As my notice period has worn on and work dried up there’s been fewer reasons to leave home each day. Of course most of us are pretty fully focused on trying to sort out what happens next so having time to spend on yourself is not such a bad thing. But having a virtually empty diary is an odd thing after years of having my future mapped out by the half-hour.
My lack of work has enabled me to schedule and take all my leave that I’m due. That means no additional pay-off when I go. Again actually exhausting my leave entitlement has not happened for ten years or more. I’d always been too busy answering my employer’s call.
Lurking at home, as many of us are, is great for a while but it’s easy to get isolated. Mind you it’s quite easy to be isolated at work as well given the empty desks and offices left by those for whom the R-bell has already tolled. But at least the heating’s on.
Back in my university research days there was a chap who was always in the library from when it opened round to when it closed. He was slightly shambolic in his dress but no odder than most of us. My cohort of post-grads assumed he was a research student. I still remember being mildly shocked when I found out he was unemployed and suffered from some form of mental illness. Coming into the library everyday gave him order and structure. Company and warmth.
I must ‘fess up here to having been into my local university library a couple of times myself recently. I’ve been doing some personal research to help me with what happens next. But I do have to say that it has been great to be somewhere that almost throbs with energy.
I’ve also been meeting up with folks I have been in touch with via the internet. It’s been great to meet such enthusiastic and impressive people. Social media opens up so many potential avenues for finding new projects. And people have been generous with their time and experience. It’s always easier to tread in the footsteps of someone who has already made the journey.
I am heading out again today to exchange ideas with a long-standing social media pal. I’m certain one of the things we’ll be talking about was yesterday’s speech by the PM. I was struck by several things in the speech.
In the context of recent events in the US the civility of the language was striking. Indeed the PM went out of his way to praise the extraordinary talent in public services. Albeit he then named the usual suspects – doctors and teachers. First-rate administrators aren’t really on the ‘nice’ list.
I couldn’t help wonder whether some ministerial teams have simply missed the memo from Number 10 on the new civility. Some ministers seem incapable of using the term public sector without adding one of their favourite adjectives: lazy; bloated; inefficient; burdensome; costly; bureaucratic; or, go on add in your favourite here.
Of course the test of the government’s ambitions for public services will not be measured in words, however civil. It’s results that count. And, of course, that’s where the trouble starts. But that’s a whole different blog.
Time to pick up my thermos and cheese roll for some networking.