Tag Archive: outpouring

Back to work blues

He felt a creeping sensation begin to spread, starting in the centre of his body. First it spread upward through his chest and into his throat then backwards into his shoulders and neck. It seemed to partially paralyze him. He felt it trickling down into his groin, causing his genitals to shrink as if to hide or shield themselves from the unknown threat. His bowels began to loosen and he knew he’d soon have to run to the toilet, if he could run.

Finally his legs, the muscles felt trembly and weak and he wouldn’t trust them to support him if he stood.

It had happened before but he’d dismissed it as tiredness or maybe just being run down, recently though it had begun to happen more and more frequently and he couldn’t dismiss it. He knew he had to face it and fight it but also that he dreaded to do that.

It was his biggest fear and it was fear itself. What if it beat him as it always did in his nightmares and anxious imaginings.

What would happen? It seemed as if it would be utterly catastrophic and impossible to recover from but he didn’t have a clue what form it would take. Would it be a physical attack, maybe rendering him permanently disabled? Would it be more psychological, feeling helpless and hopeless to the extent that he could see no other course than to swiftly end his life?

Would it perhaps involve some sort of public humiliation or a beating administered by an unknown horde, summoned by his dread, to thrash him to within an inch of his life, leaving him cowering and terrified.

Perhaps he would be slowly starved to death, occasionally fed just to keep him alive long enough to have to continue with the misery of his tortured existence. Restrained so that he was unable to end his torment in anyway but was simply forced to face the second by second, minute by minute pain and agony of his withered and emaciated form being denied over and over gain until death seemed as if it would finally embrace him, when he would be force fed back to consciousness and the whole thing would start again.

He knew he was prone to exaggeration and after all, the only real thing that he had to face, as far as he knew, was going back to work after a week’s holiday. It seemed dreadful, it appeared to be leading in only one hellish direction, but if he stopped to think about the last time, although it had felt bad, all it really meant was that he was miserable for  a day or two, then slowly managed to get used to the idea of being at work and once or twice, if he allowed himself to feel it, actually quite liked it, got a sense of achievement and a small buzz from the knowledge that he knew what he was doing some of the time and had a certain degree of competence. In fact, now that he remembered that feeling he recalled also a sense of pride and thoughts of future possibilities and hopes.

He had been planning to apply for promotion; he had imagined his success and new found feelings of worth and dreamt that same night of winning the world cup, scoring the winning goal, being carried aloft by his teammates to the cheers and adoration of the huge crowd.

Just another day at the office, that’s all it was going to be; time to come back to reality.


Working sucks

So, its apparently a good thing, or an expected thing  in most jobs now that you should work longer hours than you’re supposed to. OK, so everyone moans about it and thinks its not fair that they are always expected to do more and no one cares about them or looks after them or considers them and there’s always more and more pressure coming from above and not enough hours in the day etc etc.

BUT, if you, agreeing with this, demonstrate your agreement by actually going home when you’re supposed to or, sometimes, going home a bit early because after all isn’t it shitty the way we just have to go to work every day and do things for other people for not enough money and the weekends are always too short and the holidays are a bit depressing and not long enough and when you come back all you can think about is that you don’t want to be there and you wish that you were still on that beach or up that mountain or touring that vineyard or sitting on your arse at home getting stoned or whatever it was that you loved about your holiday.

Most people seem to agree about these things, work is a bit of a shitty deal for most people and they talk about it and they moan about it and they often seem to really fucking hate it.

So, hearing this and agreeing with this what happens when you act on it? You say, fuck this, there’s too  much to do, this is too stressful I’m going home early. I’ve done what I consider is a good days work and I feel OK in my conscience about fucking off early.

Aah, well, they say, that’s just lazy, that’s taking the piss. I mean we all moan and we’d all love to go home when we want or not stay late or not have all this extra work given to us but, come on. Someone’s got to do it and if we don’t do it there’s going to be hell to pay.

Or maybe they’ll say something like, well you go, lucky old you. Go home, wish I could. Because you see they’re much busier or much more important or much more caring or have a much bigger conscience. They couldn’t possibly go home early or even at 5 o’clock. I wish I could, they say, I don’t know how you do it (subtext, you must have a fucking easy job, not like mine, I have much more to do than you and I am the sort of person who just gets on with it – you on the other hand are clearly a waster and a lazy fucker and if it wasn’t for people like you I wouldn’t have so much to do)

Or, maybe there’ll be something on the news, ‘today the blah blah union announced that they are going to call a strike in reaction to the way that their members are being treated.’

Basically the story is that their pay is being eroded or they are striking to stop it being eroded or their conditions are being worsened, pensions reduced, perks taken away hours lengthened, all the sorts of things that people at work hate and moan about all the time but when they hear about a group of people deciding to try and stop that happen or even, God forbid, to try and improve their  working lives, have some more perks, better pay, fewer hours, more flexible working conditions; the same old bullshit gets spouted.

These people are lazy apparently, I wish I could get their pay, I wish I could have their  hours – how the fuck do you think that comes about you fuckwits?

By working long hours , by never complaining by agreeing to all the extra work by complaining about each other, by actually realising that you have something in common, the need and the desire to make your working lives better and more enjoyable and less stressful and, surprise surprise, if you don’t ask, and sometimes insist, it won’t happen that way.

