Friday, November 8, 2013
Hi Friday. I'm so pleased you're here.
It's been a bit of a weird week for me.
On Monday, Dear Boy and I got lost...okay I got lost riding my bike to a new park. So I logged quite a few extra kilometres on these legs than I'd planned to. Physical exhaustion is not a great state for caring for a toddler.
On Tuesday, we headed to our old faithful park in the hopes we'd find it in a state of public holiday dessertion. Not quite. The glorious sunshine had brought our the hordes. And not just hordes, but noisy hordes conducting Melbourne Cup sweeps, teaching their children how to calculate oldds and what a trifecta is. Lovely.
On Wednesday, I was having a great day up until 10 o'clock when my boss called to inform me that the higher ups on some kind of committee had knocked back my full-time contract for next year. And not only that but they weren't able to guarantee I'd get a contract matching the part-time one I'd been on this year, or that there would even be any casual work for me to do. Once again, there's no financial security beyond November when this contract runs out. I hung up the phone, and for the first time, cried in front of a colleague.
I've never had ongoing employment. Not once in my whole working life has anyone ever wanted to take a chance of hiring me permanently and, up until Dear Boy came along, I figured this was the price I was paying for being in my line of work. But I was working my way there, moving forward and slowly, slowly, trying to build a "career". That one phone call fairly well stuck a massive stop sign in my career path. A Road Block, a Do Not Enter, a Trespassers will be Prosecuted type of notice. I felt worn down and demoralised in a way that seeped into my bones. I know that this time it wasn't a personal decision. It was a faceless committee who has never met me making a decision about things they really know nothing about. As committees often do. But it's made me feel insignificant in a way that's taking me a little while to shake off.
On Thursday, I powered through my exam marking, allthough I felt so helplessly angry at my institution that I wanted to throw them all from the highest building on campus. I chased down students who hadn't submitted their work and those who had submitted all their work but never turned up to class. I collated their marks and worked out if I fit the bell-curve or would have to justify the number of HDs or fails on the books. I looked at a semester's worth of work, mine and my students, broken down into a spreadsheet and a final list of numbers.
On Thursday afternoon, I arrived at childcare just as they were about to phone me to come and pick up my boy. Teething, they thought. Dear Boy walked into my arms told me "so happy to see you; cuddle, Mummy" and promptly burst into tears. Then, when we pulled into the driveway, he vomitted all over himself. And then spent the next two hours vomitting. On himself, on me, on towels. Never quite in the bowl.
And today? Well today they're announcing the government funded research grants for 2014. And even though I'm fairly sure I won't be on the list of recipients, I can't handle any more disappointment.
How has your week been? I hope it's been better than mine.