Thursday, 26 March 2009

There is this curious conception

that I do not 'work'. I was accosted yesterday by someone who wanted to know if I would like to volunteer to help with their particular pet project. I am not in the least interested in their pet project but, even if I was, volunteering for it would be in the middle of my working week. When I explained this I was met with a blank look, "But you don't go to work."
No, I do not go to work. I do not even get paid to work but it does not mean I do not work. I work from home If I want to take the last Tuesday afternoon of the month off in order to run the knitting group at the local bookshop then I have to make up that time later. If friends, who are retired, invite my father out for lunch and include me in the invitation then I need to make up that time early in the morning or late in the evening. If other friends 'drop in' then I still need to make up that time. When I explain I am 'working' or 'busy' however I get blank looks.
It is even more difficult for my father. He is 86. You do not, according to other people, 'work' at 86. He does. No, he does not get paid for it either. His father was still running a business at 81 and would have gone on until he died if his eyesight and manual dexterity had allowed. My father still has the capacity to work in his shed. It is work too. It is not mere dabbling in a hobby. He mends as well as makes. People still come to him to get a chair repaired or advice about making something. He teaches. He does not want to sit in a chair and drink coffee and listen to gossip.
Reportedly there are more people working via computer from home. I wonder if they face the same problems? It is not something I would recommend. Going to work is important, if only because then people understand that you 'work'.

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