Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Irish Blog Awards

Hey, just a wondering. Who's going to the Blog Awards on March 11? I see there's a registration form now for numbers, cos it looks like a lot of people are going to show up. So who's up for it? Red Mum, Paige, JL, Curly K, Catgirl, anyone? (I kinda really want to go just to see if Twenty Major shows up so I can call him a c*nt!)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Help me Jebus!

Readers of The Life and Times of an Irish Emigrant may recall a post a while ago where Dunner asked where he was going with his life, what he was doing etc? (The link’s in my sidebar there, I’m too lazy to figure out the whole HTML thing!)

Anyway, without stealing his thunder, I find myself in the same predicament this week and as our American cousins might say, I’m friggin freakin out! Help me Jebus!

As of the March 22, 2006, I will no longer be in full-time employment. After seven years working as a news journalist and almost a decade in journalism, I’m FINALLY leaving my job to work as a freelance writer.

I know that I’m leaving to do nearly exactly the same thing as I’m doing now and the only difference will be that I’m intending to cut down on my hours (following surgery at the end of last summer I’m still not 100 per cent and need the break) and will be working a lot from home, but still.

I feel slightly ashamed about that, for it’s not as though I’m heading off on a round the world trip and will be writing from fabulously exotic locations, or like I’m leaving journalism to do something worthwhile like work with poor children in Africa, or teach English to all of the new communities flocking here from ‘out furrin’. It’s not even as though I’m leaving journalism for an altogether more spiritual life and will be meditating and discovering my chakras or anything (‘whenever, wherever, we want to be together….’ Oh sorry, that’s SHAKIRA, I always get those mixed up) I’m simply cutting down on my hours and offering writing services from the comfort of my own home.

So why do I feel like bolting into my boss’s office and begging on my hands and knees for my job back? (Please, please, Don Boss, I a-do anything you a-say….yes, yes even a vox pop.)

Why am I constantly staring narrow-eyed at all my colleagues bitterly thinking “you bastards, you still have a job and holiday pay” and why does the thought of having my P45 in my hot little hand have me holding my head? (Too much alliteration there?!)

I think it’s because I have worked on either a part or full-time basis for a salary since the age of 14 (a gift shop in the Swan Centre in Rathmines, I clumsily broke EVERYTHING) and now almost 14 years later, I’m going out on my own and I’ll be my own boss.

I’ll be my own boss!

And somehow I don’t think excuses like ‘oh there was a HUGE queue in the coffee shop and the, er, a horse died on the road in front of me, yeah, he just….died’ will cut it when I’m explaining to MYSELF why I’m late back from lunch.

I’m just not sure that I have the discipline to work from home, everyday, regularly, with little direction and no one to answer to. I’m just not sure that I have the motivation to tear myself away from Oprah to sit down and write. I’m just not sure that I have the talent to survive as a freelance when every second person I meet is a ‘writer’ or working for ‘loike, The Times’ and I ‘loike’ can barely spell Times.

I’m just not sure.

On the upside though, I’ll be my own boss! I’ll be able to work on different types of writing projects as opposed to just hard news. (Any journalist will tell you that hard news is more about fact gathering and putting something in readable form, rather than actually showing off your writing style or talent.) I’ll be able to set my own working hours and do whatever work I choose, not work that is chosen for me. I’ll have a sense of freedom that has been missing in my life for some time now and finally, I’ll feel like I’m dragging my lardy arse out of the rut I’ve been in.

So yes, it’s exciting and exhilarating and everytime I think about it, my stomach gives this almighty swoop and I feel like I’m going to throw up (in a good way) – but it’s also terrifying and frightening and worrying. How am I going to earn a crust? What if I fail? Will Mammy and Daddy Dunne throw me to the wolves if I don’t make with the ‘house’ money AGAIN? Will I be forced to – oh Jesus I can barely type it – take a job working with a load of slimy advertising executives coming up with lines to sell their crappy products? (You know the type of thing – ‘Cheesy cheese, it’s….cheeeeeeeesy’ and then a shiny faced gombeen grinning and pointing to the cheeeeeeeeese.) You see how bad I’d be at it?!

Everything is all up in the air and there’s a maelstrom of thoughts just whizzing through my brain every second and to be honest, part of me can’t wait for March 22 so that I can actually start DOING it instead of thinking about it. But the other part keeps propelling me to my boss’s office on my hands and knees silently begging for a second chance. So far I haven’t uttered the words ‘gis me job back’ yet, but he’s starting to look at me funny and I don’t think he believes me when I mutter ‘oh, lost a contact, there it is’ jump up and scurry back to my soon-to-be vacated desk. I think he’s on to me.

However, the excitement of this new step in my life is slowly taking over my blinding terror and I think I’m going to run with it. So, if you see a panic stricken woman, scorching down the street clutching a boxful of notebooks and screaming “please, please, someone make me a PAYE worker again”, do stop and say hi!


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