Saturday, 4 September 2010

Last Man Syndrome

As long as I can remember I have always kicked against doing anything I didn't want to do. I hate having to be at a certain place at a certain time and feeling trapped once I am there.

When I was a kid, I'd always be the last one walking through the school gates, my school bag dragging behind me along with my bottom lip.
When I'd left school I used to get a lift in to work with my brother and his girlfriend. I'd always be the 'last man' out of bed and into the car. It wasn't as if I hated school or my job as a hairdresser, it was just the having to do it there and then. Mind you thinking about it I did hate school.

Later when I went back into education to get A levels and a degree it wasn't so bad. It was my choice, so I guess that was why I didn't resent it.
I went into teaching for 14 years and 'last man syndrome' crept back pretty quickly.

I kind of liked it for the first five years or so, because teaching is not as soul destroying as some jobs. I worked in a factory for a while packing drill bits so I do know what I'm talking about.

Then the old nagging started. A little voice in my head would say stuff like 'Bloody school bells, my life is governed by bells!' or stuff like, 'You have only got one life and you're spending it in the same building day after day, year after year...'

Lucky for me I was able to pack it all in for 18 months. I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer and it was brilliant. Last man syndrome was banished and I felt in control of my life, well as much as anyone can be on a shoe string budget. Bells, clocks and deadlines were a thing of the past.

I had to bite the bullet and return to the chalk face in January and boy did that hurt.The students are nice, and so are the part-time hours, but the last man syndrome is alive and kicking once more. I need to do some work for Monday tomorrow but I expect I'll find a few diversions until I can put it off no longer.I wish I could just accept having to go out to work like thousands of others have to.

I don't expect I'll ever get used to being made to do something I don't want to though.
The alarm clock will wake me early on Monday, and later I expect I'll be the last in at the school gate, my bag dragging behind me... along with my bottom lip.


  1. Glad you found teaching so fulfilling, Mandy.

    I spent my life in industrial work and went into vocations teaching in my late forties. It was too "target driven" and there was more form filling than teaching so I got out of it.

  2. Thanks for commenting DW. Yes, it's not the job so much as the having to do it:)

  3. I used to be a teacher and I hated it. Before that I used to work in industry. I hated that too although not as passionately as my hatred of teaching especially with all those inspections and targets. I'm a writer now and I love it... I just don't earn an awful lot of money.

  4. Thanks for your comment Rosalind. I would be happy to write and not earn much too :)