Month: May 2016

How do you see your house?

I live in a flat. Yesterday I went to see my downstairs neighbours because they took delivery of a parcel that I needed to collect. They are a very nice South American married couple in their late 30s. Very nice, amiable, respectable couple. While I was standing at the front door waiting for the husband to get my parcel, I was able to view a small section of their hall. It was really nice. It was very clean, it was warm and it was attractively decorated with South American style, looked like there was a little altar going on, with some flowers and a romantic portrait of the Holy Virgin. V interesting. Then the man came back with my parcel and I swiftly departed to let them get on with their weekend.

Today I get to do some urgent cleaning and housework because I have managed to get on top of work (hooray!). I just looked at my flat and not only is there a stark contrast between my flat and theirs, it is clear that I regard my flat as less an interior than an extension of Outdoors. There is cigarette ash in the hall under the skylight, in what is clearly an outdoor smoking area, the kitchen would not be out of place at a camping site at a festival and the living room floor is decorated with bin bags. This is how we living. No wonder I don’t have a boyfriend.

Get up and dance. The washing-up can wait for another five minutes.

Young MC: Bust A Move (1989)

Dear Trainer

You seem like a nice guy so that’s why I am sorry that I found it hard to co-operatively fake enthusiasm this morning.

I just need you to get to the point. If you think I’m uninterested in the subject matter, you are wrong. I would happily read a couple of books about it. But this morning you required the class to play with Lego for 45 minutes and my patience for that is limited. I’ve been going to work for 30 years and that’s the first time anyone’s paid me to play with Lego for 45 minutes.

I was bewildered. Then I remembered that this organisation is only paying me about £10/hour (and far less than that if you take into account the hours that I actually do, not the hours on paper). So this morning’s Lego episode cost this organisation about £7.50. So that’s why it doesn’t value my time, because it is able to purchase it for hardly anything.

I don’t hate Lego but I’m just not used to this.

I realise the deep, deep irony of the situation, given that the point of this training is to communicate something about how people learn. I have got no problem making other people play with Lego if that’s what this organisation wants me to do. For the 6 or 8 months I’ve been here, making people do little party games has struck me as odd and a bit patronising but who am I to argue. If that’s what you want, that’s what you can have. But if you want me to play with the Lego myself – I don’t know. It doesn’t sit right with me. It’s not work. It’s like day care. I feel like I’m attending a day care centre for mentally disabled adults and for some reason it is paying me £10/hour to play with toys and twiddle my thumbs when I have actual urgent tasks and deadlines that I could be attending to.

The whole fucking place stinks of failure and mental incapacity and I think I’m the only one who notices. Nobody else seemed to think that was an unusual situation. They survive on those wages, as well. They must be in a coma. I can’t reconcile myself to this company, I don’t want to be in a coma. I am awake and I am staying awake.

Sorry I wasn’t much fun.


I didn’t do any work this weekend. I slept and I cleaned my house. Man, I needed that. Now I can get up and dance.

I have realised that I have only THREE MONTHS left until my big birthday and I need to get in shape NAO. This is my last chance. I have 12 weeks to get this shit together.

James Brown: I Got Ants In My Pants (1971)

But we treat our customers like shit.

I went to some workplace training this morning. They moved the time of the session from afternoon to morning, with the result that by the time I arrived at this session, I’d already been awake for 24 hours.

I sat in a room with about 14 people, all of them have been there longer than me and some of them have never worked anywhere else. Today’s topic was Change. Apparently things are changing. There was hand-wringing. People’s freedom is being taken away, apparently. It’s so awful because we have to have quality control. Boo fucking hoo. My heart is bleeding. The amount of money we take off our customers every year and we treat them like absolute shit and then we act hurt and surprised when they don’t come back.

I cannot think of any other sector where you can treat paying customers that badly and expect to get away with it. I don’t fit in at this place and I am never going to. I’ve had the worst experiences of my career at this job and at the same time, the one problem I don’t have is our customers. They are delightful. They deserve MUCH, MUCH BETTER and so do I.

FFS. What am I being trained to do? Feel sorry for this organisation and the people who work here? If I had my way, 50% of our staff would be sacked immediately and then we might have a chance of getting the business on its feet.