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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

My Day At Work

Day Six of my kinda unemployment. Do the weekends count, or are you not unemployed when everyone else is at their leisure? I think I’ll choose not to count the weekends, in the same way that I chose not to count the two weeks I was off on holidays for. That way, my unemployment seems minor, and the problem of the money currently hemorrhaging out of my current account doesn’t seem so bleak.

Today, I am temping for the first time in over a year. I had forgotten, in all the time that I was spoilt going to the same place every day for a year, what a combination of adventure and horror temping is – walking up the street, you have absolutely no idea what you’re letting yourself in for, and the working day could bring along anything. Today is a nice introduction back in to the world, as, although I am working on a switchboard – something that usually fills me with horror as I have a habit of cutting off the most important people when they call – it all went smoothly with no monstrous nightmares lurking around the corner to greet me. Although, as I type this, it’s only 10.45am. Perhaps I’m speaking too soon. Who can say?

Out of the window, I have a great view of Edinburgh’s Blue Meanies – that’s the bizarre name they’ve got for the parking metre people here. I don’t know the origin (other than the fact that it’s a Beatles reference) as their uniform is almost entirely black. That’s a job I quite fancy, actually, as long as it’s not raining. Wandering about the streets at your own pace, keeping track of all the cars on your nifty little hand computer thingy and occasionally being threatened with actual bodily harm when the owners come back before you finish writing the ticket. (I think it’s the nifty little hand computer thingy that attracts me to the job, actually. It reminds me of the handset Al gets to use in Quantum Leap.) The standard issue shoes don’t look very comfortable though.

I’ve bought another book. I think I’m becoming addicted. Sitting on my bookshelves, while I celebrate becoming overdrawn for the fifth time in five months, are seven books I have bought first hand and not yet read. Another nine books wave at me from the shelves, all found in charity shops, and all destined to sit on my shelf and not be opened for at least another six months. Is there a Book Buyers Anonymous Twelve Steps programme I could join?

At the moment, I’m reading three books – The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, which I’ve been reading on and off for the past three months; Well Remembered Days by Arthur Matthews, which I started on the plane on the way home to Dublin and haven’t quite picked up again; and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which is the book currently being hauled around in my bag everywhere I go, and which I am going through at a mile a minute. The thing was, I didn’t want to whip that one out while I sat and shamefacedly ate Vegetarian Sushi in Pret A Manger, because – as we all know – Pret is now a subsidiary of McDonalds, and to sit there and sanctimoniously read the book while adding to their profits would make me look like the fool I really am. So I popped in to a second hand bookshop across the road and to my delight found From Wimbledon to Waco by Nigel Williams (so that’s another one I can scratch off my Amazon Wish List). £1.25 and all the Willams whimsy I could take. Now I’m reading four books, looking for work, trying to keep a regular blog, unsuccessfully running a website (now a week and a day behind schedule), learning to juggle, secretly flat hunting and trying to ensure that I have my RDA of Vitamin C at least once a week.

On a Nigel Williams note – if you haven’t read any of his work, go read The Wimbledon Poisoner and work your way on from there. But do skip Stalking Fiona because it’s absolute rubbish and not worth the paper it’s printed on.

There you go, then. An insight in to my working day. Tomorrow, another interview. Fingers and all other appendages duly crossed, please.


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