Judged miserable respectable

Respectable V Miserable

My first bluebells of the year. 5th April 2023

I am lucky. I have two jobs, both recently started, which I love. Both are part time. As well as being lovely jobs they are giving a bit of structure to my week and hopefully helping me to be more focused on my writing.

But something came up recently from someone I know who was trying to say about how she needed to give up her job because it was affecting her mental health. One of the responses she got was to basically get over it because she had a respectable job now. Thus implying that this person thought the job she had been doing previous was not respectable! But also that doing something that is deemed responsible is better than being happy.

What really got to me with this response, which was then followed the day beforehand by a fellow dog walker bemoaning his job, is how often we go for what is deemed as “respectable” even if it makes us miserable rather than following our hearts and trusting that the universe/God has our backs.

Yes we do need to earn “enough” [that dreaded word again] to pay bills, to eat, to live, but what actually is that? A topic I have gone into a bit before. What I want to do with this, and some other posts that hopefully will come out in quick succession, is to look at the way our world is progressing and what can we do about it.

So to start I want to look at how often we do jobs that make us miserable, that lead to others being miserable, but we do them because we feel we ought to “have a respectable job“, “use our brains to their full” – as if we can only do that in a job, and earn a “decent wage“.

At heart I am a socialist and think that many jobs that we deem as not respectable should be and those doing them should be rewarded for it. I now have my desk facing out on to the road [I’ll post a photo one time] which means I can watch the many different delivery drivers descending on the street. I wrote a post during the pandemic that said we should see these people as essential workers and reward them accordingly. But we didn’t.

We all expect our parcels delivered when we want them, to be able to go the pub, out for a meal, to a historic building/fun park/cinema/add your own whenever we want, but we do not see these jobs as respectable. The person who was told to stay in her miserable respectable job was working for a company that was encouraging people to spend money on their credit cards – not out-rightly but it was a credit card company and they did, as many credit card companies do, kept increasing the limit on their cards. But that is seen as more respectable than the person who gave someone their pub Sunday lunch.

I wonder with this policy of pushing as many young people to go to university as possible, with the idea being that without a degree you won’t get a “respectable job”, and then with many of them finishing up in jobs they could have got without the degree and are on minimum wage, if this is causing a widespread malady in our land.

More and more there is a demarcation between what is a “good/respectable” job and what isn’t. It is back to the judging business again. Putting things in boxes, but also then sealing the lid.

So I’m leaving this here and hope that myself and those who read this can just ponder why we would happily push ourselves and others into jobs that are viewed as respectable when they are making us/the other person miserable and are leading to more greed and selfishness.


By dianewoodrow

I married Ian in 2007. I have two grown up children, who I home schooled until they were 16. My son has just joined the army, my daughter has just moved to Cardiff.
I have a degree in History and Creative writing and a PGDip in using Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes.
Until Feb 2016 I lived in a beautiful part of England and now I live in a beautiful part of North Wales where my time is filled with welcoming Airbnb rental guests, running writing workshops, writing, serving in my local Welsh Anglican Church, going for long walks with my little dog, Renly, and drinking coffee and chatting with friends

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