This was how it used to be


It’s November but it’s still single digit temperature in the morning and I’m still pulling on a jumper. Some old timers tell me this was the Melbourne they knew before. I spend a lot more time with old timers these days so I have had reasonable sampling sizes when I gauge how old timers feel.

Maybe that’s part of my current problems, few as they may be. In my office on a day like today when the population size increases by 33.3%, the average age is on the wrong side of 50’s. On days when there are just 3 this piece of statistic inches ever more to the wrong side and has a closer look-in on 60. I shudder to think what happens when we take into account the other occupants of this building. It wouldn’t do any harm to my sense that I spend a lot of time with old timers these days.  And they all tell me this was what the old Melbourne was like – cool Spring mornings, even in November.

It’s not just the cool mornings – it’s also the wet. It has been raining, in an almost English sense of the word i.e., the rain never truly stops but it doesn’t bucket down like a tropical torrential downpour either.

So November notwithstanding, summer-like conditions are still only a promise. A bit like the here-but-not-yet eschatological kingdom thingy.

I’ve been in this NFP role for 4 months now. My work is a mish-mash of activities. I go through all in-coming mail, check on rental, mortgage, farmstocks and loans programs on the revenue side and distributions and donations on the disbursements side as well as miscellaneous building and tenancy matters. I also have some legal stuff thrown in, although for the most part it was tax stuff and my contribution was muted at best. The Treasury came up with an “in-Australia” raft of amendments to the tax laws concerning charitable tax exempt status, to which organisations like us made annoyed (and worried) submissions. Then there was the new consumer credit licensing laws which we needed to look to, and which incidentally I had to front up to the Board  tonight to discuss a paper I put up recently. These legal stuff sort of made work a little bit more interesting but professional work satisfaction has long taken a remote back seat. I still get tickled into dipping my toes into possible legal work every now and then but it is still a remote back seat.

What my present work has done is to somehow, show up some sides of faith based organisations which tend to confirm some old prejudices. Maybe it is actually an Australian thing or maybe it is just the circle I have been moving in, but lately, I get this feeling that those who work in Christian organisations somehow are more relaxed and less intense in their day-to-day work activities. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we’re old just older and wiser and react less to day-to-day situations and take things more in stride. While this doesn’t explain the frequent absences and travels I notice it sort of show work is taken less seriously and people just want to spend more time on people – family especially – and activities they enjoy.

Maybe I’m getting to know a Melbourne that used to be, just like cool November mornings.

 

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