Lazy Luddite Log



Some months ago I lamented the lack of a particular job offer and then added a postscript to say that I had been offered another (temp) role. Well now I feel I can report on how that is progressing. This week we have had our contracts extended beyond the original January end-date till the end of May.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has taken on a lot of temp workers to process the information collected during the 2011 Census. The role has been more interesting than I had expected for a data-entry role. This is in part because we do more than just computer work. We also 'groom' forms for scanning and interpret forms as best we can - they even get us to draw family trees to ensure we have a full understanding of household relationships. More importantly however it is the way in which the working environment is structured that I have enjoyed.

One totally new thing for me is the practice they have of getting us to do stretches every hour and go away from our desks to get a drink and visit the loo and so forth. Nothing is too boring if in any given hour there is such a rest and I am lacking the odd twinges and aches I have had in other desk jobs. In this and other ways the ABS is an enlightened employer. They even offer a free confidential independent counselling service to workers and my curiosity and some personal concerns have driven me to make use of that.

The most important aspect of this experience is the human environment that the supervisors have fostered and the staff have run with. We are chatty and even playful at times. My workmates do things like draw faces on balloons and I never even set that trend. The group is diverse and yet there is an overall interest in the world that I have rarely encountered in a work environment. Even one of my younger workmates whom I had mentally categorized as shallow made passing reference the other day to Hunter S Thompson. I had better be more open-minded in future!

All this combines to be a job I am happy to go to every day - the most difficult part of the day is waking and a lot of that has to do with me having a full non-working life. So this extension is excellent and will allow me to have some stability and growing funds for a while. I will continue to be frugal but will also throw the spare cash at a few worthwhile but costly experiences such as live music and interstate travel. I am more into services than goods because ultimately I find it is experiences and recollections that enhance life. Mind you if I get some better clothes or the odd new (old) Transformer then that can happen too...

I feel more well-placed to go into a short Summer holiday feeling secure than I have for a while and the fact that I got this as much as a result of luck as by skill or effort is a bit sobering. Still for now I will relax and enjoy.



  • Luck and skill are often more closely aligned than you think. Don't underestimate your own efforts - they put you in the position where you were able to take advantage of the luck that came your way. And it's great to hear that you've landed in such a positive place.

    By Anonymous Emily, At 19 December, 2011  

  • Thanks Em. I do get what you are saying. Over time my work history has been looking better and hopefully this will contribute to the cumulative effect too. Federal government agency experience and city working are both new things for me.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 23 December, 2011  

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