3 May 2008


This work-life balance thing is harder than you might think. Almost every morning I have sat down at my computer to write my blog, but each time something has stopped me. Blogging is not work, it's something I choose to do, but something is blocking me. I think it's the "work ethic"...

There is always something one "ought to" be doing. One day it's checking the bank accounts and paying the bills; today it was the housework; at the end of the month it was paying the bills and doing the VAT return. And if the phone rings, well it has to be answered, doesn't it?

Today, though, I'm rewarding myself for hoovering and dusting, by sitting down for 30 minutes to write this. A strange thing, this belief in a "just world" of rewards (and punishments?).

Teachers are strange too. At our school an "early efficiency retirement opportunity" has been advertised. In order to
help realign its staffing in line with the changing curriculum, teachers who are within a few years of retirement can volunteer to leave now. They are being offered a lump sum payment during 2008-2009 of 50% of their final salary.

Apparently teachers are queueing up to apply for this. In my experience teachers can't wait to retire. They are full of plans and the things they want to do. Most intend to retire at 55 anyway, and of course they have a high enough salary to save for their retirement, and a good pension to look forward to. But they will not admit that they are the lucky ones, and show no appreciation of the fact that most of the population don't have these options, and many will have to work till 65 or 70.

One teacher commented to me that if the 50% is not enough, she might take a "little admin job" to tide her over: "something mindless, that I don't have to think about till 5 to 9 in the morning, and can forget about by 5 past 5 every day". How patronising! I have first hand experience of this lady's organisational and computer skills, and I would not give her a reference...

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