29
May
2009

The Day Job in London

London how I love you but how I do not love the high cost of renting, the high cost of transport and the high cost of everything else that makes a claim for your pocket as soon as you have stepped out of the house? These high costs give rise to the time guzzling evil that is known as The Day Job.

Most people think they have drawn the short straw when it comes to soul-sucking evils but I just know I’m in with an objective chance for the post of Queen of the Quagmire. Being a legal secretary has a proudly professional ring to it and you’re probably imagining me all groomed and organised running around for a groomed and organised man and only occasionally feeling like an objectified tool with no hope of her own individual career.

Let’s strip it down to basics. I work for a sole practitioner which means that apart from dear Alfred who pops in to do the book keeping it’s just me and Mr Solicitor all day long. Forget images of gleaming law firms with name plates on burnished wood doors, we work in a dingy first floor premises with only the merest hint of brown tinged daylight making its way to our crypt.

The clutter is something special. There are files and papers on tables, files and papers on the floor, files and papers on the sofa; hell, there are files and papers on every rung of a ladder that casually leans in one corner of the room.

This is a cry for help the more compassionate of you will think. Why this man needs a firm feminine reshuffle but wait, meet the man first because he has got more crazy too him than the theoretical child of Keith Moon and Britney Spears. His breed of crazy is so special, so nuanced, so firmly and personally his that it’s going to take a bit of time to bring it to life.

For starters he is not a bad man, he displays kindnesses I do not deserve, and he is not a bad solicitor. However, he takes this legal game and he applies to his life. Any question I ask of him prompts a poker face and the remark that we’ll discuss it later as if he needs to fine toothcomb my query for possible menace when ‘hi, I work for you, and I’m on your team.’ Secondly, he is a control freak, he groans melodramatically when a ribbon for the Amstrad breaks and will not let me do tasks normally reserved for assistants such as organise anything with clients.

Thirdly, and this is the clincher, he has the habit of eying me slowly a grin on his face as if I am lady who has just arrived for his pleasure. This is not so great and compounded by the discovery of sexygirls4u in the browsing history, strips him even of the grace of crazy alien. He is a man alright; just not the sort of man you would want to spend seven hours in a confined space with.

London, you must be glorious, to motivate me to stay in this hellhole, but with this vocation as my prime reason for getting out of bed in the morning, you’re becoming a little 2D. After six months of sucking up The Day Job, it might be  clever to open my eyes again to the possibility of a new London, without money yes, but with the other valuable thing in life: time.

Have you got a mental day job? Tell us all about it

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