You get training for everything these days. Just a week in the job, and I’d already been trained in Fraud Awareness, Complaints Handling, Data Protection, and Enormous Lad Management. Not everyone gets ELM, but they said it was obligatory for me, because of the incredible size, weight and glistening shininess of my mickey.
Shut it, the rash is clearing up. Those antibiotics are doing the trick nicely.
You get certificates for them all. Certificates are important. Certificates imply that you really are making progress, you’re moving up in the world. You can display them at your desk, just like everyone else. I don’t.
Certificates convey responsibility. Authorised tea-maker. “Successfully passed…” on a certificate translates to “A wide experience of…” on your CV. CV means spicy resumé.
And there you are. You’re an individual. You’re WINNER! Just like everyone else.
You know what you don’t need training or a certificate for? Being a parent. Parents should be certified. CAPABLE. Nothing fascist, now. Everyone’s entitled to breed, yeah. Not everyone remembers that breeding produces kids though. The certificate would state that you are fully aware that you are responsible for your child’s welfare, and you’ll get your fucking bollocks, or perhaps ovaries, sliced out if you try to pass the buck.
See, if I’d had some parent training, I’d’ve been more prepared the other day when Jack shoved his hand into a warm, freshly-brewed poo. His own, I might add.
Parent training would teach you how to react in those situations. If I’d had my training, I bet I’d have reacted with something besides shrieks of horror as I watched him flailing his arms about, poo slathering his hair and the changing mat and the floor and a book that ended up so covered in faeces that I had no choice but to give it to charity.
Have you ever been painting, and a bit somehow gets on the sole of your shoe, and before you know it, you’ve accidentally planted paintprints halfway around the house? That’s what this was like. Except with poo.
There it was, the pooey arm, slippery and wriggling in my hands, like a puppy being held underwater, as I manhandled Jack into the bath and hosed him down. He wasn’t happy. I was fucking traumatised, trying to make myself have one of those out of body experiences that hippies and Tom Cruise are always yammering on about. Now I understand what my dad must’ve been going through that time when I was a baby and my mother came home to find him holding me upside-down at the sink, hosing down my hole with the powerful jet of the cold-water tap.
Dad, I forgive you.
Please note: If you haven’t got the new Queens of the Stone Age album, stand over in the corner and be ashamed. Go on now, git, pardner, or I’ll set The Swearing Lady on you.
No, not that corner. The one with the poo in it. I can’t bring myself to clean it up.
By the way, thanks for giving this place a pulse when all I wanted to do was rip its heart out. Sincerely. Although I haven’t been able to be on as much as I’d like, I have been reading every one of your comments, and I really appreciate that you take the time to leave them. So there.
I’ve been here, in the background, late at night, just before bed. I’ve read your comments, and chuckled in a handsome baritone at your wit. Three days in, you see, and it’s cold turkey all the way. I have work to do, and it’s not a pleasant feeling.
You know what’s a worse feeling than that? Starting a new job on a Monday morning and being told your position is at risk when you get taken over next month. Next month! It’s your first day, so you are entitled to nothing. NOTHING. A week’s notice, a week’s pay, shove that up your hole and feed and keep your family and piss the fuck off you horrendous cunts.
Nothing’s definite, of course. We’ll have to wait and see. Those of you I’ve mailed will have seen this already, but that’s how sapped I am, copying and pasting. Forgive me my indiscretion, for pulling out this bit: Getting this job, great though the salary and benefits are, has made me realise how fucking soul-sucking corporate life is, how much I detest everything about it. I wish to fuck I was able to do something creative instead of something that strangles any sort of creative impulses before they have a chance to go anywhere.
So it is. Foolish self-satisfaction versus doing what’s important. You can’t have both.
Linzi and I finally got a night out together. We went for a delicious dinner in Glasgow last night, and on for a few beverages afterwards. We got the train home, a bit tipsy but not too locked. The late evening trains are a curse for dodgy crowds of youths and not-so-youths hopped up on Bucky and hormones, and we weren’t surprised when Linzi received several crude comments over the course of our journey.
