Thursday 9 December 2004

And I love to live so pleasantly

I had my review at work today. You know, one of those end of year chats with your boss about how you've done, and how you're not going to be getting a payrise this year?

It went pretty well and I got a really good grading, which was nice, although I have no idea what it means really or what difference it will make to my life. I won't be getting a bonus, I won't be getting a pay rise and pension contributions have gone up by 1%.

In real terms I will be worse off next year.

I spend more than 50 hours a week at work and I don't get any overtime.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not moaning. The hours are my choice - I only HAVE to be there for 37 hours a week. I also get paid pretty well in the grand scheme of things and so I don't really have much to complain about on that front... I think that my company is getting a bargain, but that's a different thing altogether.... compared to the UK average, I'm doing pretty well (nevermind the average wage in Africa. I'll say it again: 247 million more people in sub-Saharan Africa will be living on less than $1 a day in 2015).

It's just that, well, there has to be more to life than this doesn't there? I don't want to sound like I'm approaching a mid-life crisis, but why am I giving so much of my time and energy to a giant corporation? What does that add to the sum of human achievement? Shouldn't I be doing something more worthwhile? Couldn't I contribute somewhere else? Can I not be something other than a consumer?

C. has talked about us jacking it all in and heading out to work for VSO or someone like that.... I have to say I'm not all that keen. I quite like my job. I like the stimulation and I like the challenge. I also like being paid. I like travelling and I want to be more useful, but I'm not at all sure that I want to hand all this over to go and do something more 'worthy' (and I'm also not sure what use I would be either....)

Middle-class liberal guilt - that's what it is. I'm trying to compensate by giving more money to charity, by giving my time to charities and by looking to see what else I can do to get involved.

I'm officially open for ideas and suggestions.

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