Getting to Know You – What’s Your Day Job?

We start to get to know one another pretty well here in our little community. We share stories that come from the heart, putting our purest, deepest selves down on “paper”.

But there are probably some basic things about each other that we don’t know – the sorts of things we’d probably tell each other in the first hour of meeting face to face. The mundane things. The usually boring normal things discussed over coffee at a Starbucks.

So, I’m going to ask you a few personal questions. Hit me up in the comments section, and share:

What’s your day job?

My “day job” is about as far from my writerly self as one could imagine. My writing is usually dark, speculative, and a bit warped. My day job is serious, straight-laced, and professional.

I manage a retirement village.

Here in Australia, we have retirement villages that are stand alone, that is, not an arm of aged care. Sure, we have older residents residing with us (our oldest being 97), but we are not a nursing home. We do not offer meals, showers, nurses, medicines etc. What we have is 105 self-contained units that residents live in, where they cook for themselves, and attend to all daily living tasks independently. We also have a large community centre (where I work) where residents can come in, attend activities, play billiards, access services, and just hang out.

So what does a retirement village manager do? I manage the budget for the village including, accounts, wages, insurance, maintenance and gardening costs etc. I plan activities and outings (when we’re not in lockdown), and drive the bus on occasion to these outings. I attend medical emergencies (24/7, 7 days a week) as needed to adminster first aid. I arrange for maintenance of the units and village grounds. I assist with sales and refurbishment of units. And I attend to the constant stream of queries, questions, and quandries of 135 residents, their families, carers, tradespeople, and of course, our head office.

If it sounds like a big job, you don’t know the half of it! My saving grace is that I co-manage the village with my husband. We also live on site (I can literally see my house from the office)…which is both a good and bad thing. The good: my commute is 45 seconds. The bad: privacy…what’s that?

This mammoth job is something I love, and sometimes not so much, and is often the reason my muse runs screaming into the night. There are days / weeks / months when I just CAN’T write. Then there are times when I HAVE to write or go crazy! Or maybe I’m already there…

What about you? What’s your day job? Does it impact on your ability to write? Does it help or hinder your writerly self?

Let’s get to know each other!

32 thoughts on “Getting to Know You – What’s Your Day Job?

  1. I can’t really call mine a ‘day’ job in the literal sense. I work three shifts of 24 hours on, 24 off and then have three days off. I work in residential care, working with adults who have Asperger’s Syndrome. The main house I work in has two gentlemen, one requires 95% of your attention and even with the other 5%, he’s still vying for your attention, the other man can be left on his own. All you have to do is cook his meals and give him his meds. Fortunately, the gentleman requiring most of your attention has home visits every four to six weeks so you do get some respite. Of course, because he is so demanding, when he does go home, you are catching up on the cleaning and paperwork that you can’t do while he’s there. Fortunately, we have a system where we share those tasks.
    My shift patterns allow me to work as a supply (substitute) teacher on my days off and some mornings. So, I can keep my teaching qualifications up to date. Also, I get paid for my hobby. When I am free on Sundays, I referee American football.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RESPECT. That’s one hard gig, my friend. You deserve all the accolades for that job. I used to work in the disability sector and oversaw around 150 people with various disabilities who worked between three locations the company owned. Like people without disabilities, some were beautiful, some were kind, some were extremely challenging. I moved to aged care (as you know), but even here we have a couple of folks with (I suspect) undiagnosed Asperger’s. Takes a special person to work so closely with someone as demanding as your gentleman sounds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jess. Funny thing is that right now we’re at the company’s Day Service using the computers and the gentleman in question is throwing fits each time the computers don’t respond fast enough. I’ll need a stiff drink when I get home tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been in the real estate industry for 30 years. I don’t list or sell (although I am licensed), but rather handle project management and marketing. I can relate to your situation some, Jess. Way back, I used to manage a 256 unit apartment complex. My husband and I lived on site. I only did it for a little over a year, but there was that feeling of never getting away from my job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, real estate?! I didn’t see that for you, Mae. I’d have guessed you ran your own Private Investigative company! 🙂
      Then again, I DO see glimpses of real estate industry experience sneaking through in the description of some of the houses in your books – the brownstone… Madison’s manor home… yeah. Now I see it!

      That’s exactly the feeling – never getting away from the job. If I turn and look over my shoulder now, I can see the community centre, my office, and whoever is out wandering around the village. In other words, my days job!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When you live on site, those away vacations are all the more important.

        And I once took a very detailed Myers-Brigg test that told me where I should work (anything related to creative arts or teaching) and the two jobs I was least suited for: lawyer and real estate.

        Go figure, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It was nice to get a glimpse of the nitty-gritty of your daily life, Jess. You do sound busy!! OMG. It’s amazing you have time to write. For the past 10 years, I’ve had the luxury of writing full time. But before that, I was a mental health counselor for kids 0-6 and their families. Before that, for 18 years, I was a project manager for large office building projects across the US. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow and wow! Mental health counselor for 0 – 6s must have been so emotionally charged. You’d have to have the BEST boundaries – I can only imagine some of the tragedy you must have seen. Props.

      Sometimes I think all I want is to write full time, but if it were suddenly granted to me, I still doubt I’d have the discipline to do it everyday. I just don’t seem to be wired that way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw lots of dysfunctional families, Jess. The kids were great but acting out in situations that were heartbreaking.

        And I couldn’t write part time. I had to wait until I wasn’t working and the kids had all moved out. Lol. The problem was… that meant until waiting until I was 50 to even start. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. No way, my friend – if you write full time, it’s a) because you’ve earned it, and b) something I still doubt I could do full time. I’m what you’d say is someone with a short attention span. I think if I had the luxury of being able to write everyday, I’d find a way to get miserable and avoid it. *shrugs* Guess I’ll find out one day when I retire!


  4. That is interesting, Jessica. I am looking for such a place but probably in America! You’re right, about not asking certain mundane, normal questions. I hadn’t thought about that before. Me, I teach online grad school classes, sell my non-fiction education books, and as a hobby, write fiction. Lots of at-home computer time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A retirement community is a good option, but you’ve got to be ok with not having a lot of privacy!

      Online grad school classes, eh? In literature? You sound like you keep yourself just as busy as I do, Jacqui 🤗


  5. It’s good to learn a little more about you, Jessica! My day job is in nontraditional higher education. My current position is assistant dean of curriculum and assessment for Champlain College online. At times, I’ve let the day job take over my life to the detriment of my writing–but not anymore. I’ve wised up!

    Liked by 1 person

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