All right, then. We did it.

The project known as The Twelve Weeks of Unrelenting Work Hell finally came to an end. Yay!!!!!!!!!!

It was just like I imagine it must be when people go on Big Brother. You are shoved in a building with all these people. You are shut off from the outside world. You spend every waking minute with them. Time starts to pass in rather irregular and abstract patterns. There are constant surprises launched on you by the people who are running the house. A lot of it is a giant pain in the ass, demands an immediate burst of energy and makes you sleep-deprived. It is unpredictable. They keep making you do stupid activities. Intense relationships form among the housemates. People lose their tempers. Some of them fall in love. It is a roller-coaster and there is no exit unless you are prepared to leave permanently, and it is like they are challenging you to do it, like a war of attrition.

So, having spent the last 12 weeks in this unnatural hothouse, I’m finally out. Davina McCall should be interviewing me.

Here are the Best Bits:

  • In the final week I received three rounds of applause and numerous hugs.
  • People stopped me in the corridors that week to tell me they heard great things about me.
  • Senior Guy 1 told me I was a breath of fresh air, Senior Guy 2, for whom I just completed a large project, literally could not stop beaming and shaking my hand.
  • Our clients love me, are recommending me to each other and are trying to get involved in future projects that I am running.
  • One of my clients emailed me to tell me I am the best supplier she’s ever worked with.
  • The aspects of the work that I could control were amazing fun and I was able to spend time talking and writing about subjects that I find energising, like politics and art and hip-hop. It was great.
  • A lot of the time, it was FUNNY. I have a big personality and a big sense of humour. I found they expanded to fill aaaaaallllllll the available space. There were times when I howled with laughter and had to cling to the furniture for support and in my view this is what being at work should be like.
  • There was the day I went to work in my blue dress and presented that new product that we are going to launch because I thought of it.
  • In general I wore some beautiful clothes, gradually raising the fashion stakes as the weeks passed. In the first few weeks I used to take advantage of opportunities to wear jeans and trainers but then as the job became more and more tiring and physically demanding, I started to dress up. By the final week I pretty much outdressed everybody. I wore a lot of high heels and fitted dresses and sturdy foundation garments that functioned like an exo-skeleton and it was great. I thought I was past wanting to spend the entire day in high heels at my age, but there you go. Apparently I am still into it. The Honcho would have loved it and it is a shame he did not get to see all the fashions. They totes should have broadcast the whole thing on TV.

 

Worst Bits:

  • Constant sleep deprivation and no breaks eventually destroyed my health. Migraines. My teeth are falling out of my head. Coughs that took 6 weeks to go away. When my cough finally subsided, my skin broke out in a rash of sensitivity all over my body. I’m rashy and pallid and I look wrinkled and like I’ve just had a bout of TB. It’s really not good. The only good bit was losing some weight.
  • That was very, very expensive. Work clothes, I had no idea how many clothes I was going to go through. Dry cleaning – I came to rely no this more and more as available minutes for laundry systematically vanished out of my diary. I took 5 dresses in yesterday, that’s £30 right there. Transport – on top of my £2,000 London travelcard, working 97 hours/week resulted in a lot of taxis and the bastards wouldn’t give me an expense account. Eating out every single day because I was just never at home during the week and keeping food there did nothing but provide a breeding ground for wildlife. I was at the office day and night, constantly. I get up at 5am and I don’t get home until midnight. They could have just given me a room on site to sleep in. I asked for one.
  • I have three months of unopened personal and business mail on my desk here at home. Three months. It is a pile about a foot high. About two months ago I took some of it to the office, thinking I would open it there and now I regret doing that because it is buried amongst the explosion of work materials that is my office work space. It is a nightmare. It is going to take days and days to get all this paperwork in order and I have to start by physically finding it.
  • Tax bills. Invoicing. Across two businesses. Seriously. Three months of neglect. Really not good. I am as angry about the impact on my commercial business as I am about the impact on my health.
  • I managed to have sex once in three months and I can’t even invite anyone over here until I’ve caught up on three months of housework. My house is beyond disgusting. I have no clean underwear and there is just stuff everywhere. It is going to take days to clean up. If I’d known what it was going to be like, I would have hired a cleaner.

What I Am Going To Do Now

  • If this were really Big Brother I would collect a big cash prize right about now and do a bunch of paid interviews and PAs but sadly that’s not going to happen so here’s where we’re up to instead.
  • Friday night I went home and I had to sleep. I fell asleep in my clothes at about 9pm.
  • On Saturday, that is, yesterday, I went out to see a friend for lunch. The first person I’ve seen in 12 weeks who is not inside that building and has nothing to do with it. We went to a rather fancy restaurant in Mayfair and I got drunk. Then after that I was drunk so, you know, what’s not to like. Apparently I drink now.
  • And that brings us up to today, Sunday. So what I need to do is prioritise, which means commercial work, tax bills and business mail. Then laundry and attempting to clean the house.
  • I still have to go into the office for a few days but not as much.
  • There is some sort of office party on Friday night and ironically I have no idea what to wear. Apparently it is a Victorian theme and I actually have 1 dress that would fit that description v well but it is quite a costume, featuring a genuine steel-boned corset that someone else would have to lace me into and then get me out of again later and I am not really on terms that intimate with anyone I am going to see at this event. So I am not sure. I’ve been wearing a lot of styles that range from late 1950s to mid 70s, I am really not sure to do with a Victorian theme. I’m not usually trying to look Victorian. I honestly think that asking for fancy dress is a bit much after the way they’ve expensively abused me for 12 weeks.

I think that’s it. I’d like to be more excited but I’m obviously tired and quite run down and I feel daunted by the state of my house and the urgent business stuff that I need to attend to. But fuck it, it will be okay. It was fine.

  • I had fun.
  • I am amazing at my job.
  • I am thinking of going for CEO because I play to win.
  • On Friday I received an early preview of my work schedule for the January-April period, ahead of anyone else, because I am a priority, and lo, I have successfully negotiated a greatly reduced workload and increased control over the kind of work that I do. Yes!!

Church. I think it has to be Biz Markie. Mr Dynamite.

Biz Markie: Nobody Beats The Biz

 

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