You shouldn’t worry about what others think

It only affects every aspect of your life.

Often, we are told not to spend so much time worrying what others think about us. It only matters what you (the person in question) thinks. Unfortunately, this is yet another thing that doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. You should definitely worry what others think of you. What others think will decide how you progress in your chosen career (or more likely the career that you tripped and fell face first into and now have to live with forever). What others think of you will determine your relationships and subsequently your family life. Every aspect of your future is reliant on the whims and thoughts of others.

Which brings me onto my point.

We spend our entire lives forced to prove ourselves. First, it’s fairly easy, we must learn to control our bladders. Strangely, we’re the only creature on the planet that does this except for maybe the domesticated dog, but that’s only because we’ve forced it on them. Around the same time, it’s walking and talking.

Then comes school. This is the first of an endless string of proving grounds. You must prove your academic prowess…

*Side note* for those that are interested, the following paragraph is very much a message in one of the amazing short stories written by the great Watergipridget.

You must constantly prove your ability to read words and then to write words. Then you must prove you can grasp the arbitrary rules that surround the notion of words. Let’s be frank. Grammar is shit. For any self-confessed Grammar Nazis out there: not only are you a twat, but the very thing you hold dear was laid down by old dead men and subject to the whims of humanity. The rules of grammar are dictated by use. If we all decided the semi-colon belonged after an ‘n’, then by god this blog would look preposterous.

As you strive to prove you’ve obtained the basics of pedantry, you must simultaneously prove you’ve grasped the deliberately confusing world of numbers and their relationships. “A stall at the fair is selling punnets of strawberries containing 15 strawberries for £2.40 each. How much is each individual strawberry?” – What kind of fair is this? If they’re being sold by the punnet, what’s the point in knowing how much each individual strawberry is? No one’s going to try and by three strawberries.

You must prove yourselves in high pressured exams where you are awarded with letters that follow you around for the rest of your days.

But it doesn’t stop there. If your letters are good you can’t relax after losing your childhood to school. Then it’s the real world’s turn to run you through the ringer and then take a steaming hot turd on your chest. You must constantly prove that you are worthy of those letters against other people with similar or better letters.

You must prove yourself through job applications and then prove yourself in an interview. You must sit opposite strangers as they evaluate your life choices, your looks and your personality. What they think about those will determine whether you’re allowed the job. If you can prove you are better than others, then you can finally become a valued member of society and start earning money.

But it doesn’t stop there.

You can’t relax and think, ‘finally, I can let go of this anxiety and start enjoying life.’ No, then you must constantly prove that it was not a mistake that the powers that be employed you. You have to prove that you deserve to be paid over the thousands of other humans and fairly intelligent lemurs that can do your job. You must work hard. Put the effort in. Put the hours in. You must succeed. It’s not enough to just turn up, which in itself is a challenge.

At this particularly gruelling stage, the fatigue starts to kick in. Your muscles burn (figuratively if it’s an office job, literally if your job is laborious) and your soul starts to weep (always figuratively, otherwise I recommend seeing a doctor). It’s here you start to realise the futility of it all. The criteria on which you are judged becomes arbitrary or downright insane.

Then there’s that weird quirk of humanity. Often, we dwell upon and remember the negative events of our pasts and lightly skim the positive. In the world of work this is turned up to the n;th degree, by which I mean to the point of absurdity. One day you could leap out the window and fall several stories in order to provide a soft landing for a baby dropped from a slightly higher floor. You’ll receive barely more than a nod of approval before receiving an email stating that the time spent saving babies will be taken out of your lunch break. A few weeks later you might fall foul of simple human error and you’re pulled into a disciplinary. ‘but I saved a baby?’ you will cry. ‘We can all save babies!’ they’ll respond.

You’ll start to question why you bother. There’s no benefit to this endless proving. You’ll be unable to explain why the people ahead of are ahead of you. They’re no less deserving than you, but nor are they calculably less competent. You’ll become despondent and even be tempted to slack. But you can’t. The minute you slow down you’ll be overtaken by those behind you.

