-rated School of Archaeology. We managed a condensed chat and a quick coffee before he had to resume parental duties.

It's strange, being visited in one's place of work. It almost feels more intimate than being visited at home. After all, we do spend an awful lot of our time at work, and tend to shrink or expand to fit the roles we play, and bend ourselves to these relationships we do not choose but which dominate our weekdays. On occasions when I have visited others at work, I have noticed what I took to be their discomfort at the breaching of a wall between two separate compartments in their life.

I am very lucky, in that my work and leisure personalities can and do have a high degree of similarity; I don't even need a separate set of "business" and "leisure" clothes. I also have the pleasure of working with an intelligent and constitutionally friendly group of people in a creative and stimulating environment. Others -- I think of my various friends who work as school teachers or in highly-pressured business environments -- have to put on a work persona like a suit every morning. This must be emotionally and psychically tiring.

Of course, the new government has plans to apply a lot more destructive pressure on this creative and stimulating environment. We have yet to see how this will work out. But I've had a good day today in a number of ways, and I'll save worrying about that for another day.


sEAN bENTLEY said...

I love these. They remind me of the scenes inside our local swim club's inflatable winter "bubble": its subtle patterns of stains, holes and patches, seams and portals.

Mike C. said...

What is a "winter bubble", sEAN? Do you swim in an outdoors pool with a cover?