Struggling to find fulfilment in your job? Frustrated by lack of progress? Let Horace show you the way.

Changing Ireland gave me a choice this year. They said I could go to one or other of the two traditional options that farmers have once the harvest is in: head to Lisdoonvarna to find a wife, or to the Ploughing to find farm machinery.

I’m glad I had the choice! Lisdoon’s a let-down. The lady I met there last year wanted to move in with me, and applied for a job as a post-mistress in my local post office. Unfortunately, closures meant they wouldn’t letter. Crestfallen, she packed her bags and left. It took me months to tractor down.

Career changes

Everyone seems to be trying something new at the moment. My cousin Shirley (the social worker) is changing career. She’s going to be a bartender.

It came about suddenly after she got fed up last Tuesday over how big her case load is, so she abandoned her desk and went to the local for a few vodkas. The barman looked a happy chap, which bugged her, so she asked him, “Tell me – what’s the difference between your job and mine?”

He replied: “You’re a social worker, yeah? Well, let me guess. You went to college for six years, paid thousands of euro, did loads of exams and went through poverty to get your qualification. Now you sit with people for session after session, using technique after technique, but you still don’t know if they’re telling you the truth, never mind telling you everything. They often leave your office sobbing.

“Well, I went to bartending school for 10 weeks and I learned to mix a little of this with a little of that. At work, I only have to wait an hour or so ­– sometimes no time at all – and I have people telling me everything; their innermost thoughts, love stories, finances, health problems, trouble with the law, the lot. They go home happy.”

She starts in the same pub next week, behind the counter.

She’d only broken the news to me when I bumped into a community development worker I know. He asked me, “What time is it?”

“Sorry, I haven’t a clue,” I said. “I’ve no watch.”

“Never mind,” he said. “The main thing is that I consulted you and we discussed it.”

I’m starting in the pub the week after Shirley.

Category: Humour