At the end of these endless trials, when we have eventually ‘proven’ ourselves (with varying degrees of success) as much as we can, we are rewarded with death. It’s at this point you stop wondering if it’s worth all the fuss and realise that it definitely isn’t.

I’m a simple man. I’d quite like to spend my life sitting on a chair in contemplative silence (and the occasional scream of existential despair), every so often, I’d like to look out a window and maybe see a pigeon, though I could happily live without. I am denied that life as that would be too simple. No, I have to go out and ‘try my best’ as the television shows I watched as a child would tell me. You can do no more than your best. We’re all just trying our best and sometimes, our best just ain’t good enough.

I often wonder if I could be one of those people who reject modern life. Who gives up all material things and lives a life of quiet meditation. Then I realise that that’s impossible and the only people that truly manage it are eccentric rich men and odd monks who live in remote locations anyway, so they may as well reject the material because the nearest Apple shop is an expensive flight away.

We humans struggled with evolution. Really, we’re stuck in the tribal phase where ‘survival of the fittest’ meant just that. Those intent on proving themselves would charge around waving spears and bringing death and destruction to those that couldn’t prove anything. I’d have let them get on with it. I’d say ‘no more of this madness’ and sit down and look out a window. Those that could prove themselves did, and those that couldn’t died.

On the surface, we’re civilised now. Those that can’t don’t die. Instead, we linger on.

We keep going,

Hoping for the best

Think not too deeply on these words

I say them just in jest

Don’t let them tell you, you ain’t worth spit

because you failed their test,

After all, we’re all the same

Just some are better dressed.

Note: I have no internet, so had to tether to my phone. To save precious data I didn’t go looking for funny pictures.

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Time is somewhat shorter

Tomorrow is the 30th, which theoretically means the next day will be the first of May. May is a month I always forget, in my mind it goes: January, February, March, April, June, July…. May interrupts the flow. We should just get rid of it and pad February and August out a bit. However, that would make it seem as time is going even quicker than it currently is, which brings me on to my point: time is going too fast.

Tuesday will herald in the start of the fifth month. We’ll bid a tearful farewell to April and plunge head first into whatever shit May brings our way. It’s utterly terrifying. Just yesterday it was Christmas. The week before I was sixteen and my band had just won Hertfordshire’s under 18s Battle of the Bands. I had written a novel I was sure was going to be a best seller and could say with some degree of confidence that I was definitely going to star in a few blockbuster movies.

This year I turn twenty-seven. The band’s guitarist is putting on weight at an alarming rate, the drummer is having a child and I’m fairly certain the bassist died… perhaps in some sort of unexpected golfing accident. I realised my novel was shit so wrote some other, decidedly less shit ones which got rejected by multiple agents, and I was an extra in the Theory of Everything. It’s a film I have yet to actually watch and have no intention of watching. I don’t understand biopics. They’re either embellished to the point of pure fantasy or boringly accurate. Ultimately, we know how they’re going to end. Also, since watching Game of Thrones I can rarely get into anything that doesn’t involve a sword fight or gratuitous nudity. I doubt a biopic of the late great Stephen Hawking has any of that.

The point is, none of my dreams show the remotest chance of coming true. Which is fine, if we all achieved our dreams the economy would be in a state of disarray. But my next ‘big birthday’ is 30. We all know this is where the clock really starts ticking if you’ve not achieved anything interesting and/or don’t have a partner or indeed any sign of finding one (all of those are true for me). People in their forties might shake their head and tut at this, but that’s only because they’re living in denial. 30s is the beginning of the end. It’s all just a matter of waiting for death by that stage.

Having started a job (a fairly good one, but it’s too early to claim it’s a career yet), time is rocketing by at such a pace I am destined to wake up one morning and catch a glimpse of a haggard, heavily bearded man clad in ragged and rotting clothes. I’ll look into his worn and dead eyes and see me as a youthful man trapped inside, weeping. I will then scream and run outside and get hit by the bus of the future, which still won’t be flying, and a single will cost £450 in future money.

