Friday, May 15, 2009

Plus ça change...

I would blame my three-week silence on the pressures of work etc, but regular readers know that there have often been such lacunae in recent years. I apologise to everyone I've been ignoring, all the bloggers whose posts that I haven't been commenting, all the birthdays I have forgotten (or worse, remembered and then put from mind because I couldn't deal with it). My behaviour upsets me at least as much as it does you.

Work has changed direction. I stopped the translation for half a year after the mess last summer, with them wanting me in Münster and then withdrawing the offer shortly before we signed contracts. Last month I realized that I had (relatively) enormous debts and no chance to pay them back without doing more or different work, so spoke seriously to G and U about my work in their office. The theoretical 20 hours a week had been creeping upwards, reaching an average of 35, which was a break-even level but no chance to repay or save anything. I explained all this and said I'd need to cut back to a real 20 hours in order to take a second job, terribly sorry. They thought about it overnight and made a counter-offer: 45 hours a week, slight raise in the hourly rate, and a productivity bonus guaranteed for 2009 that would let me pay all my debts.

I have to admit, that option hadn't occurred to me. I took it, and am now working fulltime and fairly happily. But it means that my lovely mornings at home have gone, so I am seriously behind on my blog- and book-reading, riverbank-walking-down-to-ings, and Second Life play. A fair exchange, perhaps; in any case I was glad to take it.

With the change in hours has somehow come a change in my style and manner. It feels as though I've shifted up a gear, or crested a hill and am now running on the level. I've started taking the job more seriously, sometimes arriving first and often leaving last, and am taking on more management and steering. Much of the technical discussion with structural engineers and HVAC planners and others that ilk, now devolves to me, and to my surprise I am enjoying it.

Second Life is changing direction too. I have stepped back a bit from the meditation group discussions, which lately had been more philosophical discussion than meditation. I often couldn't follow the sense of the conversation, for example the idea that the image of a chair on a screen is not distinguishable from the one that you are sitting in right now, dear reader, and I found that stressful. I have joined some more traditional groups to get back to calm and centering: "Sit down, shut up, just breathe."

Time for work. Let me leave you with a truly marvellous video (a genuine cinema short, btw, 16 minutes long) called Validation which offers exactly what the title says. Highly recommended, do watch it!

Shabbat shalom, dear friends. I do think of you fondly, even in my silence.

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Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Nice to hear from you again. Glad you are enjoying the job, and even happier that you will be able to pay your bills without moving.
I too haven't been in SL for a while, with RL things for some reason taking priority. Hope to see you there soon.

May 15, 2009 at 6:27:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Anonymous sis said...

You Germans! 45 hours is more than full-time. Most people in NA (except lawyers) work a 40 hour week, at my workplace the standard is 37.5 hours.

but either way, glad to hear that you are gainfully employed and able to pay off some debts.

May 15, 2009 at 8:51:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

Higher gear can be very good, at least short term.

Courage, and lots of energy.

May 16, 2009 at 2:25:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Anonymous Seraphine said...

My behaviour upsets me at least as much as it does you.
i haven't found much to be upset by, udge. in fact, quite the contrary, i'm proud of you! congratulations on getting paid to work. being on a "level" is pretty awesome, as long as you don't stop "living" and enjoying life.

May 18, 2009 at 7:51:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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