Choose be­tween job, work

The Morning Bulletin - - YOUR SAY - JENNY GROTHER

WHAT is work any­way?

As well as my per­sonal and club Face­book pages, I also be­long to a Face­book page for teach­ers and re­lief teach­ers.

As De­cem­ber drew near and the end of the school year loomed en­tic­ingly be­hind re­port cards and clean­ing up, it was in­ter­est­ing to note the split in the par­tic­i­pants.

Those who were per­ma­nent teach­ers put up posts like, “Yee Ha! Only two more Mon­days!” and “Woo hoo! Nine more sleeps un­til I can keep on sleep­ing!”

The re­lief teach­ers seemed to be post­ing things that con­veyed a quite dif­fer­ent mes­sage. Posts like, “Oh dear. Only eight more days of work” and “Five more days. I am start­ing to panic about how I am go­ing to man­age for six weeks without work.”

Some­one once said that be­ing un­em­ployed was like be­ing on hol­i­days – without hol­i­day pay.

I sup­pose I am lucky be­cause I never con­sid­ered teach­ing as “work”. I liked what I did.

For me, school hol­i­days were not so much a chance to sleep in, as a chance to do jobs around the school that could not be done while chil­dren were there.

Grass is much eas­ier to grow when there are no lit­tle feet run­ning over it.

When we were chil­dren, we worked along­side our par­ents.

In­ter­est­ingly, our par­ents did not con­sider things like dig­ging out bore drains, pulling Noo­goora burr and mark­ing lambs as “work”. They were “what we did”.

Our par­ents also re­ally loved the cat­tle, the sheep and the horses, as well as the usual range of work dogs.

While the days may have been long, our par­ents never once com­plained about the dust and the heat and the flies. Our fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion was de­ter­mined more by mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions than the amount of hours we put in.

Dad did not be­lieve in work­ing be­fore break­fast. Some­one once said to me, “Gosh, you must have early break­fast if you are milk­ing cows, feed­ing horses and other an­i­mals in the morn­ing.”

“Au con­traire,” I replied. “That’s not work. Those things are just jobs.”

Some­one said that be­ing un­em­ployed was like be­ing on hol­i­days. I sup­pose that I am lucky be­cause I never con­sid­ered teach­ing as ‘work’

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