The weekdays zoom by, despite being at work, which is a notoriously dull place (again I quite like my job, but still). The weekends are gone in an instant. I go for a poo on a Friday evening and when I emerge it’s Sunday afternoon, Monday’s looming over me and I haven’t topped the electricity meter up.

Soon it will be summer, the worst of all the seasons and then it’ll me Christmas again, the worst of all the celebrations. I will have no more time to write shit unpublished novels, having time to find a love interest and then devoting time to the unnecessary convoluted human mating ritual will be but a mere fantasy and before I know it, I’ll be writing another half arsed blog about how my next birthday is 28, and things still annoy me.

Then one day, I’ll realise I’m 86 and that it’s time to die. Death will come wandering in, I’ll get up to try and nut him, but dislocate a hip. And he’ll say, ‘You know, it only feels like last week I saw you being born when I was passing through the hospital to geriatric wards.’

I’ll ask him if I’ve led a good life.

He’ll say I’ve led a distinctly average one.

 

 

 

 

Waves of Bullshit

I’m bored so have decided to work on an ill conceived series of posts called the Waves of Bullshit. Enjoy.

There are various waves of bullshit that we have to endure as we tread the waters of life for as long as possible, until we eventually succumb to exhaustion and sink beneath the surface for good. Every aspect of existence is tainted by the foul stench of metaphorical excrement, there’s simply no avoiding it. Positive people with an unnecessary amount of optimism will accuse me of being a cynic, chastise me for being overly dour and not appreciating that I have what might be called, a particularly easy life.  Whilst this may be true, it ultimately changes nothing.  Sometimes you’ll find that there’s so much bullshit that the only way to get through a day is to drink heavily until things start making sense, or at least you get so drunk you cease to care that it’s all nonsense. This, tragically, makes tomorrow’s bullshit all the harder to deal with.

I would spend some time talking about the farce that is Brexit or the bizarre twist that was Trump being elected president of the united states, but everyone’s done that to death and by the time I finish writing this we’d have all moved on.

***

We humans, we had it rough to begin with.  Our cavepeople ancestors were not at the top of the food chain and had an extremely laxed approach to health and safety. Our insistence on standing upright means that our young are born having not had the time to fully develop, heck, they have a hole in their damn heads. They have next to no survival instinct, struggle to regulate their body temperatures and have an almost non-existent immune system. On average, humans give birth to one baby at a time, assuming we’re talking about the mode, which we are obviously, the other averages can fuck off. Up until as late as the industrial revolution, children (particularly in working class families) often had the annoying habit of dying before their fifth birthday. This is why parents tended to have as many children as possible, to up the probability of their family enduring. Children dying was so common that frequently, parents would refrain from naming their children until their fifth birthday, where upon they were sent out into the world to earn a living.

What has this got to do with the bullshit of today?

Well, historically, life was hard. It’s crazy to believe that we survived, let alone dominate the globe. Life was a complex daily struggle against a world that confused and terrified us. Now we know more than we ever have. With a quick Google we can get access to a wealth of knowledge. Almost everything is automated and has been handed over to our good friends ‘the machines.’ We have beat nature in many respects and now babies don’t die very often and life is not a constant struggle. For us westerners anyway.

Yet, I can’t help but feel we’ve been unable to shake off the mindset of our caveman ancestors. We’ve invented complex languages, so can now express ourselves more eloquently, but the gist of what we say is probably the same. Life should be easy, but we humans seem to have the need to make it complicated.

This book is not going to change anything. It will offer no wise ruminations, no quotable messages of motivation or of unity. It’s mainly a self-indulgent account of some things I’ve done in the past and why everything is bullshit.

The World of Work.

You will find CEOs and managers in the world of work can only communicate in clichés or laboured analogies and metaphors. This is one of the most single frustrating habits anyone can have and speaks of a lack of independent thought. Only an idiot speaks in sayings and analogies. You know this is true because if you spare a second’s thought, you will realise that none of them make any sense.