When we got off at our stop, we were a bit perturbed to find that the same gang of lads that had been making the comments had also got off. Shite. We walked quickly, trying to put a bit of distance between us and them.
Linzi squeezed my hand. Fuck. I turned around.
“Mister. Got a fag?”
“Nah lads, don’t smoke,” I replied. I stood in front of Linzi, wary, as they walked towards me. There were four of them. Skinny little bastards, but still dangerous. Consequences are irrelevant to this type – they have nothing to lose anyway. I took a step backwards, almost trampling Linzi, having spotted the blade one of them was carrying. The lad in front, holding a green bottle of Buckfast in the traditional brown paper bag, started saying something else to me, but I ignored him. Grabbing Linzi’s hand I dragged her and together we sprinted up the hill out of the station, and down the road towards home.
The streetlights ended at the bottom of the road leading into our estate. We were well ahead of the scumbags, running just as fast as we could, holding onto one another’s hands. Linzi was still trying to get away into the night, when I put my arms around her and we tumbled to the ground, and then I said “I think we’re alone now.”
She looked back. “Agreed,” she said “There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. In fact, if you listen carefully, the beating of our hearts is the only sound.”
So we went home.
Well, the speech thing was okay, went for the sincere-but-with-one-joke-thrown-in approach. My going away present is hilarious – an LCD photo frame with a memory card full of all the folks from my department in a variety of poses. You can set the photoframe onto a slideshow and just watch everyone go by. Very thoughtful. Now, to get shitfaced.
Lads, I feel a bit sick.
The other day, I read an announcement online that my new company is restructuring to the tune of 500 redundancies over the next three years, and they are going to be outsourcing their entire IT and back office support to a third party. Hang on a sec, I thought: I work in IT.
That evening, I received a phone call from my future boss saying “Just to let you know, you won’t be working for Company X” (the company who I went for interview with).
Pause for effect. A nugget of poo escapes and rolls down my leg.
“As of August, you’ll be working with Company Y, who are taking on all the IT-related support for Company X. Terms and conditions will be the same.”
And so forth. A biteen nerve-racking, but I have seen it happen before. There’s a risk, but I’m in kind of a niche area, so hopefully I’ll be safe. Think positive.
Then, this morning, the department director comes up to me and gives me the oul pitch to try to make me stay here. Asks me why I’m leaving, asks me to stay, and so forth. Then he goes on to say that in his experience (which is extensive), these things always fuck over a lot of people, and it’s usually last in, first out. That’s gonna be you Kav! he informed me gleefully.
Okay, it’s a transparent effort at making me reconsider my options, but still. I feel sick.
There’s always tonight though. Many beverages will be consumed. And I brought in cakes for everyone, which I’m doing my best to consume single-handed. Have a good weekend, nephews.
It’s my last day of work tomorrow, and inevitably there will be one of those awkward presentation things, at the end of which I will be forced to give a meaningless speech about how much I enjoyed working with everyone. Anyone got any advice on how to inject a bit of humour into this unpleasantness?
Oh, and it’d be remiss of me not to mention Linzi’s Race for Life thing, seeing as you were so generous, and it happened almost a full week ago. Oops. She’s said her own thank you here, but I just wanted to echo it to specifically thank anyone who contributed on the back of reading this blog. £515, people! You guys kick arse.
On the night of the race, I was roped into signing up for the 10k being held in October, so I might come begging to you again in a few months time. If nothing else, that run will give me a bit of motivation to get back in shape. It’d be nice to raise a bit of money too, I suppose.
Anyway, the main bit’s my leaving speech. Get your thinking shillelaghs out and whack yerselves over the head a few times. I’m looking for scintillating, razor-sharp wit, which I know you all have in abundance. Hit me with your best badoom-boom-tish lines so I can steal them tomorrow afternoon.
Option 6 again.
