27 days and I’ll be free.
It was in the summer of ’71 that I rocked up at the staff entrance of Eagle Star Insurance in Birmingham to start my first job. I lasted six weeks.
Still, it was long enough for me to earn enough to buy my first single (Suspicious Minds – Elvis) and first album (Sounds of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel). My one abiding memory of Eagle Star was of the woman who signed in the staff, drawing a red line at 9.03am to heap shame on those arriving a few minutes late. I was often to be found below that line.
Strangely, those six weeks have long since been airbrushed from my c.v. Did they even happen?
So I’ll have been gainfully employed for 48 years, which I guess is par for the course. I can’t particularly afford to retire, but in that respect I’ll be in no better position next year or the year after. So I’m getting out at the right time, and for the right reasons. As a professional accountant I’ve long since lost interest in keeping up to date technically. The young kids coming through are light years ahead in that regard. And neither am I as sharp and accurate as I was. I could battle on for a while yet, but I no longer enjoy flogging into work every day.
Plans ahead? Yes, some vague ideas, but I aim to kick back for a little while at least and enjoy the sensation of not being under work pressure. Certainly I’ll find plenty to do – my neglected writing for one, various bits of voluntary activity on the other. (Jersey has a huge population of volunteers, particularly amongst the retired classes.) At the moment, for example, I’m enjoying doing a bit of tour guiding for Jersey Heritage, showing visitors around the fabulous Mont Orgueil. It seems I might have been repressing an inclination to take to the stage.
As my 27 days tick away I may reflect in this somewhat stuttering blog on my work career.