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You might want to skip this post; it’s extremely whingey. But first, a randomism.

This is a cat called Tequila that I found on the Cat Protection Society website. I am officially in love with her, but I am not allowed to have pets in the flat, I’m allergic to cat hair, and I probably couldn’t afford to look after her properly anyway. Also I was watching RSPCA Animal Rescue tonight, which is odd because I hate shows like that, and I found myself miserably wishing I could have a pet. I really, really want a cat.

Anyway, that’s enough of that.

I’ve arranged with my boss to meet up on Friday morning for a chat about my future at AFES. Not that I want to leave, but I just want to see what he thinks I should be doing and to compare that with what I think I should be doing, and maybe just air a few grievances I have. There are things I really love about my job, such as the fair amount of freedom I have to design, write and edit. But there are other things that make it really difficult, and I am sick of feeling overwhelmed, panicky and kind of depressed about the whole thing.

That doesn’t sound like the ideal job, now, does it?

I love being busy. I love having lots to do and the sense of achievement I get when I finish a project – for example, Salt magazine. But, and I guess this is the case in any office-type job, I just get worn down by the relentlessness of it. There don’t seem to be seasons or ebbs and flows, it’s just one ongoing slog that doesn’t ever seem to stop.

Working for a Christian organisation has its own unique issues too – it’s fantastic to be working for the gospel, to be working for something I believe in passionately and to be part of this amazing movement. But, as with any Christian organisation, funds are limited which means you’re never going to be paid well, and you are tacitly expected to give a lot more of yourself than you might in a secular organisation for no reward or recognition other than being told “good job” every now and again.

I know money isn’t the most important thing, and I would much rather be working at a place where I felt there was some meaning to what I was doing. But when I never seem to have money once I’ve paid the rent and the bills, it can get a little wearing. I think about my skill set and what I bring to the job, and consider what level I could be working at in the secular world and I get a bit irritated. I don’t want a six figure salary by any means. In fact, I’m not even really after a pay rise at all. But there is a certain meanness about money because we’re always trying to be faithful to our supporters that I find really annoying. I am all for financial accountability, but sometimes it can be a little Pharisaical to my way of thinking.

The other thing is the issue about my holidays, or lack thereof…I didn’t realise how depressing that would be (for those who weren’t reading this blog at the time, I was sick for weeks and in hospital for a while, so used up all my holidays and sick pay, and kept getting paid. I am now really far behind in hours and am having to work extra to make up the time I owe). I thought I’d just put my head down, work the hours off, and it wouldn’t be an issue. Now that everyone else in the office is planning to take one or two weeks off over the next couple of months, it’s starting to get to me. Not only do I not have any holidays, but once I’ve worked off my hours I’m going to have to keep working extra to accrue any holidays for the end of the year!

I think what really grates is that it isn’t as though I frivolously frittered away those holidays; I was really sick. I couldn’t help it! Prince of Wales Hospital is not the ideal holiday destination as far as I’m concerned. Even though I know it’s above board and only to be expected that AFES would want me to work what I’d been paid for, part of me wishes there was such a thing as jubilee* in this situation.

It’s all a bit poor me, isn’t it? I went for a walk at lunchtime today and marvelled at the wonderful weather and thought how blessed I was to be reasonably healthy, with a job and a home, with gifts and the ability to serve. I haven’t really got it hard at all. But that doesn’t mean I have to feel exhausted and sad whenever I’m at work. There’s lots of good work to be done, and I want to be able to do it.

* Jubilee
a joyful shout or clangour of trumpets, the name of the great semi-centennial festival of the Hebrews. It lasted for a year. During this year the land was to be fallow, and the Israelites were only permitted to gather the spontaneous produce of the fields (Lev. 25:11, 12). All landed property during that year reverted to its original owner (13-34; 27:16-24), and all who were slaves were set free (25:39-54), and all debts were remitted. The return of the jubilee year was proclaimed by a blast of trumpets which sounded throughout the land. There is no record in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but there are numerous allusions (Isa. 5:7, 8, 9, 10; 61:1, 2; Ezek. 7:12, 13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chr. 36:21) which place it beyond a doubt that it was observed. The advantages of this institution were manifold. “1. It would prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the detriment of the community at large. 2. It would render it impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time, preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians, and preserve the theocracy inviolate.”
from Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary