During September I worked away from home, in an office admin job, to help out one of my sisters-in-law. She was about to embark on a European adventure to celebrate a major milestone anniversary with her husband and the arrangement she'd made (for her job at her family business) had fallen through. Her appeal went something like this: "I've asked everyone I know and am getting desperate." Oh, and there may have been begging.
After ascertaining that the desperation wasn't because she didn't trust me to handle the work but because she knew how this would impact my commitments to family, farm and writing, I agreed. And panicked just a little because I wasn't sure what I'd committed to. It's been fifteen years (give or take) since I resigned my last away-from-home position and that wasn't office work. Sensing second thoughts, my SIL reassured me that I'd only have to "answer the phone and do a bit of invoicing." How hard could that be?
Harder than I thought, as it turned out, since invoicing started with deciphering handwriting on job cards along with the auto-electrical jargon and parts numbers. Phone-answering often involved chasing down (physically) mechanics and hauling them (physically) to a phone. Sort of.
But in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed my month working nine to five. These are my top five reasons why.
1. I knew there was an end date and Marg would be back to fix my mistakes. With a beautiful gift from Prague.
2. Knowing I had to be out the door at 8.25am meant I had to be organised and stick to a routine to get everything done. I was more organised, wasted less time, got things done more efficiently.
3. People. Talking to them, laughing with them, getting to know them. In real life. There's a lot to be said for that.
4. I now have copious notes that will assist my writing of small town fiction, and an enthusiasm to write something along those lines.
5. The commute also helped with my writing/plotting. Driving time = thinking time and for an hour each day by five days by four weeks my mind wandered down various fictional paths. It helped that my commute looked something like this (peaceful, huh?)
So tell me: what do you like best about your job, whether in the home or at the end of a commute?