Sunday, May 06, 2007

Day 299: I Favourably Consider Being Literally Non-Working Once Again

No more fancy-trousering for me, if you please! Despite the many excellent points I have made in the past about how one can be literally at work and yet spiritually non-working, there are a number of facts that are conspiring to suggest that I should become literally non-working once again. The facts are thus:

I Have An "Issue" With Authority

This is an actual and literal fact, diagnosed by a number of people, including three psychoanalysts in Highgate*, four headmistresses, myself (aged 3), my parents, all my bosses, and anyone who has ever met me, ever.

Not, I am sure you will agree, conducive to working in offices with other people, unless - Oh miracle of miracles - one's boss is someone one can look up to and learn from! The only solution I can see is that I am made into the boss, but if that were the case no work would get done, and I would encourage everyone to resign and go and do something less boring instead.

People Waste The Most Appalling Amount of Time Being People

The average day in the office rarely consists of straightforward conversations about the things that have to be done, followed by swift decisions about how they are going to be done, by whom, by when, and at what cost.

Instead, one must deal with Politics, The Way Ambition Makes People Behave, Insecurity, Incipient Nervous Breakdowns and Nonsense (Non-specific). The circumnavigation of such things, combined with listening to people cock on about how they used to be really important means that virtually nothing gets done, and one must spend many more long hours in the office.

Ghastly, and such a waste of time!

I Am Right, And Life Would Be Better If Everyone Did It My Way

But everyone thinks the same thing! That is why one spends much of the day having pointless arguments. Which, as far as I am concerned, is a complete waste of time - because I am right.

I Want To Do The Thing I Am Being Paid To Do, And Go Home

But I cannot, for I am wasting the day having a pointless argument with someone about the fact that I am right, and they are not!

I Cannot Pretend I Like People

The sheer horror of the rictus grin one adopts when asking a client how their weekend was, and they ask you how yours was, when neither of you could give a flying fuck!

I used to be able to do it, and now I cannot.

Most Meetings Are A Waste Of Time

There is a company where all meetings are fifteen minutes long, and held standing up. This is right and proper. It means people think before they go to the meeting, rather than do their thinking out loud in the meeting whilst everyone else staples the words ‘Shut Up, Cockbreath’ into their foreheads, desperate for some relief from the endless tedium.

I Never Wanted A Career

"So, you don't have a husband and family because of your career?", they ask tactlessly at parties. "Other way round", I say.

I Am More Effective If I Do Not Work

If I feel like working, I can be effective. If I am tired and distracted, and am forced to sit in a pointless meeting having a pointless conversation, I will become more tired and distracted and not very good at all.

I have decided that I am not a workhorse, but a Show Pony. I should be looked after carefully, brought out to trot up and down for small parts of every day, and the rest of the time allowed to loll about chewing thoughtfully on pony nuts and dreaming about fields and buttercups.

In the meantime, I should be paid for not working, as not working for long periods (say, a whole day out of a working week), makes me more effective overall. Astonishing, I am sure you agee, and an insight that may well revolutionise the world of work.

I Don't Want To Be On Top

"Doesn't it remind you of when you were on top?", someone said to me the other day**. "I never was on top", I muttered confusedly, "And anyway, what does 'on top' mean?”

The impetus to be 'on top' seems to get many people through the day. (I think it's called 'ambition' in some circles.) My ambition is to go to Canada on Thursday for two weeks and make jam, and sail around Turkey for a week in June, and possibly spend July in France with Monkeymother and Monkeyfather.

And this brings me to the horrible truth. To go to Canada and Turkey and France, to be able to buy wooden spoons and new trousers that fit, to be able to sit on a boat going up and down a canal all day waving at people on other boats and small children in woolly hats, pay my mortgage and my bills, I need money. And that means I have to work.

Cock. Anyone got any ideas?

* There was as brief (and often amusing) time spent trying to work out if I was mad or not. I wasn't. A bit disappointing in retrospect. Still, no harm done, despite the awful travelling from Brixton (where no therapists are) to North London (where all therapists are). (Proof – as if it were needed – that anyone who lives in North London is mad, and everyone who lives in South London is not. Fact.)

** A Trojan horse of an insult if ever I heard one!


Anonymous said...

Are we related? All this sounds strangely familiar, apart from the therapy and the jam making in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Making jam is weird.


If we are related it reminds me once again of the truth at the heart of the hackneyed old expression "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family".

You should try therapy. They only do it in North London though so it might be a bit of a commute, to be be fair.


Andre my sweet, I have decided to play Scrabble instead. (Have you ever made jam? I haven't. I'm dying to try though!!!!!!!!!)

Mr Farty said...

My mum used to make jam. Something to do with chucking vast quantities of fresh fruit into a huge pot with sugar, stirring it for ages while it boiled, then putting it in jars. Hey, you could make jam and sell it for money!!!

I never paid too much attention to the details, as I was very busy licking the spoon, the pot, the sides of the jars and that. But how hard can it be?

