Employment hassles 2

She’s having to get as much work as possible and has taken on part-time typing jobs which is well paid and has 2 full weeks in January which will be a big help – as they still have 2 cars – and some capital she doesn’t want to touch – I don’t want to help financially – indeed she refused but I do hope he gets something soon – it’s so bad for his morale.

I don’t know if X has told you the latest saga of his job – it seems to be driving him to absolute distraction. All he has to do is see that the people who see that the men do their work properly, do their work properly (?!! if you see what I mean!) He’s not allowed to make suggestions, cos that lays the department open to responsibility, unless through the proper channels – about 3 weeks, 10 bods and forms in quintuplet.

We have had literally nothing to do here in weeks. Organised the odd social function for the staff, drawn posters and sold tickets, very little personnelling though! They say it will hot up a bit in Feb. but that is such a long way off, and I am absolutely BORED. And you can imagine what idle hands can get up to. Actually, all I do is roll into work hours late, or skip off early and take long lunch times. My boss is just a voice at the end of the phone. He comes in occasionally to sign the odd letter, but most of them I do anyway as I can’t leave these things weeks at a time. He went to Europe in Sept./Oct. on a recruiting campaign, spending 5 weeks in Switzerland and England, leaving me holding the child. Enjoyed that, as I was ‘i.c.’ as it were, not that there was much to be in charge of!! He goes off again at the end of January to do the same thing in the schools and universities across Canada, so again muggins takes the can. And there are so many extra-curricular things to be done here i.e. skiing, skating, cross country skiing, snow shoeing – not that I do many of these – no time!!!

Schedule for idle office

Last week I started my holiday job. I’m standing in for a guy who’s gone overseas for 3 months. Quite interesting – would be even more interesting if they paid me as an engineer and not as a ‘vacation worker’ (a species little better paid than a labourer). As I’m doing engineering work I suspect they are acting rather unethically. However as there are plenty of students with no work at all I’m not inclined to complain too loudly!

I have a deep depression on me, due to the fact that is is impossible – and I mean impossible – to get a job here! I have tried the papers and the radio stations, and the TV stations, and the film studios. I have my name down on about seven secretarial agencies, and every day I look in the paper. Tomorrow I’m going to ring the advertising agencies and PR firms – and, would you believe, I am even trying to get a job teaching English to foreigners! The work situation is appalling: I’ve had several people interested in taking me on, but the economic position is so bad here that just nobody is hiring any staff. They had strikes here in practically every industry lasting for three months this summer, and I’ve met people who’ve been out of work for anything from three weeks to four months!

I got a job for about 7 weeks filling in while they are waiting for someone to come out from England. It’s a super modern air-conditioned office with most of the staff English and very pleasant and I shall be quite sorry to leave although the job leaves much to be desired in the way of interest for the majority of the time!

Underneath the huts is a little room dug into the earth where the potting [making pots!]– which is done entirely by the men – goes on. The women are not considered really clever enough to help apparently – although I expect they do heavy work like they do in the fields where it is they who pick up the 6 ft canes, tie them up and carry them up a precipitous ladder resting against the three ton lorries which must be backbreaking for a whole day from about 7 to 5.30.


nearly cheeseless

Having this job has been good for my morale. I hate being unemployed – it makes me feel useless and frustrated about being unproductive. Over the last year or so I’ve felt varying degrees of that because of being unemployed. Having some really excellent friends has basically been the only thing between having ‘my bit of cheese fall off my cracker’ as I’ve heard someone euphemistically putting it and staying non-cheeseless.


You were right about X’s not-job. It must be pretty tough after all that time with one company. I do hope he gets something else before too long. Quite apart from the financial issues, I suspect an unemployed X would quite quickly become unbearable.

Both the photography and the lace making have made me much more positive lately. I know some people say it’s better to perfect something one already knows something about, but I think to do something new and different can have a very positive effect when one is feeling down and despondent.

I did get your letter. I even replied but did not send it. I was feeling like I was going to collapse into a heap. It was the stress from the work situation, physical exhaustion, stress through my housing dilemma, and a boss who thought I was invincible even though I was trying to tell him I was just about going gaga.


I happen to be the most useless person in the world at keeping track of my finances (there are as yet undiscovered African tribesmen who could maintain a bank account better), and at the time of the wedding – and many times since, I’m embarrassed to say – I was seriously wobbly in a fiscal sense.

I have just vented my spleen on the local hospital management as a protest at the monstrous charges we have to pay under the reformed, streamlined, user-pays, homogenised, de-humanised health ‘service’. I’ll probably have to pay in the end but I guess a protest on the way won’t go amiss! I recently heard of a person who wrote to say she wasn’t paying on principle. The bill was handed to debt collectors. Their fifth letter contained the information that they had ensured that she now had the lowest credit rating possible and that in future no business in the country would lend her money, allow hire purchase or give her a mortgage.

I am very interested in the Heseltine-Thatcher quarrel, as Westland shares are one of my few remaining English investments. Obviously whoever wins the quarrel, I have lost most of my money in the company already – but at least if their future is worth squabbling about, presumably they are not going to be left to go down the drain without trace, and might one day get back to paying dividends and being worth more than the 2 1/2p that they are proposing to write the shares down to at present!

She seized half his capital and all the furnishings of his house. She then refused all his many offers of maintenance for the offspring and insisted on fighting it out in the courts at a cost in lawyers of some strange amount to each party. Then the judge by some miracle awarded her much less than X had offered her in the first place so she is ever skulking around sniffing for more!

I am alarmed at your state of having 2 mortgages and no job… I never have enough money – who does? – so for the past 8 months I have been taking in a student lodger… It has worked quite well – but of course it meant a lot of heaving around of stuff from one bedroom to another and the loss of privacy.

X wrote to me and said he was in S.E. Asia again until March. He must be about 90 by now. I hope if I live that long, that I’ll be able to get about like him at that age. (Silly idea really – I certainly won’t have enough money.)

no water

I moved into X’s house… He’s on leave… As soon as I moved in I found an unpaid electricity bill, I paid that and was pleased to have averted a crisis. Then I found an unpaid water bill and paid that. There was still water in the tank, so I didn’t know the water had already been cut off until the afternoon of 24th December.

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