According to Bing there are 8766 hours in a given year. I will have to verify with Google later, as Bing can’t be trusted, it means well, but it’s just not as bright as its older brother. On average, we work 8 hours a day five days a week, which equates to say 40 hours a week. Times this by the 52 weeks we have in the year and we get 2080. Let’s say on average we get 7 hours sleep in a twenty-four hour period. 7×7 = 49, multiply 49 by 52 and we have 2,548 hours. 8766 – 2548 = 6218. This number represents our waking hours when we can do things. So as it stands, we spend roughly a third of our waking lives at work.
You might be saying ‘that’s not a particularly accurate template. I mean all jobs are different. The number of hours vary, it depends on how much we get paid and how many holiday days, and when we retire. There are far too many variables to consider to make a statement with an air of mathematical certainty.’ To which I would reply… SHUT UP!
There ain’t nothing human to humanity anymore. I often say in a gruff, Hollywood style voice to anyone willing to listen, which isn’t a large number. Those that do tend to say, ‘Get on with your work.’ Or ‘that’s all well and good but you still need to pay your council tax.’ Every day, when my alarm goes off, all I want to do is go back to sleep, just for another hour or two… sometimes I wish to sleep until the seas rise and send us all to our watery graves, paving the way to the fishman civilisation of the future. Is that so much to ask? Just a little bit more sleep? Apparently, for a human, that is a ridiculous request.
Every other creature on the planet, upon waking, if they want more sleep, would simply put their head down and continue. I had a dog once, and it was all she’d do. How I envied that fat spaniel. So, we’re not allowed to sleep if we’re tired. But at least we have a roof above our heads. The habitat of the human, the buildings that symbolise our advancement.
But do we?
That costs money… a lot of money. These days so much money that soon no one will be able to afford to rent and we’ll all be living in the woods as all the buildings stand empty. (On a side note, I was recently unable to afford my council tax. The council was very understanding, they sent me a letter saying ‘you haven’t paid your monthly instalment of £144. If you don’t pay within six days you will lose your right to pay in instalments and we will demand the full payment of £1,280.’ I can’t help but feel they are somewhat removed from reality, they exist in a world where the higher the number, the easier it is to pay. Give it long enough and I’m sure I’ll be getting a letter saying ‘can’t afford £144? Not to worry, we’ll just take it in blood.’)
In trying to earn money, to keep a roof above my head so I can have a bed that I’m not allowed to sleep in when I want, I have a job – which I’ve already established takes up a third of my waking life. In this job, we’re told we’re not allowed to text from our phones, no communication to the outside world. Whenever we leave our desks we must state where we are going, and then also state when we have arrived back… because though people might be able to see us, there’s every chance that our minds have melted into oblivion and are no more.
I sarcastically email my manager every time I go for a poo, and then email him when I am back from my poo, giving him details of the pooping experience. He is not amused, but it gets me through the day. The words ‘standardised’ and ‘processes’ are thrown about so frequently that they have lost all meaning. If anyone has the misfortune of being a minute late they are reprimanded and publically humiliated. We must produce weekly reports of the work we have done in order to prove we are doing it. Any display of humanity is swiftly dealt with. We become reduced to numbers, all clad in grey jumpsuits. Every so often a face will appear on our computer screens demanding we submit to the will of middle management (on another side note, what is the point of middle management? They’re like an appendix; they’re useless and serve no purpose, but everyone’s got one, and every so often they burst ruining someone’s day). All for a measly 19k a year.
You may be saying ‘this is little more than an exercise in catharsis! What happened to the posts where you’d just put a number of ‘funny’ drawings that you did?’ to which I say to you SHUT UP! One more outburst from the likes of you and I’ll have you evicted from the internet!
So, at least we have the social aspect right? The very thing that defines humanity, separates us from the animals… those lucky lazy animals that just sleep and eat, occasionally having a break from both to have sex. Bastards.
Adult life drastically reduces the number of friends you have. Those from your childhood have moved on and are busy working. The people you meet as adults are those you work with, and we hate them. By the time you eventually get home, having waited hours for a bus or sat in the never ending streams of traffic, you are tired and hungry. You eat some dehydrated noodles and go to bed.
If you don’t you may sit and stare at your computer screen, or the screen of your phone, or at a mirror in a daze, thinking it’s a screen. You try and poke and swipe at it, try and get some porn on it, but the only naked person it will show you is you, and you disgust yourself. You’re haggard, your skin taught about your skull, eyes shadowed with fatigue and glassy with dejectedness. Your shoulders are stooped from being hunched over a computer all day. Your mind has been reduced to mulch from boredom, your chest hurts with loneliness.
The thing that looks back at you is not human, but some sort of skeletal husk. It may have been human once. It may have had the potential for humanity, but modern life has squeezed it out of you. The constant pecking from automated systems demanding money which you don’t have, the constant bleating of managers, the squealing of alarms demanding you wake up; the constant rejection from people denying you the right to hold another individual and weep for the loss of humanity, it’s all taken its toll.
Google says it’s 8760, nice try Bing.