Daily prompt: The 20/20 of hindsight

Daily Prompt
Nightmare Job
In honor of Labor Day in North America, tell us what’s the one job you could never imagine yourself doing.

Oh, I don’t know… Brain surgeon? Atomic physicist? Collector of tolls on the Harbour Bridge? Grape treader? But my imagination’s pretty good. It can encompass most things (short of miniskirts, street corners and kerb crawlers). And what’s more it’s had to. You don’t support four kids by being too picky.

But things it doesn’t want to encompass… Anything to do with maths, being cold, food tasting and boredom. That’s about it. And boredom is by far the worst.

It’s amazing what you can get used to, if you have to. Amazing and rather scary, in retrospect. The danger is that if you’re busy enough, outrageous becomes normal. Or maybe that’s just me. Quodcumque Facitis Ex Animo Operamini – Whatever you do, do it with you whole heart. Being a dedicated Anglican school, they liked to tell us it meant ‘do it as unto the Lord’, but either way, when you add a horrified shudder at anything even vaguely resembling self-indulgence, it’s powerfully disempowering to impressionable adolescent girls raised in an age of obedience. Throw in a desperate need for gainful (and legal) employment, and I was gift to exploiters and slave-drivers, and who’d be fool enough to pass that up? And who can blame them? More fool me!

But it’s all a learning curve, nothing’s wasted, and it makes retirement particularly delectable. Not only can I never imagine myself doing any job ever again, but nobody else can imagine it either. I’m far too old, they’d say. More fool them!


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10 Responses to Daily prompt: The 20/20 of hindsight

  1. Martha Kennedy says:

    Oh I agree completely — it’s very scary what we can get used to. I shudder at the reality of this.

  2. I worked for a company for 17 years where the only perk we could count on was use of the office umbrella – if the boss didn’t get to it first. But I learned a lot from the man and it ultimately led to good things. And I enjoyed what I was doing. That makes a difference.

  3. bkpyett says:

    I’m so pleased that you have found writing Helen, something no one can take away from you!
    Boredom well at bay! 🙂

  4. Oh Helen I’m with you on this one! That need for gainful employment coupled with a desire to please can lead to all sorts of horrible jobs and exploitative situations. Throw in Anglican and obedient… well, thankfully you found writing. Hooray for the rest of us reading you!

  5. Monicle says:

    So true about being raised to be obedient and then exploited. Not only in work but in marriage. I was forty years old when I finally learned to say ‘no’.
    My mom would say, “but it’s a character-builder”. Well, at least we have lots of character! And live in countries that care for the aged.

  6. Our generation had it tough – all that un-learning we had to do, to stop being ‘good girls’ before the bra-burners lynched us! And I do remember thinking ‘if my character isn’t built by now, it never will be’.

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