Jim recalls his long working hours at Granada

If we were properly staffed five and five – you know, five pairs of people – if we were properly staffed, it was a relatively okay, sort of around about a 37-hour week, and antisocial hours of course, but not too bad. And we had, what they called notional weekends, so that your weekend might be Tuesday and Wednesday, or something like that. And if it was running normally for the staff, it was delightful because you worked at a variety of times and days during the week and therefore, you’re at home for the variety. You know, when my daughter was little, I would take her to school. I was the only father that ever showed up at school with a kid and all that kind of thing. It was a really nice mixture. But the problem was that, most of the time, we were not fully staffed. Most of the time, we were short staffed for one reason or another. And therefore working endless overtime, that… you know, I was young, I was energetic, and I was into the job. I didn’t particularly mind it, but it was crippling, really, to any kind of family or social life. I mean, I remember when my wife was pregnant, I worked 60 consecutive days, and then I had a day off, and then I worked 30 consecutive days. So, 90 days out of 91. And that was typical for long periods of that job. It became a strange thing.

We saw more of the person sitting next to us than we saw of our families. It was a strange thing. And it was, frankly, enjoyable in a lot of ways when you felt wanted and needed and crucial. It felt good. It felt like… and again, total naivety on my part. You know, I’m from a generation that subconsciously expected to get a job and work there the rest of your life, unless you wanted to change. But the typical expectation you would be there all your life. And so, I thought… everybody thought… we were showing commitment, we were showing loyalty. It would be in some way reciprocated, which it was in minor ways, early on. I mean, they were never very generous about the pay disputes and so on. But in a sense, again, that was a very 1950s formalised situation. It was, in and of itself, an adversarial situation and we treated it adversarially. But, in terms of the non-financial type of recognition, we were valued, we were well-treated.

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