Friday, January 04, 2008

The perils of Frankie

So I have this ... friend ... called Frankie. Fandango. Muffinhead. And Frankie currently finds himself in a bit of a quandary. Frankie is currently working for an organisation towards which he has certain significant moral, ethical and political...reservations, let's say. Obviously he can't go into too many details about said organisation on a public blog, suffice to say its CEO probably won't be caught dry humping Sharan Burrow anytime soon.

Now, before y'all get stuck into Frankie for fraternising with the enemy, hear him out. He was particularly unhappy at his last job after a restructure effectively led to the death of his team and many fine people with whom he greatly enjoyed working left to find pastures greener. Frankie was slated to begin essentially a whole new position in a whole new team in a whole new office anyway, and he was about as enthusiastic about starting with this new job/team/manager as he is about Angela Bishop. And Frankie DEFINITELY isn't enthusiastic about Angela Bishop.

So he set about finding something bigger and better, but after a few weeks of job interviews that didn't translate to job offers, rejection letters or even, rudest of all, complete lack of any kind of response to expressions of interest in certain positions, Frankie grew despondent. When he was finally graced with a swift response, interview and offer from this particular organisation - with a chunky pay rise, no less - if nothing else it was a bit of a boost his increasingly fragile ego was needing.

Frankie, who happens to be a writer, has rationalised staying with this organisation on several levels:

1. Currently he needs ongoing income greater than any other point in recent history, given his schedule of moving and overseas travel over the next few months. And fortunately, he's only contracted for six months, so he has a get-out-of-jail card after that time should the need (most likely) arise.

2. Frankie's job essentially involves providing objective facts and information to the organisation's members about day-to-day workplace matters - he's not directly involved with the more troubling lobby/representation aspects of the organisation. Information dissemination is Frankie's game. And any good writer can report facts objectively without editorialising - that's what the nice folk at Fairfax and the ABC and sometimes even News Ltd do, isn't it?

3. Frankie likens himself to his public service friends, even though his PS friends probably won't like the comparison. Frankie thinks of his buds in the PS who have worked for years under the Howard administration even though they despised that administration even more than Frankie did - but hey, it was their job to enforce the law, not defend it. Well, unless you're Barbara Bennett, of course. Plus, they were always aiming to quietly effect change where needed from the inside, which is never a bad thing, right?

4. Frankie gets his own office, which he's never had before.

Of course, Frankie knows the counter-arguments to all 4 points that y'all have no doubt mutterered quietly to yourselves while reading this:

1. Doing a job, any kind of job, just for the money and no other reason can be considered whoredom. And I don't mean the empowering, I'm-a-fucking-great-sex-worker-who-loves-their-job-and-gets-paid-well-for-it-so-fuck-you-if-you-don't-like-my-job-coz-I-do sort of whoredom, I mean more the 'hey man, take you 'round the back alley here? I really need my visit from Aunt Tina, wink wink' sorta whoredom. Sometimes there are just more important things than cash.

2. Yeah right - Nuremberg defence, just following orders. Fuck off. You voluntarily choose to join the enemy, you can't whinge when they ask you to take out your friends.

3. PS folk have a legitimate Nuremberg defence, you don't - plus they always have the hope that, as eventually happened last year, their evil overlords will finally be vanquished and the sun can shine again, the happy townsfolk can return to their villages with gaiety in their hearts, bunnies can jump in meadows again and etc. Your overlords remain firmly entrenched. There's no hope.

4. The office is 80s beige blandness. It almost feels like it should have one of those green 80s phones that Ann Reynolds had in the governor's office in Prisoner.

I've pointed all this out to Frankie but he's still very reluctant to leave, at least not before his contract runs out. Nonetheless, he's keen to find out other people's thoughts and experiences. He wants me to ask y'all if you've ever worked in a job where you literally feel your soul slowly fading. At what point does the need for money negate noble principles - which let's face it, are nice and noble and all but don't pay the pickle man. When you can't be with the job you love, honey, do you love the job you're with or do you stay unemployed and pure?

I'll forward onto Frankie any and all correspondence.

Oh - and welcome ye to 2008.



At 4/1/08 8:35 pm, Blogger Jacob said...

Tell Frankie that selling one's soul is often necessary in the professional world, and indeed can build character. Just tell him to be really half-assed for six months while he prepares for this fantastic move.

As long as this probably handsome gentleman isn't working as Fred Nile's personal arse-wiper.

But yeah - I put newspapers on the desks of journos who don't know my name, so take my advice for what it's worth.

At 4/1/08 9:45 pm, Blogger Sam said...

You have your own office? Cool!

I mean...

Frankie has his own office? Cool!

At 4/1/08 10:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its only 6 months and Frankie is getting paid well so I say he should get his arse to the Wall and sell sell sell.

Just so long as he aint working for one of those gay-hate organisations like Salt Shakers, Hillsong or the NSW Liberal Party that is.

If it makes Frankie feel better since his Office is Prisoner grey we can drag Elspeth Ballantyne out of retirement and send her in as Meg Morris to provide soothing counsel as only "Saint Meg" can. Chris

At 5/1/08 12:06 am, Blogger cvm said...

I think Frankie sounds like he's got the spunk to handle it. We all inadvertently or not work for "the other side" at times. Sounds to me like Frankie can consider this a marvellous reconnaisance mission that has the benefit of bringing home the prosciutto. Kudos to him.

At 6/1/08 12:16 pm, Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

wot evahbodee above said.
Just take the money and party at night.
Will this job look good on Frankie's CV when he goes for the position he really wants?
That's all that matters.

peas and love, Brownie

At 6/1/08 3:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take the money, most jobs are a form of whoredom. I never liked any of my jobs but satisfaction doesn't pay the bills. When Frankie leaves he could just say something like "by the way I totally gay, see you!" Fun times.

At 8/1/08 4:24 pm, Blogger comicstriphero said...

You make several references to the public service - there are degrees of operation here.

Despite my public service career taking place almost solely under the previous government, it was rare for me to have moral quandries. But this was because I deliberately chose to steer clear of social, legal or security policy.

Those are areas where views are strongly held and there is rarely consensus. So it isn't necessarily true that Frankie would be better off there.

As for sticking in a job you don't like? Well, in my experience it is fairly soul destroying.

And I am speaking from experience.

Here's my somewhat hysterical and overblown account of that part of my life:

It is true that 6 months isn't very long in the scheme of things. But it depends how evil Frankie's work is. Six months of clubbing baby seals is very different to six months of incidentally contributing to the ongoing profitability of a company with dubious ethics, that would probably continue on profitably regardles of what Frankie decided to do.

The only person who can know what to do is Frankie.

At 8/1/08 5:00 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Thanks CSH - I actually remember that post quite well :)

I shall forward it onto Frankie and I'm positive he'll definitely take it under advisement.

At 9/1/08 10:12 pm, Blogger JahTeh said...

Dear Frankie, take the money, the office stationery, the desk, the chair, the computer and if there's a cute office boy, him too but send him to me.


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