Unknown said...

I personally have never made jam but pretty much every other family I know does so. They then give us this jam because I guess they feel bad for us but anyways we get free jam and don't have to stand around and die of heat from boiling fruit all day.

When you say going to Canada Thursday for two weeks do you mean this Thursday?

If so we're going to be in Montreal at the same time haha.

Have fuuuuun!


Anonymous said...

Make jam stockpile it vast quantities and Brussels will pay you not to sell it ie lots-a-money no work etc etc ey!!

Anxious said...

I think you are me
Obviously, there are differences in the details (Canada, jam, etc.) and I am from North London (but never been to a therapist - hah!), but other than that, yes, you are me.

Anonymous said...

I know. It's rubbish.

Personally I need to be left alone for long periods of time and allowed to do Nothing In Particular (mostly on the internet), and if I am not mithered and am also allowed to have lots of sleep, every now and then I will, spontaneously and without warning, do something brilliant. I just can't tell you when, that's all.

The solution seems to be to get ill, as often and for long as is supportable by your employer's insurance scheme. The only problem with that being that being ill is a bit rubbish, too.

I think maybe we should be upper class. They seem to have the hang of it. And their houses are quite nice.

Anonymous said...

I have made jam. I did it wrong and it got loudly. Blimey, what are my fingers on? I was pretty sure I typed "mouldy" just then, but apparently not.

Scrabble is more fun. Can anyone recommend decent online Scrabble-playing software which one can use to play with distant friends without spending any money? I am in search of some.

Anonymous said...

Um.... chewing... on... pony... nuts? Is this a Britishism I'm not aware of, and if so could you please do something to eradicate the quite disturbing mental image I now have? Thanks, 'cause it's first thing in the morning here and... well...

Camera Obscura said...

NWM, we must be related. I finally got a job where I am the boss, but alas the people I'm in charge of are total pains and I can't fire them because dammit, they're my kids.

Anonymous said...

Deep breath, sell Monkey Towers hopefully for a vast profit, trust to fate and there you go.

Jam making beckons.

Nice thought but possibly unrealistic?

Anonymous said...

Jam making is for girls!

I am dead butch me.

Reading the Signs said...

Turn on, tune in, drop out. Or was it turn in, drop on, tune out? Anyway - become a hippy, sign on the dole, grow your own organic potatoes and make crisps.

And become a lifestyle guru! Run very expensive conferences all about how to be essentially non-working in your heart. No really, it's a brilliant idea.

Lisa said...

I retired at the age of 36 because of all the stuff you said, but mainly the wanting to do my job and then go home, not sit at a desk wishing for death while evryone else fannys around making their work last five times as long.

To do this you need someone else to go out to work for you.

Oh, and I make jam.

Anonymous said...

this is precisely why i work from home. also, i suspect i'm now unemployable.

Dave Shelton said...

Clare - you could play via The Internet Scrabble Club:

which is free (but horribly addictive).

Breezy said...

NWM you are clearly unemployable. The only thing left is to be a consultant. Then you can go to lots of different places and they will pay much money to hear that you are right and they are wrong. You can then scarper before they realise their mistake

Anonymous said...

Making the jam isn't as much fun as having the jam, and being able to tell everyone that you made it.
Making jam in Canada in May is pretty pointless because all the fruit will be from some other country, thousands of miles away and tasteless. You would end up with jars of coloured sugar with texture.
Scrabble, on the other hand, is not seasonal.

Mr Farty said...

Apparently Channel 5 are crying out for something highbrow to take their image upmarket.

Have you considered becoming a tennis pro? You'd fit the bill perfectly.

What could be more apt than Non-Working Monkey Tennis?

tea and cake said...

Gordon Ramsey was looking for a new fanny last night.

Craddock that is.

Send in a vid of you making jam; you get famous; you get rich.

Job done.

Sophie said...

Am my own boss now, due to exactly the same problems, but I'm hell to work for. My staff don't help, either. I ask them to pop out and get lunch and they bring back a half-chewed mouse. Don't think they're very good at obeying authority figures either. And they seem to think that THEY are always right, too!

apprentice said...

My heart goes out to you NWM, though I would not recommend my particular escape route.

A boos once said in my appraisal that I was "bright, but wayward"
he got upset when I told him it was a lovely compliment

It's very hard when you know with absolute clarity what you don't want to do with your life, but you still need the money.

Gawd help us all now Gordon Brown is going to be PM - if ever there was a Calvanist work ethic that's it on two legs.

We're doomed I tell you.

apprentice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
apprentice said...

Boos, is that Dutch for boss? Sorry

PBS said...

Wow, so many points (like, all of them!) apply that it's hard to pick a favorite. Maybe: "I Want To Do The Thing I Am Being Paid To Do, And Go Home" office work is certainly NOT that straightforward!

I've made jam a couple of times but prefer eating it to making it. Hope your jam turned out delicious.


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