“Hello, I’d like to sort out a simple piece of business please.”
“Sorry, sir, you’ll have to phone our employee helpline – the number is whateverthefuck.”
Your business is important to us, please hold.
Okay? Now hold a bit longer.
Right then, we’ll have you now.
“Hello, I can’t speak English, how may I help you?”
“Hello, I’d like to sort out a simple piece of business please. I was referred to you by your delightful customer representatives.”
“Sorry sir, we don’t hold that information. You need to call someotherfuckingnumber to get the details on that.”
“Hello, I have a bad fucking attitude and it’s a testament to this company’s abysmal recruitment processes that they gave me a customer-facing role, how can I do anything to avoid helping you today?”
“Hello, I’d like to sort out a simple piece of business please. I was referred to you by your employee helpline, who were referred to me by your delightful customer representatives.”
“Sorry sir, we don’t hold that information, you need to call thesamefuckingnumberyoucalledinthefirstplace and select Option 6, and then Option 6 again to get what you need.”
“No, listen to me: that’s the same number I dialled in the first place. I’ve been passed from pillar to post all morning and I am getting nowhere. I need to get this situation rectified. Can you help me in any way?”
“Alright then. You cunt.”
I have repeated the above scenario three times this morning. I am ready to slam my head off the fucking desk, I’m so angry. I finally got a different number, which is on perpetual hold as I type this.
Why the fuck can these cunts not do their job properly?
Later: You know, doing the work I do, I know exactly why these cunts can’t do their job properly. It’s because they have half a dozen legacy applications, each containing slightly different information about you, and none of them have interfaces to share this information. It’s all standalone. Is it any wonder the poor call centre gobshites haven’t a clue what’s going on?
Linzi’s always had a healthy appetite. It’s something I find attractive in a lady. If I’m sitting there horsing into an enormous steak (mmm…meat), the last thing I want to see is someone sitting opposite me pecking at lettuce and pushing spuds around their plate. Food helps us bond.
In fact, our first date was in a restaurant. “Would you like to go out for food some time?” I asked her. “Food?” she replied, “That’s my favourite!”
We knew we were meant to be together when we ordered a side of onion rings that came out on a spike three feet high, with the rings towered on it like one of those Fisher-Price stacker things.
Together we scoffed the lot, and I knew I’d met my soul mate. I almost came at the table.
Linzi recalls the first time we went to the cinema (The Blair Witch Project, back when it was just released in the US and everyone thought it was real). She missed whole chunks of the film, so intently was she staring at me – aghast and admiring at once – as I robotically, hand to mouth, devoured a full large-size popcorn. This was in America, remember, where a large portion of anything would feed 30 Ethiopians for a fortnight.
You can imagine my delight, therefore, upon arriving home yesterday evening, to be reminded that it was Linzi’s mother’s 70th birthday and we were all going out for something to eat. “Food!” I cried, “My favourite!”
And a fine meal it was too.
Until the end. Turns out Linzi had to make up a £15 shortfall in the bill because, ahem, certain other people hadn’t chipped in for things like coffee, garlic bread and the like. Okay, it’s only fifteen quid, but it’s the principle of the thing, innit?
Pah! Pah, I say!
The family in happier times (ie five minutes before the bill arrived)
I’m not sure of my bro-in-law’s feelings on net anonymity, but I didn’t want to ask his permission to post this, so I just spray-painted their heads. They’re all very attractive though, underneath the black masks of doom.
Note to Manuel: If you want to drastically reduce your chances of getting a tip, make sure you cut my first-born child out of the photo we ask you to take.
Sometimes something can be affecting you so fundamentally that you’re unable (unwilling?) to recognise its effects until you are forced to. So it is this week with work. I’m only now realising how much my ambition has been sapped by staying here for so long. I just can’t be bothered with anything anymore.
Self-esteem is low because I associate feeling good with achievement, and I’ve achieved fuck-all in recent months, unless you count Xbox360 achievements. Which I don’t.
