All entries for March 2007

March 21, 2007

Sam Goes To Work

So I got a job this week. I called up my employment agency to ask if they had anything for four weks over easter and they said they’d do their best. They came up with data entry.

Data entry. Necessary, certainly, but hardly the most stimulating chore in the world. At seven and a half pounds an hour, though, I’m prepared to let my reservations slide and get on with the boredom. it’s only for a month. I’ve had worse jobs: like calling up several hundred Glasgow residents on Dell’s behalf to tell them they weren’t getting their christmas presents.

It’s fine for now. But there are some things about temporary employment that always get to me. Firstly, the boredom. I’m invariably bored, as though tedium is trying to strangle me with sreadsheets, photocopier toner and the top buttons of shirts. What do you DO? I can’t stand it. And I can’t understand the people who can – my second thing: I’m working with two people who’ve been typing stuff into the computer in a small room on the eight floor of Fountain House, Reading, overlooking the Broad Street Mall car park for SEVEN YEARS. A third of those seven years have been spent in the same room, not living, so they could afford to stay alive.

How did the world come to this? A global labyrinth of office blocks pushing paperwork from one desktop to another? A sea of white-collared wasted potential queueing for lifts and waiting on station platforms, drinking from water coolers and heating up readymeals in the office microwave so they don’t have to take a lunch hour? What is wrong with us?

I noticed something the other day when asking people what kind of jobs they’d had in the past. There seemed to be two paths. My path, the office-bound, photocopier and phonecall orintated one, or the other one – the “real work” one, where you wait tables, pick strawberries, or sell clothes. I’m not saying the second group is more interesting, but at least it feels like you actually accomplish something. You don’t feel like you’re just selling your life by the hour.

Gordon Brown cut income tax today by 2%. Good for him. I know, as does ever other cynic in the world, that it’s for the election campaign, but I don’t care. It’s money. I wish it didn’t matter so much, but it does. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but not having it certainly leads to unhappiness. Top-up fees are rising to 9000 a year, and our generation is the first who will be unable to afford our own homes. We no longer have grants: we have loans. And to pay for it all we have to shut ourselves in a cubicle and watch the days go by.

I hope, then, that in the forthcoming two years of unchained university life, that I’ll be able to construct my masterpiece. That way I might just be able to buy back my life from Deloitte, or Apple, or, for now, KeyData Solutions.

Please, for the love of god, let whatever I write be marketable.


March 13, 2007

One

“It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.”

- Jerome K. Jerome.

Wise words, and also my thought for the day. There’s nothing so self-indulgent as lying in bed by the window, watching the trees scratch at the passing clouds and listening to the traffic whilst emphatically not doing work. Stopping to feel the passage of time slding over your skin – at once a beautiful and terrifying experience.

-

Listening to – “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” by Stars:

God that was strange to see you again,
Introduced by the friend of a friend.
Smiled and said “Yes, I think we’ve met before.”
In that instant it started to pour.

Captured a taxi despite all the rain.
We drove in silence across Penchant Lane,
And all of that time you thought I was sad,
I was trying to remember your name.

-

Good stuff. So what else is new? I’m trying to conclude an article on the necessity of being public about one’s sexuality, and I can’t really make up my mind. It’s not an easily abbreviated issue and it ties together so many deply personal stories to a much broader political struggle. The jist of my argument – or, rather, question – is whether or not the “out and proud” motto of the gay rights movement is counter-productive to the ultimate eradication of the boundaries between different sexual orientations. Being “out” necessitates a culture of labelling people – of picking sides. One would have thought that in order to achieve full equality there should be a blurring and eventual fading of the lines between different kinds of people. Acknowledging the difference only re-emphasises it.
That said, though, difference is also something to be celebrated, and the idea of gay culture and the gay community shouldn’t have to disappear. People are different, and many define themselves and their character through their sexuality. You don’t even have to be gay to do this.
Ultimately, I suppose, social progression will have to go on as an organic process. As a movement, the fight for gay rights has come incredibly far incredibly quickly over the past 40 years, and will no doubt continue to in the right direction, whichever one that may be. For now, out, in or undefined will remain a personal choice, as it should be. We’re so lucky to have the freedom to be whoever we want to be.

-

And finally, an update on The Sam Show. The other Sam Show, now printed on the wonderful Facebook. Last week, Sam hooked up with Fabien after being stalked for a short while and discovering with Ailie that Jake was cheating on Avalanche with Livi. Paige revealed her history of romantic liaisons with Nima and, upon discovering Jake’s infidelity, wasted no time in maliciously spilling the beans to a distraight Avalanche, who had been quietly celebrating her five and a half months of sobriety. Pete, meanwhile, in town with Dom and Hannah for the Real Ale Festival, resolved to investigate who was responsible for both poisoning Avi and trying to frame Spike. This news was met uncomfortably by Susan, who suggested it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie, before informing the others that she was leaving the country for the whole of the Summer term, during which, Spike promised her, they would try and sustain their relationship.

Next week, Hannah turns 20, and at her house party in Streatham more than a few sparks will fly as several memebers of the group let their true felings come to light. A new couple will emerge, someone will get punched in the face, and Pete will discover the truth behind Avalanche’s poisoning – with catastrophic results. Stay tuned.


March 2007

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