Friday, July 10, 2009

And so fifth

Recognise this, all you freelancers? One week you’re faffing about at your desk, with not a lot to do. You’ve done the filing, done the dishes, even done the doggies (taken them for a walk, that is) and now you’re all done. Tempus fidgets slowly and you’re fretting, no frantic about the dire dearth of deadlines.

But hey! No use feeling sorry for youself! Off you go, tapping out a short but sweet note advising all your faithful clients (plus a few more whom you don’t know so well) that you may have “availability coming up soon”.

Next day (hooray!) your inbox is jammed with job offers and before you can say “hey fiddle-di-de, a freelancer’s life for me,” you’re opening up piles of files of wonderful work. Yippie! Now, it’s full speed ahead, you’re taking on texts left, right and centre, and hitting those deadlines el pronto, delivering as per schedule when horrors! One frazzled day the phone rings and an ever so kind bookkeeper from a big university accounts department is calling to check ever so carefully if you really and truly meant to send in that bill not once but twice, no thrice, or was it perhaps a mistake?

Not that this sort of thing ever happens to me, oh no! This is purely a hypothetical case, believe me, an illustration of what just mightily may happen to a freelancer somewhat similar in appearance to your bashful blagger when frantically rushed off her footsies by an utterly welcome deluge of work!

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Seriously now, this week I'm going to get all serious and deal with the depressing economic climate. I mean, take a look at what I got today in my daily dose of Dutch News: a report on the incredible shrinking economy. Yes, the Dutch economy contracted by 4.5% in the first quarter of this year, its sharpest drop in growth in more than 60 years, according to CBS, the national statistics office.

The CBS also said that Dutch inflation fell slightly to 1.4% in June, compared with 1.6% in May but it was still higher by far than in other EU contries. On the upside, the CBS said that consumer confidence was stable and industry slightly less pessimistic, although business service providers were less positive than they had been in May.

Well, I can’t say this business service provider (if I may call myself one) agrees with the last bit. Today I feel a lot more positive than I did in May and I can’t help but keep looking on the bright side. Call me Ms Positivity (Pollyanna if you like) (Polyfiller if you must) but given such a hectic time as I had last week, and the full work schedule I’ve already got booked for the coming weeks of summer, I’d say I had reason enough to feel warm and cheerful even in this chilly economic climate.

Please, let me hold onto my madelaine moment, believing I can smell the sweet scent of success… for as long as it lasts. Don’t disillusion me, not yet. I know the bubble will burst and I’ll end up dealing with another spate of the working doldrums in due course and so on and so forth.

Or so on and so fifth, as in the twoderful “inflationary language” invented by that Great Dane of music and comedy, Victor Borge. Let me leave you now with the Clown Prince of Denmark explaining his language for himself. Enjoy, and see you next week!

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