Hello. This year I’ve made the heady move from employed to self employed, with hilarious consequences. Not really, but that’s what you’re supposed to say. Anyway, I’m now self employed, something I haven’t been since my early twenties. It’s taken a lot of time to adapt to the transition of sitting around doing nothing at work to sitting around doing nothing at home.
The working day for the self employed person doesn’t really have a start or an end. Instead of turning up, doing your job, then going home to do fun things like barbecues and mending, your job manages to be both 24 hours a day, and no hours a day at the same time. To explain what I mean, let me take you through a typical work day for the self employed girl-about-town –
Midnight – 7am: Sleep (technically, but in reality you are dreaming about work)
7am: Up to see the mister off to his proper job, where he is a useful and productive member of society. Five minutes of self doubt and wall kicking follows.
8am: Seven million coffees. Somehow all this coffee fits into half an hour, leaving you with the ability to actually smell time.
8.30am: Go through work from day before, and stuff to do today. Realise the idea you had at 3am was shit, and wasn’t worth waking up for. Hate brain.
10am: Watch the news in case there’s anything you should be writing about.
10.05am: Hate Kay Burley, even if she isn’t on.
10.30am: Email inbox is constantly open but never looked at. This is because you can’t find it among the other 1370 tabs you have open in the interests of “research”.
11am: Write 8 words. Reward self with a break.
11.45am: Have cigarette on balcony. Worry that everyone walking past thinks you’re a bone idle layabout without a proper job. Worry even more because this is true.
Midday: check Twitter for the 798th time.
12.01pm: Hate Twitter for the 798th time.
12.05pm: Decide messy living room is hindering your ability to work. Move one cup from living room to kitchen. Have a break, as this was exhausting.
12.10pm: Really will do some work in a minute.
1pm: Cook food in a pan while crying.
1.30pm: Fortified by lunch, manage to write 8 more words. Celebrate by playing Tetris.
2.30pm: Find vaguely amusing picture on Google. Favourite it, where it will remain lost among the countless other bookmarks you’re “definitely going to write about in a minute”.
2.35pm: Consider giving it all up to be a lighthouse keeper.
3pm: See that the ‘unread’ number on your email tab is getting bigger by the second. Decide to have a relaxing poo to deal with the stress.
3.10pm: Put immersion heater on for a bath, which will help you think.
4pm: Have several brilliant ideas for articles. Put them in a Word document marked IDEAS, never to be opened again.
4.30pm: Find yourself reading Daniel O’ Donnell’s Wikipedia page.
5pm: Open a new blank document. It is now time for serious work.
5.05pm: Cigarette before starting serious work.
5.10pm: Distracted by something you read on Twitter while having cigarette. Spend time reading that instead.
6pm: Wonder if 16 words is enough for a finished article.
6.05pm: Realise that your several brilliant ideas from earlier have already been done to death.
6.10pm: See an interesting pineapple on tv. Clutching at straws now.
6.30pm: Immersion heater is still on. Kick self in the shins.
7pm: Watch The Simpsons on catchup.
8pm: Manage to somehow cook a meal, clean the living room and write three articles, all at once.
9pm: Tomorrow will be different. I shall clear my desk, then I shall sit at it and not move until my work is done for the day.
9.01pm: Attempt to clear desk. Nowhere else to put barbies. Give up.
9.10pm: Panic (round 2)
10pm: Feel like it’s bedtime. That’s what a proper person would do. No point going to bed because no point getting up early. Want to go to bed anyway because lazy.
11pm: Will go to bed after another hour of Teleshopping.
Midnight: Brain full of ideas. Too tired to get up and write them down. They will be lost in the mists of time.