In the small town of Brimfield, on the Shropshire, Herefordshire border of the United Kingdom, a flock of 4000 ewes is lambing with the assistance of 6 people, working in 2 shifts. Two of those people are working shifts of over 16 hours a day. There used to be three. But now I’m here, and one is ill so one stands alone.
I should be lambing in England right now. I should be amongst my sheep, tending to my flock. Taking care of the ewes, nursing the sick lambs in my tiddler pen and running back and forth in the middle of the night amidst snow and rain, searching for that one ewe that might be in trouble.
Instead I am here, on this warm continent in a job that I like but with a boss that I just cannot seem to get on with. There’s no love involved, no passion for my work. There’s only the dreary routine, the driving and the inevitable knowledge that somewhere in the future my boss was going to ask me to do another impossible task, insult my intelligence and call me a thief because I am presumably wasting his company’s money by drawing a salary. It doesn’t matter that I’ve brought in new business, that I’ve build up my own client base, that I assist the Master student above me with technical data. No. In my boss’s eyes it seems, I can do nothing right and even if my fellow employees keep telling me that they know it’s not true, it doesn’t make it any easier.
When I just got this job, I remember saying in a blog post that you have to be careful what you wish for and now those words ring true. I suspect that the irony is that I was happier waitressing. In the night. With difficult clients. At least there I got acknowledgement that I was good at what I did. My sales were on black and white not lost in the system of our distributors.
I don’t even know why they hired me.
But they did – and I have to get up every morning and face that. Tomorrow again, I have to drive miles away from home, sleep out and come back to the office to present my boss with a task he set before me this morning. One which by rights should take me a week but one which I only have a day or two for. Two days in fact – that I need to drive very far – and see a lot of clients. I will have to work at night – and risk being tired on the road. I can’t win this game. I don’t think that I knew the rules from the beginning. And, even if I find equilibrium in my company I know that I will never be as happy as I was in those years, in those cold nights in England.
I should be lambing right now.