My confession: I work in local government and I have a non-job
Here at welovelocalgovernment we do like to publish guest posts sent in by our readers. Today’s piece addresses the issue of non-jobs and has been anonymised by the WLLG editors.
My name is xxxxxx and I have a non-job.
There, I’ve said it. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
I have never worked directly with a member of the public. I have not cleaned streets, looked after disabled adults, planted flowers, been a lollipop lady, cleaned a sewer or even planned a new traffic scheme. Looking back on my career I cannot point to one example where my work ‘directly’ benefitted a member of the public enough that they would be able to say; ‘that xxxxxx, she did a really good job for me today’.
What is more; I get paid well for my non-job. I’m not on a Prime Ministerial salary but I make more than the national average and certainly more than some of the care workers, caretakers and street sweepers the public really value.
But how did it come to this?
I went to a good university, got myself one of those degree things and then, I guess because of my sense of public duty or something, headed off for into a public sector job. I guess I should look back on this with a sense of regret but little did I know at the time that my idealism was mis-placed and that I was applying for a non-job. What’s more I didn’t realise I had set myself on a long-term path to lifetime non-jobness.
But I progressed well. I was good at my non-job; sometimes I even excelled. This opened doors for me and before I knew it there were non-job promotions available.
So now I find myself at a cross roads. I’m a non-job lifer and I’m good at what I do. The public might not see me or care whether I exist or not but my colleagues seem to value my work. I’m also fairly certain that if my job did not exist then someone would have to invent it or front line staff would be doing it in their ‘spare’ time.
But should I continue? My skills would probably be useful in the private sector too and at least then the morality (has it come to this? Morality? Really?) of the situation would be resolved. But would I get the same satisfaction in the private sector? Despite everything there is still a sense of idealism to my work and if I do my job well then I believe I make the public sector just a bit better.
I want to keep that feeling.
And yet and yet… It may be because of Eric Pickles and co or it may just be the impact of the job losses but sometime I think that even I would let me go if I thought it would protect a few more social workers or street sweepers.
After all, my name is xxxxxx and I have a non-job.
Should I go cold turkey?