A Novel Idea

Superannuation not so supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Posted on: June 2, 2010

Superannuation. What is a budding novelist doing writing about such a mundane topic?

Superannuation or 401(K) if you’re in the good ol’ US of A, is one of those beige but important facts of life.

I’m not going to call it necessary, although for many people it will be. I’m hoping I’m not one of them.

I don’t plan to retire. Ever.

I hope to be spinning a good yarn and living a comfortable life to the end.

I’ve got a really bad habit of ignoring any mail related to my superannuation fund. Sure I open it. I might even look at the balance (they charged me WHAT for losing money in the market ?! geez).

Since I quit my job my superannuation firm sent me the notice that it’s now been moved to a personal plan, not the company plan. Fine.

Then I got another letter which seemed to be indicating some new set of charges. Whatever.

Then my phone rang today.

The phone ringing during the day is a pretty rare occurence for me now. I’ve done my darndest to discourage this behaviour in family and friends.

My equivalent of ‘Do Not Disturb’ on a honeymoon hotel room would be a giant placard (in tastefully embossed lettering) WRITER AT WORK.

Not that I think I’m creating some great masterpiece that’s going to change the world (although that would be great). No, it just takes all my concentration to pin the words to the page in an arrangement that I’m happy with.

I’m in the middle of a sentence. It’s not the best sentence I’ve ever written, but at least it’s going somewhere. The desk is vibrating. I scowl at the phone.

But I can’t help myself. I look at the number. I don’t recognise it. It’s interstate. That always makes calls more interesting. I’m about to break two rules.

1. Don’t answer the phone before you’ve hit your daily word target.

2. Don’t answer numbers you don’t recognise. It’s probably a telemarketer.


‘Miss Violet XYZ’


‘I’m calling about your superannuation…’

Groan. Why did I take this call? Admist my self-directed eye-rolling I forget the vital phrase ‘Not a good time’. I respond to his questions. Five minutes later I’m glad that I did. Apparently they’re going to start charging me monthly for all the insurance that my company used to pay for.

I agree to read the previous correspondence and advise how I would like to proceed. He’s actually been very helpful. We hang up.

It got me thinking. Writing is my new business. It’s not just a tick-box on the list of my life achievements.

I add it to my bi-monthly list of must-do items. By 31 July I will sort out my superannuation along with finishing my first draft, celebrating one thousand glorious days with Connor, and booking my next pap smear.

I also resolve to set aside Friday afternoons to do administration.


Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough
You’ll always sound precocious

The Sherman brothers were always good for a ditty.

Write well. Write often.


(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.

  • None
  • Violet: Thanks Alannah :) Apologies for not replying sooner: I'm finally catching my breath and the year is almost over!
  • Alannah Murphy: I remember your first post, way back when I had my old Here Be Dragons blog, and I am glad you are still writing. We all find out, sooner or later, ho
  • Violet: Good to hear that Aaron. Good Luck with your work.
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