Ben Lowry: Long distance drivers are now well paid ... which reminds me of a job idea I have long had
A woman on Radio Ulster yesterday spoke about having given up her job as an accountant to start a new life, away from the pressures of “spending all my time at work”.
She wants to take time to think about what to do next.
It reminded me of a teacher at school who told us boys that he wanted to become a postman.
He said it would mean that he would have no stresses and strains, he would get daily exercise, start early in the morning for his delivery rounds and finish the day early too.
To a boy of 17, with a world of dreams and promise ahead, my teacher’s plan sounded appalling — like the death of ambition.
Gradually over the years I have come to understand well his thinking and have pondered a similar course. This very week I met a teacher who had given up after decades to become a trades person.
I have often thought that if I was to have a completely different job, I would like to be a long distance lorry driver. I have enjoyed driving since I passed my test aged 17.
In particular I enjoy mega drives, across whole countries. I have driven to visit family and friends in southern France many times over the last 20 years.
My dad once said it was crazy to spend so long on a holiday getting to and from the destination, but I told him that for me the motoring and ferries were all part of the pleasure.
Hence why I quite seriously have considered driving as a job. In America in 2008 I was on a greyhound bus and got talking to the driver, who had been a financial professional before wanting a change in his 50s, and re-training.
Now I read that there is such a shortage of lorry drivers that they are well paid — in some cases £55k (more than my own salary!) — the idea is all the more intriguing.
I do not in fact intend to leave journalism, which I still love. Also, I have never been heavier than I have been from the start of lockdown, since when my exercise levels have plunged.
Driving might mean that I was even more inactive and leave me morbidly obese.
But I well understand the impulse that so many people have for a change of work direction.
• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter acting editor
Other articles by Ben Lowry below, and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the News Letter:
• Ben Lowry Aug 28: Lagan Valley shows the challenges facing both unionism and Alliance
• Ben Lowry Aug 21: Unionists are more vulnerable to the fall of Stormont than republicans
Ben Lowry Aug 21: Bigwigs should realise that there is no holiday before retirement
• Ben Lowry Aug 14: The collapse of Kabul to the Taliban will be seen as a sign of western weakness
• Ben Lowry Aug 7: Covid has been a bewildering and humbling pandemic
• Ben Lowry Aug 7: Now I understand those older people who want cooler summer weather
• Ben Lowry Aug 2: Three points to keep in mind when arguing against the NI Protocol
• Ben Lowry July 31: The last NI housing boom was disaster, and we need to beware a repeat
• Ben Lowry July 24: Hot weather ought to be welcome in NI but this is extreme
• Ben Lowry July 17: UK has tipped into an amnesty after a long approach to IRA that lacked bite
• Ben Lowry July 15: We should be honest as to how we have arrived at a Troubles amnesty
• Ben Lowry July 10: We will find soon if UK is for once going to criticise Ireland
• Ben Lowry July 10: I once always wanted England to lose, now I want them to win
• Ben Lowry July 3: The mild DUP response to the protocol will cause Boris little concern
• Ben Lowry June 26: Neither Dublin nor IRA have been put under any pressure on legacy
• Ben Lowry June 26: A slight sense of sadness as the days again begin to shorten
• Ben Lowry June 19: Somehow the appeasement of Sinn Fein got worse
• Ben Lowry May 22: Instead of ‘moving on’ from IRA funeral, we still need proper answers
• Ben Lowry May 22: If Joel Keys, 19, wants to help unionism he should get a law degree
• Ben Lowry May 15: Edwin Poots and Doug Beattie will offer two distinct shades of unionism
• Ben Lowry May 8: Formal UK ideas for an amnesty are almost exactly 20 years old
• Ben Lowry May 8: Let us hope that the brilliant Eoghan Harris keeps on writing
• Ben Lowry May 1: Unionism can’t just be about managing long-term defeat
• Ben Lowry April 17: DUP still has to choose between managing this disaster or total rejection of it
• Ben Lowry April 10: His enduring marriage to the Queen was key to our understanding of Prince Philip
• Ben Lowry Mar 20: We have made it through the worst of the dark, dreaded winter lockdown
• Ben Lowry Mar 20: MLAs lost control of abortion by rejecting modest law reform
• Ben Lowry Mar 13: Scotland tunnel isn’t fantasy, but something kids of today might see
• Ben Lowry Mar 6: The cost of victims’ pension has ballooned without explanation as to why
• Ben Lowry Feb 20: We still lack answers as to why IRA funeral got special treatment at Roselawn
• Ben Lowry Feb 13: Peter Robinson has long experience of what is and is not politically feasible
• Ben Lowry Jan 30: At last, clear reason for UK and unionists to stop being weak towards Ireland/EU
• Ben Lowry Jan 16: The Irish Sea border was imposed because UK knew unionists would take it
• Ben Lowry in 2020: Last night unionists celebrated a move towards Irish unity
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