I disregard letters. I let them build up, fully aware that I will get extremely agitated when there’s a pile of stuff sitting there for me to sort out. Then, surprisingly, I get extremely agitated, and angry with myself for letting the stuff pile up, but not angry enough to do anything. It’s the purest apathy I’ve ever felt, and I’m pissing myself off no end.
The anger subsides, and I sweep away the paperwork. You know, there are things I dealt with this week that have been hanging over me since March. Took half an hour to sort out, once I bothered my hole to look at them. Stupid. So fucking stupid.
I’m tired. All the time. My diet is shit, and I feel flabby.
I am fully fucking aware that all of this, everything that’s bothering me, is easily within my control to fix, but still I do nothing. I want to kick my own arse, but I can’t be arsed.
Sure, there are outside things, like the fact that I haven’t had a night out alone with my wife for nearly six months. Can’t get bogged down in that, that stuff’s out of my control. It’s this. There’s no excuse for me not taking responsibility for the stuff I can sort myself.
I’m hoping it’s just work that has drained me like this, and that the start of the new job will bounce me back to the way I used to be. Seriously, if I was reading this post on someone else’s blog, my comment would be “quit whining, you moaning cunt, and do something about it”. That’s why I’m turning comments off for this post*. I know what I need to do better than anyone. I just can’t bring myself to do it these days.
*why bother posting at all unless you want attention, you ask? For me, this blog’s as much a record of my life as anything else. I don’t want to forsake the bad stuff, but I don’t really want to dwell on it either.
MTV UK this week announced plans for a reality tv show observing the lives of prostitutes as they hustle to survive on the streets of London. Ride my Pimp will be a gritty slice of realism following five sexy dames on the game, hosted by Pimp My Ride UK frontman Tim Westwood.
Westwood, who was recently described in People magazine as “a total fucking joke”, had this to say about his new venture: “Eeeh it’s ya bwoi Westwood ‘ere wit da finest honeys in London ready to be maxin’ out on the d-low wit ya bwoi Westwood til the break of dawn, cos I be pimpin it like fresh toast bringin it to ya with tha Big Dawg flava. Holla!”
Linguists admit they haven’t a fucking clue what Westwood was on about.
The show is in the process of finalising its contestants, each of whom is being selected based on how horrendous her background is. A shortlist of ten whores will be cut to five after careful analysis to ensure the right mix of “mismatched, comically dissimilar personalities sure to be at each other’s throats within minutes of meeting one another” is selected.
The five contestants, who MTV recently announced will have serious drug habits to feed, will spend six gruelling weeks competing for tricks in south London. The whore who has turned the most tricks at the end of each show gets the opportunity to ride her pimp without protection, and also pockets her full week’s earnings pimp-tax-free. The losing contestants must make up this shortfall in the pimp’s earnings by handing over everything they’ve earned to their pimp, which is sure to spark friction between the contestants as the weeks pass.
The overall winner at the end of the series will be provided with a year’s supply of premium-quality China White heroin.
The announcement of Ride my Pimp comes days after Channel 4 announced their latest reality venture, a behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred look at the lives of the creators of reality tv shows, as they struggle to come up with new reality tv shows in an already-saturated market. A spokesperson for C4 said “We’re really stuck for ideas” before returning to his plush office, where he spent the rest of the afternoon with a dead horse which he took great pleasure in whipping.
Well, what would you rather watch? I’ll stick to the wholesome stuff.
Last week of work. Sniffle. You’re welcome to join me for pints this coming Friday, if you’re around the south side of Glasgow. I’ll be the one with the eyes looking in two different directions being carried by my irritated colleagues.
You know how on tv you always see people walking out of work for the last time with a cardboard box with their personal items in it? I’ve always wondered what was in those boxes, and today I got to find out. It’s stuff from your desk, you see. Pictures and all that. Imagine that.
After clearing everything away, my desk looks barren and sterile, like –
No, I can’t do it. I was going to make a joke about someone’s womb there, but I can’t bring myself to. There’s a line.
