Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cheer up Grumpy

I like my job. I don't love it, but I usually enjoy most aspects of it. As with all jobs there are some things about it, particular duties or particular people which diminish enjoyment: things which tarnish the shine. It's easy for me to find fault with my job because it isn't what I want to do long term. In fact, I would happily quit tomorrow to be a full time writer. I need a lot more people to buy my books before I can do that though.

I operate under the burden of an onerous reporting and regulatory system. This is necessitated by the fact that we have a government contract for the provision of language and literacy training, and governments love paperwork. The trouble with paperwork is that...well, actually there is a plethora of problems with paperwork. One of the difficulties is that it is notoriously prescriptive and inflexible. In other words, it does not always account for the blurred lines of reality. A quick example: We have a form called an IPA on which we must indicate that a client has improved in one skill indicator over the course of 100 hours of training. (Of course we have to provide physical evidence of this improvement)What happens if the client has not achieved a demonstrable increase?  They have to. But what if they haven't improved? What if they can't? What if they are 60 years old and suffering from a myriad of health problems,and they had never been inside a classroom until they arrived in Australia two months ago? What then? I already told you, they have to show demonstrable improvement. 

Leaving aside the indelectable and infuriating issues associated with paperwork, I wish to speak of another aspect of my job which sometimes makes me grumpy. Last Thursday, I had an attack of the crankies and it was caused by an impromptu after class meeting in my room. I'm a specialist English language teacher. I have post graduate qualifications and eight years experience but I am now being asked to think about supplying suggestions for the diversification and individualisation of content delivery. I know, right? I thought I was employed to teach English to adult migrants and refugees. Now, I am to think about computer courses, learn to drive courses and horticulture courses so that the individual needs of my clients can be met? It's yet another perfect example of the unnecessary complicating of life. It's like a disease, a plague. Let's make everything more complicated and difficult.

So, last Thursday I hurriedly tried to complete my paperwork, which I should have been doing instead of sulkily attending the above mentioned meeting, before closing time, because as I said I like my job but not enough to do unpaid overtime. I wasn't a happy camper when I arrived home. 

Grizzly as I was, I did not welcome the invitation to go shopping for a pair of shoes for my daughter, especially as it was not an invitation. To cut a long story short, the time spent out with my wife and daughter resulted in an unexpected recovery of good cheer, and subject matter for a blog post.

What makes you grumpy? When have you been unexpectedly rescued from grumpiness?

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