Sink or Swim time…

I am sitting at my desk at nearly seven at night for the third evening in a row. Actually if I leave before eight I may even feel I’m working part-time, such is the work load currently on my desk. Everyone wants something and everyone wants it yesterday. I have that ‘swan’ feeling – you know the one – above you’re smiling and looking (relatively) calm whilst underneath you’re paddling away like mad hoping no-one asks you to contribute anything of any worth as you can’t even remember your name at the moment!

I recently read that we should stop work every ninety minutes and take a fifteen minute break. Apparently that way we are more productive. Nah, that just leads to further panic setting in. I can’t stop – if I do I’ll realise just how much more I have to do and end up running screaming from the building.

So, moan over what do I really think when I’m hunched over my desk long after I know that I really should go home? What do I think when I lift my head for a moment and look around?

I. Am. So. Lucky. Really it’s true, and it’s something we forget to remember…if you know what I mean.

I read recently that no matter what you’re doing and how much you don’t want to do it: mopping the floor, ironing a shirt, cooking dinner for the family when you’re tired, scrubbing the toilet, (you may have noticed I’m not keen on housework), putting out the bins, painting a wall, working late…someone, somewhere in the world would love to be doing that.

There are people who don’t have a family to care for; don’t have a home to take care of; don’t have a job to care about. Makes you think…well, makes me think.

And it really came back to me this week with the launch of the ACEVO report ‘Youth unemployment: the crisis we cannot afford’.

The report lays out the stark and shocking facts of the plight of our young people today – especially in the North East. Furthermore, I read in the paper this morning that a politician (who shall remain nameless but she knows who she is) claimed there was no shortage of jobs just a lack of skills and a ‘fear’ of work. Really? Perhaps she might want to read the report before making such claims!

To coin a phrase, they are our future. But with high university fees, high unemployment and DWP contracts which prevent the VCSE sector doing what they’re so good at i.e. reaching those furthest from the job market, I believe we’re letting our youth down. And quite frankly I don’t care if its a labour legacy or a coalition cock-up. I want solutions not excuses.

So I’m sitting here with a pile of work on my desk, an aching back, stiff legs and a strong desire for a G&T. I’m sitting here wondering if tonight I will swim through it triumphant or sink and surrender into a black hole never to be seen again.

But you know what? I am so lucky. So very very lucky.


About allisonagius

Executive Director of Catalyst , a strategic support organisation that provides support to voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises within the borough of Stockton on Tees. Spare time is taken up with two teenage children, writing to build on the books already published, riding a huge black motorbike and running to maintain physical health and mental clarity. :OP
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