Only in it for the money

We’re strangely irrational creatures, aren’t we?

On Saturday I travelled about 80 miles to a gig with my function band, Eight to the Bar. It was in a British Legion hut somewhere near a cliff on the north Devon coast. The engagement was never going to be economic – the band has only recently got good enough to charge for gigs, and even more recently have most of them realised they should. So we only charged 200 quid (for our 8-piece) for 3 hours of solid work.

Out of that had to come not only 160 miles of petrol money, but a meal at the local pub and drinks at the bar. And in my case a new set of guitar strings. At the end of the night the bass-player handed me my £25 cut, in cash.

Three years ago I was earning several times more than the national average salary as a GP. And yet on Saturday, despite knowing I was well out of pocket, I still felt a kind of childish thrill as I slipped the notes into my wallet. It was like my first pay-packet over again. What it means to be a Professional!

Today the plumber called to replace a leaking nut on a radiator. He’s a good and reliable guy, and certainly doesn’t overcharge. But we are a bit off the beaten track, even though the job itself only took five minutes. “How much?” I asked.

“Twenty five quid,” he replied, apologetically. Saturday’s notes were still in my wallet… sigh.

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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