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January 25, 2012 / playforth

Barely getting by?

Although I usually make a point of agreeing with Dolly Parton on all things, today’s post is going out on a limb and singing the praises of the 9 to 5 existence.

Being an employee does have its downsides, not least the fact that most of the time it’s not 9 to 5 at all, but 8 to 6 or 2 to midnight or 9 to 5 plus every other Saturday and regular evenings spent hunched over a laptop to catch up. As Dolly says, the salaried worker often feels as if  ‘They just use your mind / And you never get the credit’. Hence, there are hundreds of blogs, books, articles, videos, courses and seminars on how to free yourself from the daily grind and be your own boss. Self-employment as it is usually represented – pursuing your passions for pots of money – remains a ideal scenario for many of us.

But in the meantime (or instead) there are consolations to be had in the life of the wage slave (in this case me):

1. I have a regular income. Generally, the same amount of money arrives in my bank account on the same day every month, and all I have to do to get it is my job. I don’t have to promote myself, network aggressively or tout for business at every opportunity, and I know whether I’m going to be able to cover my monthly expenses or not.


2. I’m not my own boss. Frankly, I’d be a rubbish one.

3. I have time for myself. This seems like an odd one maybe, because 8 hours of my time each day are effectively owned by someone else. But because my job is not my life, I can leave it behind and write poetry for pleasure, or go to the pub without guilt. I’d rather have someone else controlling my working hours than feel like ALL my hours are working hours.

4. I’m more creative. Far from crushing my dreams and narrowing my horizons, paid employment allows me to do creative, interesting things in my spare time, with no strings attached and no financial imperative to succeed.

5. I have institutional support. Sick pay, holiday pay, maternity leave, training opportunities, union membership, workplace facilities…

6. I don’t have to do self-assessment tax returns, woot!


Please do chip in with any other blessings to count in the dark moments when you feel like you’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder…



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