Work/life balance and other nightmares

I’ve been thinking a lot about work/life balance at the moment, mainly because I don’t seem to have any. True, I work in a fabulous job which pays fairly well, considering my lack of degree, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the way in which we have let work encroach on our lives in the battle for customer service.

I work in the call centre industry, thankfully, no longer as a call centre monkey chained to a desk and being forced to be nice to everyone, including arseholes. However, my lovely partner does all of the above, and what with my shifts and his shifts, sometimes all the time we get together is mumbled grizzling while we wait for the other to get out of bed/get into bed and sleep.

It’s not advertising, or romantic comedies that are degrading our family life, it’s work… Either you’ve got a job that you are slaving away to keep (given the current economic mess) or you don’t have a job and are stressing about that too. When I think that yes, I do spend about 8-10 hours a day at my job, it seems longer – because I’m not spending my downtime doing the things I want to do…

The funny thing is that most of the time, work/life balance initiatives are all about families… And I’m not a family. What I want is time with my partner, and time with my friends. I want time to see my friend’s exhibition, or their band play, or to go see that theatre show that I’ve been hanging out for. I don’t need childcare at work, although I understand and support the people that do.

So when did it become expected that unmarried people without children have less right to the same work/life balance? And how did the workplace insinuate itself so strongly into time that has been traditionally viewed as “downtime” that I am not compensated financially for working on weekends or late at night? What needs to change within the way business is done to find ways of giving people back their life?

The service industries, such as customer service and hospitality, get the hardest part of it… They are expected to work hours that no one else wants to, to service the needs of those who wish to use their services… And I do enjoy being able to go to the local pub or restarant on a Friday night, or on a public holiday. Absolutely!

But we need to start thinking about what that means for those who work in those industries.  When you ring someone at 8:00pm, do you really need to call them then? If you need to report your credit card or phone stolen, then you should absolutely have the option to call anytime. But to question your bill? Prolly not.

We need to stop the corporate hoarding of private time. Extended opening hours mean that more people have to work odd hours. Which means they can’t do the things they want and spend time with the ones they love.

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MisseLaneius Loves Rainbow!

I’m kinda excited… I’m going to send myself on a new and kinda scary adventure…

Last weekend I spent at the Rainbow Serpent Festival in Beaufort, near Ballarat, a psytrance festival with heaps of markets, music and shenanigans to be had. Camping out in my new tent with the Fridge (my dear partner) was far better than the last doof we went to – we bought a tent that’s big enough for us to stand up, and for both of us to be in there without sitting on top of each other.

We had lots of people come stay at our place, which, while fun was a little exhausting – having to make sure you are being a good hostess while at the same time getting yourself organised for a huge event is draining to say the least!

One large downside of the event was the abysmal state of the toilets – I’m all for composting toliets, as long as they are service correctly and often – by the end of the event going to the toilet took 45 minutes of queueing as many of the toilets were too full to use. However it was fantastic having chats with people while queueing!

Going to Rainbow has been a real inspiration for me – I’d really like to start making my own clothes as no one is going to make clothes that I like in my size… I’m a little cautious – I’ve never been a particularly crafty or creative person, but I’m excited about the prospect of buying a sewing machine and beginning to put it all together.

Next stop – eBay – I need a sewing machine!