We’re kicking off our first ever blog post with the start of our new series titled, The Local Diaries. We thought it was about time we started celebrating the interesting people that come into our pub, and sharing their stories with you.
So without further ado, today’s post features Jenny and Tom, a young couple from round the corner, who almost drank our selection of Rioja in its entirety. After eating their sunday lunch, the newly weds sat at the bar and told me they had moved to Putney a few years ago. After talking a while about the pubs in the area, Jenny told me that The Cat’s Back will forever be their ‘Sunday pub.’ After one of our famous roasts, the two continued to come back for more, hence why I was lucky enough to meet them last sunday evening.
As the couple sat at the bar, we spoke about all manner of things. We spoke about how I came to be at the pub, and my future goals and career. It was nice to talk to people who seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying to them, rather than passing the time until I handed them their wine. After telling them I graduated in Creative Writing, we began to talk about the issue of finding well paid jobs in creative careers. Moreover, what it means to pursue a career that you’ll love, but won’t pay you well. Versus going for one that will pay you well, but you’ll love less.
Picking up her glass, Jenny smiled as she took a sip and told me how much she loves her current job in the creative industry. It was the kind of smile I’ve come to know well- big, and proud but tinged with a small bitterness. She told me “you know, I’ve had loads of jobs that paid me well- law firms etc, but if we’re being honest, I was fucking bored.” The bitterness I mentioned earlier seeping through, as we went over the preconception of ‘ease’ that comes with telling people you work in any kind of creative role. This preconception leading to a smaller pay packet, and a constant push and pull between happy and financially stable.
Tom then told me his job consisted of what most people would consider three of the most boring industries out there, (his words not mine). While Jenny giggled next to him, he said “I work in finance, selling software, to insurance companies.” A small silence followed, with an immediate burst of laughter from the two. I laughed too, as I joked and told him he was in fact, the most boring person I’ve ever met. Still, though he doesn’t love his job as much as Jenny loves hers, he earns more, and so the debate between the three of us continued.
After speaking for a while about this we came to a few conclusions. The first being that, it is important to recognise whatever it is in life that gives you any kind of satisfaction. Find it and do it, and do it in the best way that you can. The second conclusion, was that you do it with pride. Don’t be embarrassed that you earn less if you love what you do, moreover, don’t be embarrassed if you think talking about your job is more boring than actually doing your job. Because the truth is, there is a kind of painted illusion that comes with getting older, in the sense that everyone seems to be settled in their careers. In fact, I think the older we get, the better we get and just pretending we know what on earth is going on- its is very rare that we actually ever do, or ever will.
The third and final conclusion we came to, was in fact the most important. It was the conclusion that no matter how big any problem can feel, whether it be pay gaps between creative and non-creative careers. The battle between loving your job, and wanting to be paid well by your job. Or the fact that you hate your wife’s jumper because you think it makes her look like the tin man(Tom and Jenny I’m talking about you). It can all be fixed, albeit temporarily, with Sunday lunch turned night cap at The Cat’s Back.
With a beautiful meal, an open fire to keep you from the November cold, and a bottle and a half of Rioja, there is no problem too big or small, that can’t be solved here.