Sunday, 24 November 2013

Cloud Nine has got a job.

Yes. Yes I do.

Not a real job, mind. Not a ‘I think this might be it; I think I’ve found my reason for being in this world’ sort of job. More like a part-time job, one which helps pay the bills and which I am happy to do temporarily but which occasionally makes me think ‘if I don’t want to I don’t really HAVE to come back here ever again, right?...’. A job that is the exact opposite of the PhD – which, as you might know, often involved sitting alone with a cup of tea, clad in a dressing gown, reading a book quietly, not having to talk to anyone, and lost in my own thoughts. Reverse this situation exactly (go on: have fun, take a guess) and you might begin to figure out what sort of work I am now doing.

Having a job is great, because it means you get to be a grown-up. Doing a PhD did not make me feel like I was a grown-up (well, mostly just that last, unpaid year didn’t feel like that. You could maybe compare it to doing an unpaid internship, only it would have been a very useless one, with no company and no boss and mostly just no… point.) Getting up in the morning and putting on a smart jacket, then walking out into the car and driving off into the early morning world of working people and cappuccinos, makes me feel like a grown-up. And it’s great to get paid some money at the end of it.

But having a job, and becoming a grown-up, comes with its own drawbacks. (You know. You all know. You’ve all been there…) The FORMS you have to fill in. The sheer number of forms you get sent, just so you can get work/ get paid, can be ridiculous. The number of missed calls on my phone, as people start to chase me for unsigned contracts/ yet another piece of ID they need to see/ the telephone number of one of my references. And then, of course, there is the work itself: tiring, sometimes exhausting work. I now am no longer surprised that proper grown-ups (unlike procrastinating PhD students) sometimes don’t feel like cleaning under the oven, or doing the washing-up when they come home from a day at work (personally speaking, the sink has never been so full of dishes). I no longer wonder why people don't want to spend their free time scrubbing the shower, or cleaning the floor. (when I was doing my PhD, never had a dirty floor or a pile of ironing looked more attractive. Well, we can safely say that those days are over...)

I remember reading somewhere, or perhaps a Guru once said to me - …'It’s a trade-off; but ultimately it’s a beneficial one, because whoever makes the trade-off gets to be a grown up.'


  1. When I was working on my PhD, I dreamed of cleaning my house and doing laundry. Dreaming as in, 'that sounds like so much fun. I really WANT to do that. But now I can't, because I have to work on the goddamn PhD'.
    But now I am a working lady, with my PhD finished, I don't feel like cleaning at all when I get home from work. I still do not have a completely clean house (most of the time one room is very clean - the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen, but not all at the same time). I know EXACTLY what you are talking about :-)

    1. I tend to clean only when guests come. Otherwise, it's terrible in here. Oh, and I do try to do my washing-up and my laundry and clean up after myself in the kitchen (to some degree), but only enough to stop Social Services from taking away my boyfriend (they might do, right? if it gets too unsanitary?...)