Friday, December 02, 2011

Working for the Man

Ferried Around
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DrC started work last week.* It was a bit of a shock when he gave us all good bye kisses on his way to start the first day. For six months, we’ve rarely see him wear a shirt, let alone all the trappings of civilized society. He smelled delicious… all shaving cream, deodorant, and shampoo. However, he looked so peculiar in his dress shirt and slacks, leather shoes, and combed hair. We hardly recognized him.

The commute for the good doctor is a long one. He walks 100 feet to the ferry dock. There is a 10 minute ferry ride across the harbour to downtown Auckland. There he walks across the street and down the stairs to climb on to a commute train heading south. Unfortunately, this is where things slow down as the train ride is 45 minutes with another 15 minute walk at the other end. The trip takes an hour and a half each way.

I don’t like it. I don’t like that three hours of his day is ‘lost’ to commuting. I hated it when I had to make a similar journey myself, and I can’t imagine he enjoys it any better than I did. On the upside, we’ll have his iPad replaced by end of this week. With wireless available on the train, he should be able to do all his reading, email, and news while on the train. The commute also has the advantage of not requiring his attention at any time, e.g. at least he doesn’t have to drive.

Driving from here to anywhere is horrid. Bayswater and Devonport are on a narrow peninsula jutting south into Waitemata Harbour. The entire area is densely populated, wealthy, and ridiculously posh. It is served by a single narrow road from end to end. The commute hours of 7 – 9 am and 3 – 7 pm are an absolute nightmare along this route. Aeron and I decided during the first week that we run errands between 9 and 3 or we refuse to do them at all.

DrC’s absence has been hard on the SuperClinic. Combined with some illnesses and vacations, the clinic is way way behind. They had our captain doing surgery the first day. Every day since has been absolutely chock-o-block. He comes home looking completely beat by the commute and work day, grim, quiet, and exhausted. The back log at the clinic will clear over time. He will get used to the commute. Working will get easier. Right now, however, the long hours and hard work are hard on him. I sympathize, but inside I am selfishly cowering a bit in dread and fear. That picture of exhaustion will be me in a matter of weeks. After years of sabbatical and contract work, soon I too will be putting in those days, those hours, that effort. Poor me.

I started the job hunt process this week. Either I am looking at the listings differently or there are more opportunities this time. The job boards offer some promising options. I still haven’t completely committed myself to full time permanent or contract. I miss having a regular ‘crew’ of co-workers – colleagues with whom I can develop lasting relationships and staff who I can hire, train, and pass on to bigger and better things. On the other hand, contract work is so much more flexible, the time commitment less and allowing more opportunities for adventures with my girls and husband. It’s still a toss up. I suspect that the decision will have more to do with fate and opportunity. The best option to open up will be the one I leap on, wrassle to the ground, rope up and drag home.

* Actually, it's been several weeks now. NaNoWriMo got me way ahead on my writing.

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