Eva Bradley: Attitude workout for NY


Get your ass back to work, would ya? And if you're already there, how's about joining me in a great big whinge about it, huh?

The only thing worse than going back to work at the thin wedge of a long new year is going it alone.

After a week off so that I could join in the spirit of Christmas and the collective agony of tracking the weather forecast for any sign of summer, I got the jump on the rest of New Zealand and came back to work on Tuesday.

This was partly because all of Santa's little helpers had done their dash and there was no one to do the waiting work but me, and partly because I got confused and didn't realise Tuesday was still a public holiday.

The curse of the self-employed.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

As I drove in early to the normally bustling centre of town, the only competition for parking spaces were a few rogue tumbleweed.

Life was elsewhere, being had by other people, and the loud echoes of collective celebration in these very streets just a few short days ago had been replaced by the deafening silence of me, myself and I ushering in the start of the new working year alone.

As I fired up the computer, slow and a little rusty like me after a week of hibernation, I felt a heartfelt sense of resentment that I had to work for a living.

Each year at the Christmas break, it seems to take only a few days of sleeping in, socialising and eating and drinking to excess to undo a previously unshakable work ethic.

It seems when we are worker ants, marching two-by-two to work in a semi-catatonic state five days a week, we are lulled into a habitual acceptance that our lot really isn't that bad.

But give us a holiday and allow the proletariat a communal chance to step off the treadmill and see, do and be whatever the hell they want and I reckon you've got yourself a problem.

The unexpected upshot of starting work on Tuesday, of course, was that by the end of the day when so many others were just beginning to be slowly consumed by a massively increased dose of the Sunday night blues, I was one day ahead of the rest.

I felt rather smug about the fact that the 100 waiting emails had already been answered and another working year was one day closer to being over.

On Wednesday, I got up with a fresh sense of determination to grab the working year by the horns.

But by 10am as the still-deserted central city streets began filling with jandals and guidebooks instead of high heels and laptops, my enthusiasm waned.

The irritatingly happy holidaymakers were still beating the streets with lattes and the sort of carefree joie de vivre that made me want to punch them in the face simply to wipe the smile off it.

To make myself feel a little better, I sent out a Facebook wail asking if there were any other sad buggers like myself having to work when everyone else wasn't.

It was an excellent move because I got instant feedback (a sure sign that people are on the payroll) with horrific accounts of shift work right through Christmas and New Year and no sign of a break any time soon.

As much as I still resented the holidaymakers swanning about town while I worked, I had to concede that a few days ago, I had been that person to somebody else.

The best I could hope for was just to put my head down and my bum up till mid-January when life and the working week kicked back into cruise mode for sure.

Till then I resolved that life was an attitude and mine had to change.

Putting on my bravest face, I walked into the throng of vacationers in search of my morning coffee with a smile and my own best wishes: A Happy New Working Year, to you all.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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