In a story I will get to later, a CEO once told me that ‘there’s an old saying that goes: loose lips sink ships.’ Which is the very height of bullshit. In the history of human’s traversing the seas, very few ships if any have been sunk by lips, loose or otherwise. Ice bergs sink ships. Poor ship manufacturing sinks ships. Bombs, torpedoes and explosions sink ships. Lips are very unlikely to cause even the smallest amount of cosmetic damage, let alone anything of consequence.

I was so annoyed that this phrase even exists I had to research why it exists in the first place. As it happens the phrase originates in those golden years of 1939 – 1945, humanities second attempt at killing everyone. The third one has been on the cards for some time now, but we all know it’ll all be CGI and explosions.

As it happens it was a piece of propaganda with variations around the world, all of which made more sense. Great Britain had ‘careless talk costs lives,’ which is straight to the point. The Germans went with Schäm Dich, Schwätzer! Which translated into English reads ‘Shame on you, Blabbermouth.’ Which I’m sure we can all agree is the single best piece of propaganda the world has ever seen or will see again.

See I wouldn’t mind if he said ‘shame on me, blabbermouth.’

Anything to do with a company is so far removed from a ship, that the phrase has no bearing.  Anyway, I responded with ‘there’s another lesser known phrase that goes “pay your web developer lest he delete your sites.”

I no longer work for that company.

Another manager of the past used phrases like ‘onwards and upwards’ or ‘eyes on the prize’ like he was some weird game show host.

Another would say things like ‘That so and so, he’s like a hurricane, he blows on through here and we’re left to clear up the mess. Then once we clean up the mess, he’s back again, blowing everything over.’ And ‘It’s like doing a million piece jigsaw puzzle, except you can’t see the picture and there are two puzzles mixed up.’ At which point I asked, “why on earth would you do that? More to the point, how do you know there two separate jigsaws if you can’t see the picture? If someone asked me to do that I’d say no.’

Sayings and phrases are the badges of idiots and tragically, they wear them with pride.

***

On another note, starting from tomorrow my stupid collection of short stories will be free. Download them, read them and laugh. Or download them, read them and don’t laugh, or just download them, I don’t care, the stats make me happy. It has 5 stars, customers who also bought it bought The Great Gatsby and that has 4 Stars, meaning my book is better than The Great Gatsby.

 

 

 

We Lowly Millennials.

First let me tell you, my computer broke, so I wrote this hastily on a computer in a library (they have computers now!) and I only had 30 mins to do so. Then I copied it to my phone and from my phone am pasting it here. No proof reading was done, it’s not very good and it was more venting on my part than anything else.

Also, I still don’t know what millennial really means, or quite why it requires 2 Ns.

 

In the space of a month or so, I’ve gone from being a copy editor to working in a pub. I had to work hard to obtain this job in said pub. Who’d have thought that we’d one day live in a world where even bar work was a competitive industry. I saw a line outside the Job Centre the other day, there were eight people fighting over an application form for Clarks. Some one pulled a knife – he had a degree in astrophysics.

I have been applying for many jobs. It is a soul destroying exercise in futility for anyone in their 20s. No matter how you approach it, you’ll always get the lazy responses ‘thanks, but no.’ Or, worse than that, you’ll get ‘you have not got enough experience.’ If you ask how you go about getting the necessary experience when every company turns you down for your lack of experience they mutter something unintelligible before pointing behind you and saying ‘what the fuck is that?’ Like a fool you turn, and when you turn back they are gone.

If you ask what happens when all the people with experience eventually die, their faces adopt a far away quality, as though they are staring into some murky abyss, before whispered words escape their puckered lips ‘…then God help us.’

