Then along came the dastardly Evil Bosses who cast me out into the wilderness for daring to bring MS to the boardroom table.
Step forward the Good
Fairy Goblin Wizard, my best friend, who swiftly put me on his payroll and offered me a job with his construction company, giving me breathing space to find a new one.
One and a half years later, I’m still working with him. I love my job. I adore it. It’s flexible, fun and challenging. This friend held my hand all the way through the MS diagnostic process and beyond so probably knows more about MS than I do, thanks to my late-night outpourings of anguish, tears and ridiculous rage against the world.
Sure, when I’m on site (trying to look important and clued up), he sniggers when I trip over a solitary wood-shaving or kick something over for the umpteenth time. He laughs when my bacon buttie suddenly drops from my hand, and he directs me discreetly to a quiet corner when my yawning starts to spread to the labourers. I like that.
We’ve just taken on a huge project, so my job is secure for at least another year, or however long the boss can put up with me (hope he’s not reading this). We’re tying up loose ends on other jobs before we commit fully to it.
Last week, I was with him on a kitchen conversion. My main tasks were to measure up, jot down materials we needed and work out the logistics. Oh, and order a Portaloo for the big job (a very funny conversation with the lovely Emma in Bristol). We work well together, so without thinking, the boss called out, ‘there, no there, yup there, watch your step’, and ‘pick that blinking cable up before you lassoo your foot in it, you dweeb.’
My work is different every single day. And if I’m having a bad day, I make up for it another time. There’s no office politics (a huge positive after the vicious back-stabbing in my last job), no set working times and the men I work with are brilliant. They’re old enough to be my sons (eeeeeeeek), so I am a surrogate Agony Aunt/Mother. The Teenager has unwittingly given me plenty of experience.
So, yes, my career has certainly not panned out the way I envisaged. Not even close. That fickle finger of fate. But my job has given me the space to also do what I love most, writing, which is why I signed up for a Masters in creative writing. The best of both worlds. What more could I wish for?
p.s. I really do have a pink hardhat….