Pizza Shop Was Packed

Crust Pizza at Surry Hills

Crust Pizza at Surry Hills

The pizza shop was well and truly packed to the rafters. Another cold, wet Friday night in Sydney, and the thoughts of many Sydney-siders had obviously turned to take-away pizza. “I did the same thing”, a mate told me on the phone tonight.

Earlier in the evening I had been to some “after work drinks” with some colleagues. As you may have read, it’s been a fairly intense twenty-four hour period at the organisation I work at. So when a colleague came into our area late this afternoon and said, “let’s go for a drink” there was quite a few of us who were quick to “down tools” and head to the pub. I still had a few things to do, so I went back later, and finished them off.

But yeah, a beer with colleagues was a good way to end the week, especially for us “lifers”. It’s a phrase I first heard used about ten years ago. For a brief moment, I dated someone who worked in another part of the ABC. A year or two later he, we saw each other in the street, and he asked the question, “so you’re still working for the ABC”. When I replied in the affirmative, he replied, “yeah, I always knew you’d be a lifer”. He was using the word in the negative sense, whereas I’ve come to realise it’s quite a positive thing. There’s a real diversity of people I work with, but there’s a common commitment, generally speaking, to independent journalism. And if you were to say there’s an “ABC Culture” (often describes in the culture wars), I’d say yeah there is… a culture of respect for the individual and for independent thought.

That said, returning to work after a few weeks break is never an easy thing. You have a wonderful experience. You see some great places. You meet some interesting people. You share the experience with a good friend, and then you’re back to life, back to reality…

I’m pretty sure it was Wednesday when the “travel glow” wore off. For the previous week, I feel like I had still been in “travel mode”. But then on Tuesday evening I picked up my suits from the dry cleaner – a little bit of rainy weather mould while I was away – and I went back to work on Wednesday to resume my usual routine. On Wednesday night I went back to Swedish class – we have a couple of new people – and then met with my friends at the pub for our regular drinks session. Naturally enough, there was lots to talk about, with both Graeme and I sharing some of our travel experiences. But as much as I love both of these things, it kinda felt like I was returning to a “routine”.

So by Wednesday, Thursday I had begun to feel as if life had returned to normal. It’s a routine I’ve been trying to break. I slotted in a few things earlier in the week – there was a cabaret night at Slide and a film night at The Shift – but I never quite found the motivation to leave the house. And then by Wednesday, I was back into a routine. By Thursday, I had tried to break the routine by spontaneously deciding to go to “Fruits In Suits”. It had been twelve to eighteen months since I had been there. I’d stopped going because it wasn’t really “my thing”. I gave it a go again on Thursday night, and I concluded it still wasn’t “my thing” which is a bit of a shame.

And so I texted a friend, went over to his place, had a couple of beers, and shared a few laughs.

And then later in the night I got a phone call from work outlining what had happened. Sobering to say the least.

So with the weekend ahead of me, I’m approaching it with a fresh desire to keep active and not fall back into a routine. I’m planning on going shopping with a friend to help him purchase a new television, and then on Sunday I’m heading off to Newcastle for the day.

  1. I was sad to hear what happened to your fellow ABC workers. I imagine it was very shocking for you and all the other ABC employees.

    And I agree with you. I think working for the ABC is a very positive thing.

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  2. Thanks, now I have a pizza craving and nowhere to get it from. Too bad the weather is so bad this way…eat well in Newcastle!

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  3. I came to comment but became delightedly distracted by the timeline up on the right (made me realise how long it has been since I looked at your blog and not via Reader).

    We’ve a couple of ex-ABC-ers at the SaltMinesLimited – obviously it is only the fabulous and sane who become lifers (because my colleagues are quite the opposite of sane and fabulous). We use that term too – I suspect I am well on my way to becoming one of them.

    I hope you manage to maintain the routine avoidance, it’s very difficult isn’t it?

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