I'm going to ask my partner to IP block this blog tomorrow. Self censorship entirely, no one has asked me not to blog. Call it a hiatus of respect. Respect for the people, perhaps myself included, who have given blood, sweat, tears, determination, single mindedness, enthusiasm, innovation, passion, heart, fire, honesty, love and belief to our jobs in the public sector.
I suspect tomorrow is going to be bad. But the soul wrenching will not be for me. It will be for friends. For the time they have given freely, for the extra hours and the 'extra miles'. For the stress endured and the smiles given freely to customers. For the straight talking and the talking around the edges. For the inspiration and the 5am starts. For the sometimes ridiculously abusive working conditions. For the endless patience and the being caught on the back foot, rallying and turning things around. For the hard budget decisions which have already been made, for the posts which haven't been filled and the people who have stepped into those gaps, often with little training or guidance. For the street cleaner who used the water in his sweeper to put out a car fire, for the gritters out until 2am, 3am, 4am. For the Officer who makes us more carbon and energy efficient meaning we save money, to the Recycling Manager who reduces our expenditure on Landfill Tax. For the determination to provide a good service despite the snow and ice, to the people who commit to communicating who we are and what we do, 24 hours a day when it really matters.
I love my job. I know very many people who love theirs too. They grump and they moan, as do I. But fundamentally, they too are militant optimists, believing in the service they provide and the difference that it makes. Their voices are never heard digitally, but they are there and they are many. I don't presume to speak for them, only to acknowledge them, to point in their direction, to say 'this is what we do, this Local Authority I work in, this is what we do and we are proud of it'.
I am afraid. Change is scary. But, ultimately, I guess I can always go back to data entry, right?