The problem is, most of us were conned into going to university, and for most of us it was a con. A massive fat CON. We were lured into it by talk of walking out the other end being more employable than those who didn’t go. We were told not to worry about the massive debt, because our degrees would propel us into roles so well paid that it’ll be gone within the week. All of this turned out to be a lie. Everyone has a degree, and when everyone has a degree than we may as well not have bothered, especially if your degree is in performing arts.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I went to the University of Hertfordshire, which is less a university and more a community centre catering for unemployed millennials. Which brings me on to the crux of my point.

What the fuck is a millennial? I think I am one, but I don’t know what it means. Everywhere I read or hear it, it sounds patronising, dismissive and dripping in ridicule. Often when we lament the lack of jobs, those in positions of authority say “there’s plenty out there, you just have to look hard for it.” or the problem with millennials is we “have a huge sense of entitlement,” and “want success handed to us on a plate” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4232696/Millenials-generation-huge-sense-entitlement.html)

Others say the problem lies within our work ethic and maybe we should all work in bars and restaurants and do so happily without complaint. Stefanie Williams writing for the Huffington Post writes about her success in The Problem With Millennials and Work Ethic: All of this was afforded to me not in the first month I was working at a restaurant, but after I put in the hours, made the sacrifices and sucked up my pride in order to make ends meet and figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefanie-williams/the-problem-millennials-work-ethic-talia-yelp_b_9282244.html)

Well done Stefanie, though as well as hours and hard work you missed out huge dollops of luck. However, with astronomical rent prices climbing ever hire and even those restaurant jobs being harder to come by as well as the cost of living forever climbing, we millennials will be aged and haggard by the time we start earning enough to make a proper go at life. We’re the first generation that on the whole, will be worse off when compared to our parents. Most of us will never own our own home and as to having a career progression to boast about, the vast majority can forget about that, what with our chaotic Cvs. Worked in one bar, worked in another bar, had a brief stint in IT support, was made redundant as it was outsourced, worked in another bar.

As for being self-entitled, we have lived and are currently living in one of the worst economic crisis in recent history. An economic crisis that was not our doing. In fact, we had nothing to do with it. Yet we must be the ones to fix it, we have to be the ones to suffer the low wages, the lack of jobs, the crushing financial burdens. I say again, most of us will never be able to afford our own home. Either because they’re too expensive, or because we’ll just end up having that nuclear war we’ve been talking about for so many decades.

Of course we expect a good job, we were promised a good job, coaxed into spending a lot of money on higher education due to the that promise. Of course we want more than bar work, as we approach our mid-twenties. These are the years we should be starting on our path to a career we can be proud of. Soon we’ll be in our thirties, maybe wanting to squeeze some of our own children into an already over-populated world, how can we afford to do that when we’re barely getting by on our shifts at The Wobbly Cow or The Fat Crustacean or The Whorish Whore or Wetherspoons?

Just give me a fucking job!

There Ain’t Nothin’ Human about Humanity Anymore

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.

Do we?

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.

TheFuzzyRambler.

 

The Endless Cycle Continues

It’s Monday morning and here I sit back in the office at ten to seven having successfully managed to avoid inevitable conversations about the weather. You know how it goes:

  • There’s weather today.
  • Yes, there was slightly different weather yesterday.
  • Hmm, I did not approve of that weather, but this weather is marginally more pleasing to me.
  • I wonder if there’ll be weather tomorrow.

Despite the fact that we don’t really have weather anymore, just one endless stretch of mild. Occasionally there are floods.

The weekend went too quick, that we are all in agreement. I went for a poo on the Friday evening, when I finished it was Sunday afternoon and I had ironing to do. I didn’t do it, as any person that chooses to iron of their own free will has officially given up on life. Now, the cycle continues. I sit in a place I despise to do something I have absolutely no interest in, in the hope I have enough money not to starve (I am already overdrawn).

We humans certainly made a mistake all them years ago when we invented the week and what we were to do with it. We decided a week would last 7 days, 5 week days, and 2 weekend days, which surely are still week days… they’re part of the week which as previously stated lasts by definition, 7 days.  We will work for the 5, and then have 2 days off.  It boggles the mind, that at this meeting no one raised their hand to say: “I see where you’re coming from, I love the ideas, I’d love it even more with one minor change. Let’s work for 2 days, and then have 5 off.”