How many times have you been invited into your managers office or asked to come along to a meeting with your directors or shareholders or whoever the fuck is in charge and told, look, we’ve been thinking about it and we recognise that you all work too hard for too little pay and we get much more money than you for much less effort. We want to improve your working lives. We’re announcing today, with no pressure from anyone, reduced hours and increased pay.

Maybe if we keep our heads down and don’t complain and slag off anyone who isn’t prepared to work harder than they’re supposed to and anyone who make a fuss or asks for more, maybe then this will happen?

Anger ball

Anger feels like a tense rubber ball growing inside him. He takes it with him everywhere. Certain conditions seem to make it heavier or lighter. Yesterday at work when Jeremy said,

‘Do you mind if I have this music on’ and he’d said

‘No that’s fine’

the ball grew and throbbed and bounced and when he stood up to go to the toilet to get away from the shitty trashy capital radio bullshit, he staggered under the weight of it. He stayed in the toilet for 20 minutes at least and shitting seemed to make it smaller. It was hot and acidic now though and all afternoon especially when the radio ads came on, he felt it churn and sear inside.

‘You OK their matey’, said Jeremy three or four times.

‘Oh yeah fine matey,’ said Kevin,  ‘just fine, just a bit of dodgy belly, curry last night I reckon.’

‘Shit yeah, know what you mean.’

On the way home on the train waiting on the platform he felt it lurch as the train approached and the woman with the large bags pushed to the front of the platform and something sharp in her bag dug into his ribs. He made a small grunt of pain and she looked angrily at him, as if he’d insulted her. He looked down at his shoes then in the opposite direction towards the approaching train. When it stopped the doors were right in front of the barging woman and he got on just behind her in time to see her take the last seat and look round at him and smirk.

He stood in the area by the door, not wanting to get squashed near the seats but so many people got on that he was squashed anyway. The ball was expanding all the way home and he had to look down at his shirt several times t see if it was showing, expecting to see a bulging growth where he could feel it pushing from inside. Twice, the tall bloke who was talking loudly on his phone throughout stepped backwards onto his toe, not noticing or if he did, not saying anything and certainly not apologising. Kevin didn’t mind but the ball did, a lot. It was as if it wanted to strike out at the lanky stepper, whose feet were huge, size 13 thought Kevin and luckily enough he weighed a lot too, being tall and broad. The ball seemed unfazed by the bulk of this behemoth though and lurched towards him throughout the journey. Kevin had to hold it back all the time silently telling it that it wasn’t worth it. Every now and then when he seemed to have persuaded it, and it was still and he was able to relax and just look out of the window, the ball leapt, or tried to leap, dragging Kevin’s body with it, almost nudging the gigantic stepper violently.

It took him by surprise three times before he had to get off the train at the next stop and just move along away from danger. Naturally he couldn’t get on again and had to wait for the next train, all the while listening to the furious ranting of the now hardened rubber ball. He hadn’t mentioned it yet but when he got home he knew that his parents were coming round.

Sounds that pierce my brain like the fire alarm that just started the instant I decided to try writing, need to be silenced and destroyed.  Why can’t there be less loud sounds or more soft calming sounds. As I get older sounds seem to be both harder to hear and harder to stop hearing once I’ve noticed them and become annoyed by them. I find it increasingly difficult to put these intrusive sounds to the back of my mind, as I think I could before – before I became this old fart.

Are they an assault? Am I an old fart? Yes and yes I think. When I finished working in my garden a few weeks ago in the first weekend of fine weather, making it nice, so I could sit out and relax and be peaceful, it did feel like an assault to have to listen to the music of the people at the bottom of the garden. They’d  thoughtfully decided that rather than letting people waste electricity playing their own music; or waste money buying a stereo; or spend hours fretting about how to spend their time on such a wonderful afternoon, they would provide an instant all-pervasive, choice-free solution.

Maybe they’re not selfish, maybe they’re just misguided philanthropists.

‘I want to help the poor people of the street (poor in terms of ideas and culture and ability to choose their occupation on this glorious sunny afternoon.)’

‘I know best, they’ll love this crap-imitation reggae , all the chart stuff, nothing decent, just tacky, tinny, “accessible” stuff that we ALL love once we get a chance. I’m going to give them that chance. ‘

‘OR I might sometimes even play some of the music they already have but have forgotten about. It won’t spoil it for them; it won’t make them think:’

“Oh my god I have some shared tastes with the fuckwits at the bottom of the garden, I’ll never play that again.”

‘No, it’ll reawaken their obviously forgotten interest and they’ll be dancing in their gardens.  They’re probably shouting over the fence at me asking me to turn it up right now, but I can’t hear, obviously, as I have it on full blast. Still, I’ve got all my doors and windows open so they should be able to hear it, after all my windows are vibrating and the sound’s so loud it’s distorted in here. I don’t mind doing that for my neighbours – it’s all about community spirit –INNIT!’

It could be that or it could be that they’re as I imagine: brainless, selfish cocksuckers who don’t give  a single thought  for me or their other neighbours and are so pathetic and feel so little of themselves that they have to have their music as loud as possible to try and demonstrate in some pitiful ill-fated way that they are powerful, that  they do have a voice and that they don’t need to listen to anyone,  especially that old fart at the bottom of the garden who keeps poking his balding four-eyed head over the fence and asking in his posh-nobby  voice if they could please turn it down.

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