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2002-11-17 - 10:05 p.m.

Annie and I were talking tonight about how quickly the year had been going, and she posed the question "does this mean we're getting old?"

"Yeah but you can rest assured that I'll always be 4 years older than you".

Actually this is a running joke that I've had with my cousin since I was sixteen, that when she's 39 I'm 43 (no you don't need to point out that this is in fact not a joke but a factual observation) but I didn't think of that until now. The age difference thing is weird with my friends- in high school even the year below you is another world, in Uni my friend Mel was the baby because she was about 15 months younger than me, while Tara was positively ancient at a year older. My cousin has always been a weird one- even at sixteen and twelve she seemed my age while my sister was two years younger- now it's just freaky that not only are Ellie and Annie younger than my sister (Annie is in fact three days younger than aforementioned cousin) but Cindy is six months younger than my brother. If I was still in high school or even Uni I could have been arrested :)

But that's another story. This was supposed to be a segue into talking about work as promised. Annie was like "tee hee, 25-30 demographic" etc and then she goes "you're going to be 30" and I quickly said "hey, don't get too excited we're a fair way off that".

And Annie asked "what will you be doing when you're 30?"

"In all honesty probably still in this job. I haven't worked out if that's a good or bad thing."

My Dad was in the same job for 20 years. Then he moved to the same position in a different place- and he was of the opinion that in the first instance he should have done a lot more job shuffling when he was in his younger formative years career-wise, and it might have helped him progress quicker all these years down the track when he was trying to get a managerial position. He's where he wants to be now (more or less) but not without a struggle.

There's a guy at work who has been doing the same thing day in day out for over 20 years, and is taking instructions from people half his age. Very "Death of a Salesman" or "Fred Jones Part 2" (ah you've got to love my ability to weave together American post war drama with modern pop). It might sound cruel but he's the laughing stock of the lab. It's hard to have sympathy for him because he just doesn't try- in a way you almost resent that he's taking up a position that could be filled by two graduates and each one individually would contribute a lot more than him.

I am by no means the most ambitious person in the world (my friends gave me the award for most apathetic attitude of 1998, but let's face it, I just consider other things more important) but I never want to be like that guy in the lab. But when I was winding up my degree I thought I would never find a job in Science that I could even bear, and I loathed research. Now I have one that I'm getting into, and while money isn't everything I couldn't expect to get nearly as much anywhere else with my current resume. It's not that I want to stay in the company for 20 years, but I can kinda see it happening. Although the company I'm in I could be out of the Science field before I know it and doing stuff further removed from my Uni days than, well, drama teaching or something.

I've been feeling really positive about my job of late. I was made permanent in July, I've since been told that the boss is at the very least satisfied with my performance, if not pleased, and I'm starting to learn the ropes of being the team leader of a shift, which gives me a lot of confidence in myself. I've been here two-and-a-half years but I'm the first to admit that ambition, responsibility and initiative haven't been my strongest points- I feel like I've turned a corner there.

The other aspect of work is that I'm kinda destined to be in a team that will be a lot less easygoing and fun by early next year. I'm not going to let myself get pushed around and have people that refuse to budge from the team they're on be rewarded for their stubbornness, but the reality is there's very little hope of me staying on the team I'm on, for a variety of reasons. I guess it's the nature of the beast, people leave and you have to re-equilibrate the shifts in terms of experience and expertise (you can't half tell I'm a scientist can you?) and I guess the good side of that is that my experience and expertise is being valued in that I'm being targeted for a potential shift change so I can become a fully fledged deputy team leader. That they believe in me enough to pencil me into that role when at this point I've never so much as lead the team for a night in the absence of the team leader can't be a bad thing.

If I had one of those diaries with "feeling", "reading", "listening" and the like down the side I would be "positive" at the moment. I think it's come out of having a productive day. I often find myself writing in here on my last day off, and sometimes all it takes is washing my car to make me feel like I've done something in my three days. On Friday I ran an errand for my mother in the afternoon, dropped round to Annie's, went out for cocktails, went clubbing (well the closest I'll ever come to clubbing), stayed over at Jane's place (yes yes), was party to my parents' party last night, and then this morning I got up at... wait for it... before 10.30am! How good am I? I put on a load of washing, wrote in my pen-and-paper diary, my brother came home from New Zealand, and I had a chat to Annie which was good because I think we got on each others nerves just a touch on Friday night but we had a really nice conversation tonight.

Friday night her friend Ken was with us, I felt slightly intimidated and redundant (possibly hypocritical even despite the fact that there is nothing going on between either Annie and I or her and Ken, since I am sleeping with her best friend), and she was being very abrupt and slightly caustic- at one point since she was very tired I thought I was being helpful telling her there was no point her coming clubbing if she was going to want to go home in half an hour like she did last time, she should save herself the effort, and she half suggested that I was encouraging that plan so I could be alone with Jane (something like "it's okay, you can pick up"). For starters I found that insulting seeing as there is no doubt in my mind that she is the most important person in my life, and while that might not be a mutual thing I'd like her to acknowledge my feelings rather than trivialise them. And secondly while said unspoken arrangement with Jane was on my mind that night it had nothing to do with what I said.

But enough of that. I said positive, and I'm once again in the accepting and happy frame of mind re: Annie and I (the one that says "friends is all we'll ever be but what we do have really is something amazingly special and I treasure it so much") so there is really no need to vent old frustrations at this point. I'm feeling positive about Annie, I'm feeling comfortable with this Jane situation and I'm feeling very positive about work. The silly season is almost upon us, I only have a five day week and then a four day break this cycle (Paul Mc-Fucking-Cartney might have cancelled but my day of leave is still there) and then it's only one more cycle until I have 12 days off (in which time there will be Homebake and Christmas shopping to do among other things), then it will be Christmas and then I have another 3 days leave immediately after New Year's Day- it's plain sailing until early January.

At that point I'll have these shift changes to worry about, but until then, onward and upward!


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