Thursday, March 09, 2006



I'm halfway through. As is usual when you temp, it's a matter of having to absorb and retain information, think on your feet, look calm (ha!), stay unflustered. I am actually in an almost permanent state of fluster, but mostly I can hide it.

This time I've been parachuted into an organisation in the middle of a merger with another company. Working for one of the directors, it just doesn't stop - trying to juggle ten different tasks at once, snatched lunches, permanently ringing telephones, last minute panics, frayed nerves all around. It soon dawned on me that I'm not going to get away with much less than regular 10+ hour days, (more if you count travelling time), so I've cancelled all my evening engagements, put the blinkers on and got stuck in.

At the end of all this the bank balance will be healthier than it was, but I am very tired. Yet again, I have been reminded of some simple life lessons for such times:

- Be ruthlessly efficient about self-care. Eat healthily, morning meditation, in bed by 10.00 pm (I wake early when I'm under pressure so if I'm to get enough sleep I can't sit up and watch TV).

- Don't leave a sinkful of dirty dishes. Do them before leaving for work. Make the bed. Vacuum occasionally. Just focus on the basic necessities, the rest can wait.

- At work, first things first, i.e. prioritise. Just do the one item that's in front of me. Then move onto the next task. One at a time. Don't project, don't look ahead. Stay focussed. If possible, do the things requiring most brain power early in the day.

- This too shall pass.

There are other, more philosophical conclusions as well, but these will be for another post. Gotta go to work.


Blogger Jean said...

Oh goodness - This must make you very glad to be temping and not working there permanently! I completely endorse all your sound advice-to-self, and therefore know just how hard it is to keep taking it. Keep taking good care of yourself - so difficult, so necessary.

10:20 am  
Blogger MB said...

I adore this photo! It's really marvelous. I wonder where it was taken and why that sign is on that building...

Oh, Mary, you're up to your ears, aren't you? I'm glad you are taking good care of yourself. It's not easy, but must be done. Yes, this too shall pass.

3:56 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

Oh, oh, oh - that is one lulu of a sign, isn't it?!

Mary. Your survival plans are so like mine when the gun is at my head. Only I go to bed even earlier. It's amazing how just a small amount of structure and basic self-care can get a person through pressured situations.

I'm glad this isn't a really long contract though! You might (NO!)stop blogging if it continued.

6:55 pm  
Blogger starnitesky said...

Mary - I have done temping so I know exactly how your are feeling with all the new things to absorb in a short time.

Keep up the self care and you will survive this episode and the financial reward will make it worth it.

Take care

10:45 pm  
Blogger Dale said...


1:01 am  
Blogger justin said...

Hi Mary, I’ve just found your blog, and it is like a breath of fresh air. Brilliant content and lovely photos.

You may know this already, but “Take Courage” was the slogan for the Courage Brewery. There was a large Courage brewery in Reading where my family lived for a few years in the 1960s. I see on the internet that the firm has been taken over by Scottish & Newcastle. My older brother used to say that you needed courage to drink the stuff.

11:48 pm  
Anonymous Dick Jones said...

Yes, a great photo. If it was taken on your route to work in the morning, the slogan must cheer you more than somewhat!

9:31 am  
Blogger Sky said...

Great attitude, great plan!

4:44 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

Done similar stuff as a traveling nurse. Not a natural fit for me. Very stressful. "Where do you keep..... ?"
Good for the soul, and when I succeeded, the ego. Had my fill of it, learned a lot, glad to be more settled now.

Good luck.

5:00 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. It helps.

Justin and Dick. Welcome and thanks for the comments.

Justin is quite right about "Take Courage". It is only Brits of, ahem, a certain age who probably remember when this was a current advertising slogan back in the 60s. It's not exhorting readers to stiffen the sinews, it's urging them to have a pint of beer ... but I still really like this particular sign.

7:15 pm  
Anonymous ginkgo said...

Sounds like you've got a plan with appropriate points of flexibility. Keep it up. And yes, great photo.

5:52 am  
Blogger justin said...

"Take Courage" could be used as a present-day message to us generally, to get a move on and do something with our lives. Life is short, so make the most of it... especially if you believe as I do that there's no after-life.

5:44 pm  
Blogger leslee said...

I love the life lessons and agree with them all. It's tempting to run out of the house without doing the dishes and making the bed, but coming home to that after a long hard day - not good! I have to do these when I work at home because every time I see these things undone it looks like another insurmountable task. Bravo for the self-care, too.

12:22 am  
Anonymous Apples said...

Thanks for sharing the simple life lessons, Mary:)

Have fun at work!hugz

2:42 am  
Blogger Jessie said...

I admire your self-discipline, Mary, and appreciate reading the how-to. It's a good reminder, especially the point that it's not forever, it's just for now. It's easy to forget that.

2:51 am  
Blogger g said...

It sounds like you are in a war zone.

I like the slogan, Take Courage, either way. It's a fine message, for all occasions.

1:58 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Much appreciated.

6:47 pm  

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