Every time I travel through central London during peak hours, I always notice the grey and sunken faces of the people flocking home. What really I notice are the ground down, tired out commuters, that look like walking ghosts.
It is the parody of wanting to have the best of both world’s. The security of work in the City and the world of loveliness in the country, or the coast.
Once upon a time I was caught up in this nightmare, living for a short while back at the parents family home, and travelling to work in Putney. Now this was no easy route. The bore or being so far away from home, and having to finish off a project and work unrealistic hours, and still be back into work the very next morning at 9am was unreasonable. Not just because I had a long journey, but because I was not clocking off at 5pm, like the rest of the work floor.
My role was central to the projects being complete and delivered, and there was no time frame that you could have placed that within. My whole belief in the 9-5 regime is cynical. I think it is totally unrealistic. The main thing to realise is how much time you are actually putting towards the company. And usually including those worked lunch hours, and all that over-looked overtime, it properly amounts to another job entirely. But with the way most companies work, this extra time will go unnoticed, and for sure unpaid.
I remember when companies did appreciate hard work and that was before the Thatcher recession. Before the merges, and the buy-outs. Now companies are focussed on making a buck. Turn-over of staff is tantamount to any organisation, and sometimes people walk of their own accord. Relieving the company of any over-heads. Today the drive is to gain as many volunteers as possible. And to the paid staff, pile as much work on them as is humanly possible.
This is why people become cynical. Not only of each other, but of the whole corporate ladder.