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What is a 'weekend' ?

Aside from an excuse to do my best Maggie Smith impression, this post is about non-traditional working patterns and those of us who have them (and by default those who don't too) or those of us who just have lives that are a bit outside the 'norm'.

Partly borne out of annoyance (I'll get to that) this blog post was in part inspired by a friend's Facebook status  earlier today, which detailed his thinking he was late, getting up, rushing to get dressed...before realising that particular workplace (he has several) wasn't open on Sundays. Part amusing story, part the same sort of 'ditziness' that I share, but also the curse  of those juggling several jobs all of which are outside the 9-5: you're never quite sure what day it is or even time of day, and the weekend very often falls on a Tuesday.

The 'annoyed' part of this comes from, once again getting the distinct impression that I've annoyed a friend by not being available to meet up for a couple of weeks. It's not the first time and I go out on a limb here and say it's far from the last. And the thing is I feel terrible, but the reason I'm not available is I'm in work in the evenings, and at weekends when this person is free. It's as simple as that.

I'm lucky that, by default or design most of my friends understand, and it's probably why they're still my friends  They're also in the majority either artistic types with unconventional working lives/patterns or shift workers. Shift workers (I'm friends with two lovely nurses in particular) really 'get' my way of life-because for them like me, maintaining friendships and social engagements takes work when you don't have a set working pattern or fall into what society deems 'normal' life'

The other frustrating element is that because I don't have a 'proper' job (and I swear one day I will actually punch someone for that comment....) I have all the time in the world. Now when I'm not teaching or doing work for teaching or going to one of my other two part time jobs, yes my time is my own. And by my own I mean mine to work on my PhD. So while I can work from home and while I do have the chance to pop out for a coffee on a Wednesday afternoon, it means that probably Wednesday night I'll still be working long after those in 'normal' employment have settled down to watch 'Supersisze Vs Superskinny'.  It means that while you're walking in the park with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend on a Saturday I'm either at work, marking essays, planning lectures or if I'm lucky getting chance to work on the PhD.

Ah yes the husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend issues. I was reminded this week once again that I'm regarded as something of a lesser human being (ok, woman) as I do not have a child. I'm also frequently reminded that I'm a 'strange' being for being single at (deep breath) 28 years old. Look at the above rant, if it takes me two weeks to meet with a friend how/when/where am I supposed to find a boyfriend? Please if you have anyone suitable send them my way, but unless they get sent in my direction the odds of me having time to find one are fairly slim. I waste enough time online, of which this blog is a prime example, without maintaining an online dating profile.

That said, I did manage to date and dump a member of a fairly famous choir earlier this year. So there.

But seriously, I'm not some kind of freak of nature simply because I'm not dating a new man every five minutes. I'm busy. And I have other priorities  Doesn't mean it wouldn't be lovely but it does mean it's highly unlikely, because I heard a rumour that Saturday nights are 'date nights' and my Saturdays tend to fall on Tuesdays...

Likewise just because I have to turn down or re-arrange several social engagements doesn't mean I don't care, doesn't mean I don't want to see you. It just means our weekends don't match up.


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