Monday, October 17, 2005

glutton for punishment

apparently if you're applying for a government job it is helpful to put "glutton for punishment" on your resume in the skills section, or at the very least mention it in your cover letter.

as i stumbled from my office at 9:30pm and fell into a cab i couldn't help but puzzle over what exactly it was about civil servants that makes us torture ourselves like this.

the fact that there were 3 cabs just hanging out in front of the government office buildings waiting for people like me to fall into them was an indication that i am not alone in this self-punishing behaviour of 14 hour days without even a coffee break. *eyeroll*

if i were in the private sector doing what i'm doing i could probably make close to twice as much money as i make now. i always said i wanted to be in the government for three reasons, first, the idea that i am doing work that actually helps people in the long run, work that goes to serving the public good instead of serving the making of the almighty dollar (don't get me wrong, i don't have a problem with a capitalist society, i just feel like money isn't important enough to me to spend my energy on increasing a stock price). the second was that i was under the impression that work life balance was a big deal in the government, that you could put in your 8 hours a day and then go home (where i got this idea i will never know, since my dad was a civil servant and he worked late every day, i guess i just figured he was a workoholic and it had nothing to do with his job). the third was the progressive benefits offered, i don't mean healthcare, i can get that in the private sector, i mean things like, compressed work weeks (four 10hr days a week instead of five 8hr ones), self-funded leave (work for 4 years being paid 3/4 pay, then take the last one off and get the pay that you saved up while getting paid less), stuff like that.

yeah, well, turns out i still work long frickin' hours, i could be doing that in private sector and making shite loads of money and not having any time to spend it... also, for all those fun benefits (including healthcare) you need to be permanent, which i'm not, i'm still going contract to contract.

but the answer lies in the first reason. the idea of working to help people. i work in the public service, the work i do serves the public. i work with two ministries right now that have the honour of helping the vulnerable. i get to work on projects that help put more beds in woman's shelters, that help public education campaigns about domestic violence, that help kids get a strong start on socialization and education, and so on and so on and so on. i'm bitching about the hours i work, but the truth is, i love my job. i love the work i do and i love the feeling i get from doing it. i am one lucky ducky.

and i guess it's because of (insane) people like me that there is a line of cabs out front of the office complex that houses many of the province's civil servants at 9:30pm on a Monday night. *eyeroll*

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