If we did that there’d be no unemployment, as to keep businesses going companies would have to employ more people to cover the week. Yeah we’d earn less, but we’d all earn less, so the laws of economics dictate the value of money will change and we can all go on as normal.  (My knowledge of economics is limited. All I know is no one has any money as it stands anyway.)

Though I suppose back then, when the week was invented by Mr. Charles Week, the people that decided what to do with it were the ruling elite, and as such didn’t have to work, it was the role of the plebs to do that.

But as John Prescott said in 1997 “We’re all plebs now.” Which as we all know, led to the Plebgate scandal. Which involved a bike at some point if I recall, I think John Prescott was on a bike as he said it. A tandem bike, with Tony Blaire on the back.

I suppose I should do some work now.

TheFuzzyRambler.

Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life – apart from on weekdays

Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

This statement, like all things happy-go-lucky and optimistic, annoys me to no end. It sounds all well and good, until you realise the job market is becoming increasingly slim and competitive that you’ll probably have to get a job in a coffee shop, or temping in an office whilst you do what you love on the side. Which makes for more of a cumbersome statement.

I love hiding in wardrobes. No one is willing to pay me to do that, and my rent is extortionate. The idea of everyone doing what they love is not feasible. The economy would plummet. The world’s population would be made up of musicians, painters, writers and people hiding in wardrobes. If we’re going to adopt this view, we’d best hope that a lot of people love the idea of working in Tesco, otherwise we’ll never get our groceries.

Perhaps, I am taking the statement far too literally – I do operate at that end of the spectrum where I take most things at face value. Maybe what is meant is – whatever you are doing, do your best to try and love it. Focus on the plus points, on the bonuses and the people, even if you hate them. That sounds good doesn’t it? So if you work in sewage treatment, you could focus on the knowledge that you’ll get a lot of money and the job market in your chosen field will never get too competitive. Or my personal favourite perk of that job: you can get a certain level of satisfaction knowing that you literally have to wade through and sort out everyone’s faecal matter rather than just metaphorically. It makes for a good conversation starter.

Wherever you work and in whatever field, find ways to make it satisfying. Find ways to make it amusing. Find ways to get through the day. I often find not wearing underpants gives me enough of a kick to get me through to lunchtime, but each to their own. It can be anything. There is that old saying ‘only boring people get bored.’ Which ironically, is usually said by incredibly dull individuals, but for the purpose of churning out more words, I will adopt its philosophy. If you find yourself bored in the office, find ways to make it entertaining. A creative type will always find ways to amuse themselves. Insert song lyrics into emails, see how many people notice. See how many coffees you can drink before you collapse in a caffeine induced fit of anxiety and despair. Become the guy who’s memorised the company handbook so you can pedantically quote it at other people to make their day slightly worse. Stand up and loudly declare ‘life is too short for this nonsense and I shall not waste another second!’ then storm out and never come back.

Maybe not. So what then?

In working life there appear to be two things of importance.

  1. A necessity to work to earn enough money not to be hungry.
  2. A personal necessity for self-fulfilment.

The trick is trying to keep the two balanced.

It’s true there are fulfilling things that don’t pay a great deal, just as there are jobs that pay enough to not be hungry, but to many are deeply unfulfilling. We seem to need both in order to live happy lives, I could get into Karl Marx’s alienation theory, but I sat through those lectures myself, and found they were incredibly boring so I shan’t.

Fulfilment may not necessarily come from occupational achievements, or doing a job you like, but from the location in which you live. If you’re not happy with this, change that first… then focus on a satisfying career… although to do so would require money, which in turn requires a job, which would directly influence where you can live. See, it’s all rather complicated. The people that live by this statement are either incredibly lucky, pretentious fuckwits with rich parents; or just find repetitive and menial tasks interesting and therefore consider themselves to be living the dream when analysing data.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I just really hate that quote, and I want everyone to stop using it.