Well, it’s been a while but I’m back in the workforce. Private sector not public sector, so I can hold my head up high as one of the minority of the population who supports the fey, workshy, diversity-aware, waste of carbon and water who mainline the significant percentage of my income like some government-sanctioned junkie. In fact, I’m cringing at the prospect of that first salary slip as I’ve already done some cursory research on the taxation rates in the lucky country and it ain’t pleasant reading. Think “the UK Harold Wilson government of the 1970′s” and you’re coming close.
Working for the man is always demeaning but the new employer takes that to a new level, including finger-printing for the security induction and to allow one into the building. Of course, as many security cynics will tell you, with increased security measures often comes a complacency because of them. Back in the old days of photo ID badges, one would show the badge to a human being who would stand a reasonable chance of spotting if you were not of the same gender, racial background or hairstyle of the photo and stop you. Now, the automated system can be bypassed by chopping off my right index finger and placing it on the reader; nobody looks at the passes anymore. In addition, once you’re in the building, everyone leaves their laptops connected and unlocked on the desks overnight because “the building is secure”.
Last night, being a school night, saw Charlie and I trek out to Homebush to the Acer Arena for Leonard Cohen’s concert. I’m well aware that LC is an acquired taste so I won’t plough that furrow. I will comment however, on the incredible uplift in babysitting fees in Sydney from London. Now, I don’t know whether we were on to a good deal or not in Londinium but we’ve never had to pay much more than £10 an hour to get a reasonably-responsible adult to look after our brood in an evening. Here, the going rate is $20 an hour, $25 for two kids. Maybe our kids are different to anyone else’s but they’re in bed and asleep by the time the babysitter arrives so the only task left for them to do is to watch my TV, make an arse-shaped dent in my sofa and sip the half bottle of wine I’ve left for them.
Fucking easy money at $25 an hour, in other words. I may switch professions if “working for the man” annoys me any further.
The New Australian – doing it for the kids. Not to be confused with Gary Glitter.