Sunday, 5 June 2011
Yeah... guess why I’m writing on this topic. It’s because I have it, yet I don’t want it, yet I do want it, just not the work I have. Not that the work is bad per se, I’m just shit at it. I do apologise dear reader for the use of such profanity – it appears I am using this blog as a sort of a vent for my own insecurity. I’ll be discussing sex next week.... no... no I won’t. But I digress.
Confucius apparently said “[c]hoose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. By contrast, Charlie Sheen said “We're going to shoot one Polaroid per show. I'm going to sign this before it even develops because I know that once it develops with my signature on it, it's worth a fortune. I'll make this a work of magic warlock art”. I’m not overly sure why I quoted that. They’re quite close together in the BrainyQuotes.com dictionary, Charlie Sheen and Confucius. It seemed like a good place to start.
So. I have taken a job – the first I could find. I make seven pence an hour more than the national minimum wage and I wish somehow to improve my lot further by finding a job with an increased rate of pay and a schedule that adheres to the rules of the 9 to 5 week, which seems to be the standard. Yet I myself have only come close to this supposed ideal once in my life, and even that was an 8.30 til 5 day with an hour long commute either side. But what is my point here? Do I have one? Are these the unfortunate ramblings of a migraine addled man with the vestiges of a bad cold? Perhaps. But perhaps there is more to be found here than this. Perhaps there is a question that must be raised: WHY DO WE WORK AT ALL?
In the first instance I am prompted to answer that I must needs work in order not to have to return home and live under the aegis of my darling mama and papa: or indeed on the street. But Mr. Brain comes along and offers the alternative of getting in the dole queue and signing up for GIRO, living a life of comfort whilst my food, rent and bills are taken care of by the government and the tax payer. It’s a fine system - the ability to remain alive whilst between work and not place financial strain on any friends or family members is truly one of the greatest achievements of our species. Such a shame that it is then given a bad name by idle scroungers such as myself who view it as a chance to finally build that full-scale model of the pyramids out of matchsticks. It’s a compelling argument, yet there is an answer to this one too.
I once spent a year living at home, working part-time in a co-op and doing precious little else the rest of the time. There have been few times in my life during which I have been more depressed. Admittedly one of them was working for the summer in a cake factory, but I fear that had much to do with living at home as well. With such an abundance of time on my hands, I didn’t have the first clue how to use it and when one has an abundance of a thing it loses its value. Gold is very shiny admittedly, but it’s also rare. As Prof Bri Cox pointed out in one of his awesome programmes, all the gold discovered by mankind would fit in to three Olympic sized swimming pools, an amount surely representative of the quantity of coca cola that has passed through my alimentary canal. But I digress.
Work is necessary (aside from the big things like food, clothing, warmth, comfort, freedom etc, etc) in order to make time precious and ensure that when we have time off we spend it only on those things that are necessary and prized, such as family, friends, hobbies and don’t drive ourselves mad trying to match the curtains with the cushions on our living room sofa like some crazed, lonely, middle-class, nineteen-fifties housewife. On the other hand, it is a pain in the ass when you don’t enjoy your job. As such on the universal percentage scale I dub work a solid 76%. I shall now attempt to sleep, so that next week’s blog might be less simplified and more pretentious.