They discharged me with a prescription for antibiotics. I may have accidentally been kind of a bitch to one of the doctors when he spoke to me in that special voice they use for children and demented geriatrics, so that might have helped.
Anyway I’m not going to die so everything is basically okay. Apparently I can expect it to take 2 weeks for my swollen face to go down.
I went to the small, local hospital today to consult a doctor. I have been extremely sick since I last posted. I feel slightly better today but my face has swelled up like a balloon that’s been filled with water.
What are your symptoms, asked the one doctor on duty, an older man who’d had a busy afternoon. I described them. He examined me.
You have dermatitis, he said.
I looked at him with my mouth open. I don’t deny that I have dry, flaky skin, I replied, but I wasn’t aware that dermatitis causes paralysis of the neck muscles, fever, unconsciousness, hearing loss and oedema that makes your head swell up like a football. If anything, I would have thought all of that secondarily resulted in dry skin, rather than the other way around.
You have dermatitis, he repeated.
But I’m starting to think I have meningitis, I pressed.
If it happens again, call an ambulance, he replied, and wrote a prescription for calamine lotion.
I’m now sitting in the waiting area at the larger hospital. When I walked in, the receptionist gaped at the state of my face. What’s wrong with you, she enquired.
Suspected meningitis, I said. Can I get tested for meningitis please.
Have you seen a doctor before coming here, she asked. Yes, I sighed. And what was his diagnosis, she asked. Dry skin, I reluctantly replied.
I could be here for a while.
This is not good at all. This is not a minor cold, it is a huge sinus infection with cheese-grater voice, fever and swollen face. It knocked me unconscious yesterday.
Over the weekend I cancelled a whole week of social engagements. Now it is Monday morning and I am reluctantly starting to cancel business meetings as well, so you can see how serious it is. Cancelling business meetings is like cancelling money.
Wish me luck getting better quickly. I am miserable and I really could have done without being sick this week.
I am so tired from labouring on overdue projects that I am almost dead at my desk. While I am waiting for some files to upload, here’s my advice for new graduates at the start of their careers. Let’s imagine that you work for an ad agency or similar and your boss has given you some tasks to complete. Editing some short videos and writing a set number of short pieces of copy for a commercial client. Here’s what not to do. A helpful guide. Seriously, you need this.
- Especially on a short-turnaround project, you MUST stay in contact with your boss at all times. If you have 2 weeks to complete a set number of tasks and you are supposed to upload your work to the company server on a regular basis during that period so it can be reviewed and sent back for amendment, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES go radio-silent for a week at a time, fail to upload any work, fail to explain why and ignore your boss’s phone calls and emails.
- When the project has passed its official end date and run over by a week, and you’ve just started to realise that the reason your boss gave you 2 weeks to do this work is because that’s how long it is expected to take, do not leave everything until the end of week 3, then panic and complain ‘it’s a lot of work’. Yes, I know. Hence all the scoping out of project time frames at the beginning. We have those for a reason. When I said ‘it will take you 2 weeks to do this’, I actually meant it, as opposed to ‘you can bodge this together in 24 hours’.
- I have 16 years of commercial experience. You have 0 minutes of commercial experience. You are REALLY not at all in a position to decide when something is client ready, this is why you run it by me and you keep it running it by me until you’ve produced an item that a commercial client could look at without having a migraine or a stroke.
- Client-ready does not mean ‘I’ve had one go at this and I couldn’t figure out how to save files for further work, so you’ll have to regard this first draft by a complete amateur as a finished version’.
- Client-ready does not mean ‘I’ve amended this, however I’ve substantially ignored your instructions and only edited the parts that were convenient for me. Send it to the client, I’ve done this twice now, I don’t want to work on it any more.’
- Client-ready does not mean ‘I’ve labelled this file FINAL to indicate that I don’t want to work on it any more, so it must be final.’
- Client-ready does not mean ‘I can’t see anything wrong with it and I made a lot of effort so therefore I am RIGHT about it being industry-standard and you, my boss, are WRONG. Send it to the customer.’
- Client-ready does not mean telling your boss ‘but can’t you do it?’ No, that’s because you took money on the understanding that you were doing it. Not having a go at it or playing around with it but actually doing it.
FFS. Have you emailed or called your boss today, recent graduates? Call him or her now. They are probably waiting for you to communicate how you are doing.
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.
- The whole-body allergic rash is gradually subsiding, which reminds me, time to take more anti-histamines. My scalp and ears are no longer weeping, they are just very sore. My chest is spotty and blotchy and it will be a while before I can wear anything other than high-necked dresses with long sleeves. Also, I can’t go to the gym looking like I have leprosy.
- I have had a terrible week at work. I can think of 4 people in the organisation who don’t hate me. For reference, there are over 70 people in my department. That said, it continues to be universally agreed that I am shit hot at my job and our clients think I’m the best thing since sliced bread, as well they might.
- The person who I’m not supposed to love quite as much as I do has stayed away from me, which is exactly what I told them to do, but EVEN SO.
- I am fatter than ever due to comfort eating relating to the above and earlier this week someone asked me when my baby was due D:
This being the case, I think you will understand why I am starting the weekend early.
- I discovered that I can get free DVDs on loan from work so I have brought home box sets of popular, fluffy TV shows.
- I have art materials. I am doing a lot of sketching for work purposes, which I am happy to do. I did 45 minutes this morning and it was fun. This afternoon, after visiting my doctor, I went to Tiger Tiger which is a discount store that is strong on craft materials. I got a nice spiral bound sketch book that is almost A3 size for £7 and a box of mixed charcoal pencils for £2, plus a compass and various other things, including one of those positionable wooden human figures that artists use, also £7, which is amazing.
So that’s me. I am staying indoors being fat and rashy this weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day, ffs.
Oh look, I’ve conveniently run out of smoking materials so I will give up again. See? All it takes is the slightest glimmer of sunshine and I will do the right thing.
I will take this boy if he wants to come. In the meantime I will groom myself. Here is some nice Biggie and Tupac. Don’t say I never do nothin’ for ya.
Naughty By Nature – Feel Me Flow ft Biggie, 2Pac & Big L (NickT Remix)