Thursday, 15 January 2009


It's January, it's the post new year blues, it's another week of stifling heat with thankfully, relief of a storm on the way. And I'm flagging. Maybe it's because we've got a holiday coming up and I can kind of see the finishing line or maybe it's just because it's January and, as K's theory goes, we should be hibernating and eating chocolate right now, not being all busy and active!

Either way, it was a bad sign on Tuesday that we both felt the need to go to the pub for a couple of drinks and have a mutual rant about all things social enterprise in Australia. Pub-based exchanges of tales of woe and hardship and struggle in social enterprise were quite a common feature of our relationship back in the UK, but think this was the first one here!

I'll spare you the details but one thing we did both agree on, which I've since found out is a common view of a few other non-Australians living here is that Australians don't, in general, appear to have any concept of what hard work looks like. Now obviously that's a sweeping generalisation and I know lots of them do work hard - and lots of my colleagues do in fact - but there is a really apparent culture of 'whatever' and 'no worries mate' that means when it comes to project management or business development, it's bloody hard work to get things done. There doesn't seem to be any real sense of having to perform, to meet deadlines, to manage limited resources, to make a strong case for a project or a business concept, or anything else like that.

K reminded me that we'd met someone in Malaysia who worked in Australia and she'd told us that Brits were adored by Aussies for their hard work ethic - and now I can see why!

I don't know why it's like this here - maybe because the economy has been so strong (and remains relatively strong compared to others), maybe because there's so much of the place to go around, maybe because it's sunny and to be frank, the rest of the world seems pretty damn far away and well, what's the worst that can happen if that deadline gets missed or nobody really keeps a handle on that project - hey, the beach and the surf will always be there! I don't know, whatever the reason, it's not helping with my general January malaise as I feel like I'm knocking my pan in, in a culture that doesn't appreciate it! (not talking about specific colleagues - just general sense - in case anyone's reading!!!)

I also realise that what I've just said is probably the very reason lots of people emigrate here and love it - so maybe I just need to get over my typical Scottish 'if you haven't worked till your knuckles hurt, you don't deserve any reward' mentality!! Good old Calvin's influence still going strong huh?!

Anyway, I feel better now that I've shared!!

1 comment:

CBQ said...

Sounds like my kind of place - I work very hard but would like not to have to...