Fuck lads, it’s all happening. I read, but was too tied up in things to respond to, all your comments over the weekend. You lot crack me up. You should go and read them, because in this I have nothing.
I’m not one for the drama of “Look at me, I’m giving up blogging”, but I do feel a bit pissed off that as of next week when I start the new job, I’m going to have to seriously curtail things around here. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post, and as for commenting on other blogs, shite, who knows.
I have a small boat, with a little outboard engine. The little outboard engine has a 5-gallon petrol tank. The petrol tank has a pressure valve. You have to periodically open the valve to prevent the build-up of petrol vapours so that the tank doesn’t explode in a raging fireball that kills you and your whole family.
Yes, yes, this blog is my pressure valve. Bet you didn’t see that coming. What I’m saying though, is if I can’t post, I might explode like a raging fireball and kill myself and my whole family.
I told you I wasn’t one for drama.
There I was in Asda (a division of Wal*Mart, they proudly tell us), having a scan of the books before starting the soul-destroying traipse around the aisles with the cream of Motherwell scum. Or maybe it was the scum of Motherwell cream. I forget. Whoever they are, you can’t even go from Bread to Baking without hearing some haggard skank of a mother rasping “Kate-linnnnnn! Leave that man alone and get back o’er tae this fackin trolley or Ah’ll kick yer cunt in!”.
That lot are bearable – after all, I’ve been living here nearly five years now. I’m practically one of them. I look forward to the day when I have to manhandle Jack roughly while roaring at him that I’m going to kick his cunt in. I just hope I don’t tear up too much with the emotion of it all.
I’ll tell you what got my blood boiling, for some reason I’m still having trouble working out. You know those stories about one child’s struggle in the face of adversity? A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer and so forth. Well, did you know that there is now a whole genre, a full fucking section! of these kinds of books written by people about their childhoods of abuse and torture? It’s even got its own name, but I was in such a rage I can’t remember it. Abuselit, maybe.
Now, I’m not annoyed with Dave Pelzer himself, that was just an example. I’ve read his books, and they’re horrific and uplifting. He was a trailblazer, and I believe his intentions were honourable: he wanted to tell his story to offer hope to the hopeless and hapless. He had no idea he’d become a worldwide best seller.
I can’t help but be cynical about all that’s followed though. Sure, you get the “I just wanted to tell the true story of my horrendous life so people could know they’re not alone” spiel, but I have trouble believing that. It may be partly true, but tell me they didn’t have one eye on the bestsellers list and the pots of dough waiting to be made by playing on people’s guilty empathy.
Hello, Agent? My life’s got the right mix of ingredients to bake a weeping, weepy pie of woe. These days? Well, I’m a successful cheese mechanic with a loving family, so I think that gives you your cherry of hope on top. And the publishers provide someone to help me bake the pie? Great.
Then each slice goes on sale for £6.99 in Borders and they cry all the way to the bank.
Sensible people know that life is a series of crushing disappointments spackled with brief respites to allow you to gather the strength to keep going until the next disappointment. Do we have to wallow in it though? Okay, laughter may not be the best medicine – try saying that to a breast cancer patient being denied Herceptin and see how far it gets you – but why are these fucking books so popular? Why do people get off so much on the triumphant child phoenix rising from the flames of parental torment? Are people not sick and tired of inspirational true-life stories about overcoming adversity in the face of overwhelming odds? Will I ask any more questions in this paragraph?
Look, I know hating those books is pointless and childish, I do. But I still fucking hate them.
Julian Gough wrote a brilliant essay recently about the decline of comedy (with thanks to Badgerdaddy for the link) and why modern writing must be tragic to be considered to be of literary merit. Go and read it – it’s long but well worth it.
I’m telling you, I’m tempted to write a comedy book taking the piss out of my terrible childhood just out of spite. Maybe I’ll start a new genre. Hilariabuselit or something.
Not that I was abused, mind you.