The personal is professional and the professional is personal (or vice versa)

So here’s the thing – I get that life is not work and work should not be life. But equally, whenever I filled out those crappy career forms in school my main desire in employment was to do something that I valued. And as my ethics and politics developed this became more rather than less important. I spent a miserable 6 months temping in the ‘address verification’ team at Standard Life Bank (money laundering checking). Because we were often one of the last teams to correspond with mortgage holders we would sometimes be their first call when things started going haywire – like for instance when they couldn’t pay their mortgage because they should never have been given such a stupidly high loan in the first place. I may have cried in the toilets on more than one occasion. I definitely cried when I got home, frequently.

But I have been lucky, perhaps because that job made me so unhappy. I have sought out work that I care about. But that means it’s work I take home with me.

So I have authors as friends, which is awesome, but means I worry about the state of publishing and do feel a tinge of guilt every time I buy the 99p daily kindle deal.

And I take an interest in environmental issues, so Peter Hain resigning to advocate for a Severn Barrage is something I feel I need to investigate rather than accept. And every time someone rants about renewable energy being subsidised I start shouting back at the tv/radio/ newspaper/ internet. (FYI, every form of energy is subsidised in one way or another, it’s just renewable energy isn’t going to kill the planet, or indeed miners, or people who live near nuclear power stations).

But mostly I don’t understand how some people can be so very different in their personal and professional lives. Probably because I have made the professional personal, but still, when did it become professional not to think about people’s feelings, emotions and motivations. When did it become okay to disregard the impact of decisions and statements out of self interest?

Actually, stupid question. When Cain killed Abel, that’s when. And when capitalism overtook the globe. But still, why can’t we just be nice to each other, and live within our means, and not be self-serving? It’s nice to be nice, right? So why can’t we just look out for each other, listen to each other, learn from each other, and develop a better plan in so doing?

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