Three weeks ago I changed venue from home to Anchorage, for some work related training. Then I changed venues from the Anchorage class room to my regular work station here on the Pipeline. Today I'm winding down my regular work duties in preparation for a trip Outside, where I'll spend the week doing clinical training and visiting friends in Kentucky. It's all part of the "break-up" routine for me, I guess.
I try to schedule my required training for the warm weather months, to concentrate my truly free time during winter's dog mushing season. It usually works out reasonably well through winter, but makes for a very busy period during spring. For example, I'll be spending half of this R&R Outside before getting one week off, then after my next 2 week work rotation I'll have to spend a few days of that next R&R doing more work related training, this time in relation to my duties as a security officer versus my medical duties.
If it seems like a lot of my "off duty" time is spent doing work related training it is because it IS spend doing work related training. About 170 hours per year for medical related training, and about 24 to 36 hours of security training. Those figures do not include the time spent traveling, or the time spent at the reading and computer based training that I can do during my normal duty shifts. Considerably more than half of my life is spent away from home on behalf of my employer.
My job isn't particularly demanding. Most of the time it is very routine. When it does become demanding the consequences of failure are extreme, so the company requires that I spend a heck of lot of time learning and practicing the skills required to achieve a less than fatal outcome.
So, when I leave here in the morning I'll stop at the house long enough to set one suitcase aside, toss a few last-minute sundries into another, grab a way-too-short nap, and head for the airport. It's all part of working for a living, and in America there are very few things more "old school" than working for one's resources. One thing for sure - between my job and my dogs I don't have to worry about spending too much time or money in the bars. My lifestyle doesn't offer enough free time nor enough money to squander in such a wasteful manner.
Once in a while I get to wondering what it would be like to have a normal 40 hour per week with weekends, holidays and vacations off type of job. When other dog mushers complain about their work schedules all I can do is just smile and nod. Yep, I truly understand that employment is indeed the curse of the leisure class.
At least I get to choose the venue for my clinical training, and the venue I've chosen allows me to visit with dear friends I otherwise not see very often at all. It will also allow me to enjoy some nice, warm weather, smell some flowers, maybe even walk barefoot in the grass before returning home just in time for mud season.