Thursday, May 01, 2008

the lonesome contractor

The thing I missed about having a job, apart from the money, was the social aspect - the banter, the coffee breaks, the Friday late-afternoon drinks. And now that I'm back in paid employment, I still miss those things.

Because I'm a contractor who charges by the hour, I can't take breaks unless I'm prepared to omit the time from my invoice. During the quiet times, the permies are standing around making idle conversation while I'm intent on doing something billable. Because I've got a young child to go home to (and possibly also because I'm just over Friday drinkies), I'm unlikely to attend my employer's monthly (and paid for) drinks.

I've no doubt that there will eventually be work buddies. But until then I feel a bit like a Nigel No-Mates, eating my lunch in the lounge with a book on my lap and no one to joke with. Thanks goodness I have a life.


Make Tea Not War said...

The option of Friday drinks have come up for me recently. I've half considered going along but I'm actually more excited about my usual Friday night thing which is go to the vid shop and pick out videos for us all, then home for takeaways, treats and wine (wine just the grownups)and video watching and a slightly later bedtime for Z. That just seems like more fun to me. I must be old. I think being partnered also takes a lot of the fun out of heavy drinking in public as well. There is no edge of excitement of maybe you'll "get together" with someone because you already know you aren't going to so you might as well be home enjoying wholesome family activities with your loved ones and not getting a hangover. That way you are fresh for grocery shopping and housework on Saturday and... oh dear, that last part doesn't sound so fun afterall!!

Nigel Patel said...

I used to love Fridays at the bar.
Got almost good at darts.
It's still early, I'm sure people will start to get curious about the newbie in the lounge.
And the book will help as when I read a book in public there's a sublinimal message: Interrupt me.

Violet said...

mtnw: Sounds like a fun evening to me, tho I'd have to pass on the wine. But your Saturday sounds remarkably similar to ours...

nigel: the choice of book is important too. Something obviously chicklit-ty wouldn't do, but a serious Buffy book might have the non-geeks running for the hills.

Ben said...

*Sigh* Friday nights, how I miss them. None of my non-parent mates bother to ask me along on Friday night outings anymore and I don't even have any work drinks to miss out on.

Maybe we should try to arrange the occasional Friday get-together with other parents/contractors/no-mates.

Violet said...

ben: as mtnw commented, the thrill of Friday night possiblities just isn't there (or shouldn't be), when you're already happily partnered off. I'm going to organise a yum char though :-)

Angela said...

I too only get paid when I am working, but I have to stay a certain amount of hours even if I amnot working.
Maybe you could give yourself 15 minutes unpaid to goof off each day

Ben said...

Ooooh, yum char.

By the way, I wasn't talking about that kind of Friday night. I was really thinking about the post-partnering-up, low-thrill, chatting with friends over a beer type Friday night. We've taken Otis along to the Southern Cross on a few occasions to meet up with friends. I find it a great way to unwind at the end of the week.