The good worker

Slaves enslave their masters” (Greer 2006)

That’s a quote taken from The Female Eunuch, a book I recently revisited.

I have been reading some more books about feminism and inequality in recent months. I thought if I researched some more I’d find some  inspiration for new drawings to add to my sketchbook collection.

But I haven’t. I only found that the more I read the more I want to read.

So instead of drawings I will share my thoughts in small, piecemeal blog posts. Such as this one.

I had a conversation with someone at a bus stop recently. He mentioned he worked at an NHS centre, a day service that opens office hours (9:00am to 5:00pm) for a particular group of patients. He was waiting for the 9:00 pm bus because, he said, they had lots of paperwork to do after their assessments and didn’t feel right to leave work undone. I jokingly said I hoped he was getting paid for his time. He replied they had spoken to managers but it hadn’t been resolved yet. Still, it appeared, he felt it was the right thing to do: to work after hours for no pay for the sake of their patients.

Really? So it is right for people to provide unpaid work regularly and not to expect compensation? So when those services get reviewed in future by commissioners, managers, government they will be expecting similar results within similar budgets and similar unpaid working hours?

I found the situation sad. He seemed to think he had no options.

It reminded me of a story I heard many years ago, told as a joke. 

Once upon a time there was a farmer who decided he would like to make some economies.

The farmer decided to start by not feeding his donkey one day per week. The donkey seemed to accept it and kept on working as before. Then the farmer increased the saving to two days per week. Some time passed. The donkey kept working. The farmer increased the economy to three days per week. Time passed. Then four days per week. Then Five. Then six. Finally it reached 7 days per week. On the seventh day the farmer found the donkey had died.

Looking at it in sorrow, the farmer lamented: What bad luck, to die when it was almost fully trained!



Thanks for reading this.

I’ll keep reading and putting pen to paper when the inspiration takes me.




Greer, G.(2006) The Female eunuch. London. Harper Perennial. p.371