Saturday, 3 January 2009

How to avoid work - legimitately.

There are a small collection of occupations where you are allowed to hope that you never have to actually do any work.

Firefighters. Emergency room staff. Homicide detectives. All people who, although they may become mind-bendingly bored and start to worry for their jobs, could be justified in feeling a warm glow of satisfaction if they finish a shift and have been twiddling their thumbs and re-reading the day's paper from start to finish.

I've just started another one.

I'm an "Emergency after-hours on-call officer", and that should tell you everything, really.

In essence, I am the post-office hours contact if anything goes wrong with one of 40-off clients being supported, in their homes, around south Brisbane. So if someone does need to ring me, I'm already annoyed with the world. If a worker rings me to find out what's going on because they haven't been told that the shift is off because the client's in hospital, I have extra reason to be annoyed, but that's another matter.

Obviously, the mere fact that such a service exists is proof positive that there is a need - Not For Profits will jump through hoops to avoid putting new people on when they could farm the work out among existing staff, instead.

I do, however, take solace from the fact that in the last week, my colleague fielded six calls. I, however, have fielded six in my first twenty-four hours in the job.


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