Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Rage

Picture one of those zombies from 28 Days Later, and if you haven't seen it, just picture a zombie; wild-eyed, monosyllabic, kind of angry looking.

That was me at work on Wednesday, except with more foam at the mouth.

Wednesday was Grim Reality day. I get this now and again, and this time it was due to being 33 years old at a job I intended to quit approximately nine months ago for "Something Better".

Several years back, when I couldn't find continuing gainful employment in the Media, I took a 'Stop-gap' position at an awful fucking exam board. This was always going to be temporary so naturally, I stayed for three years. I snapped in 2004, quitting without a backup plan or a backup job, and pottered around South East Asia for a few months to a) Lose weight (I did) and b) Have sex (I didn't).

I returned much fitter but with a Lady Repellant hairdo. I got another 'Stop-gap' job, this time in telesales, sitting next to a violent, mood-and-fist-swinging fuckheaded boss. Quite friendly when out of the office, really quite frightening when in it. The fact that I lasted six months both staggers and disgusts me retrospectively, and in equal amounts. Clearly, Suffering + Apathy towards Making It All Stop = Prat.

But leave I did, eventually getting the job I do now. And I'm having a grand time, doing this thing that I do. I shall tell you what it is.
Please don't stalk me.

I sell bags.

That's it.

Not exciting bags either. Certainly not Chanel, Gucci, or even Fendi bags. Under those circumstances, that could be considered quite exciting (particularly for women) but no, the bags I sell are made of paper, and have a little bit of string in the corner. I also sell bags made of plastic. Both 'genres', if you will, can come with handles or without. Your choice.

Sometimes, we call our workplace 'The Shop'. On other times, it is 'The Office'. For it can be both. I sit behind a monitor for 9 or 10 hours a day, always on the phone, buying stock, placing orders, taking orders, and generally bemoaning everything. We deliver to London's many restaurants and shops too, so we often get calls from impatient people with impenetrable accents demanding cling film.

We also sell cling film.

We get a lot of people walking in off the street to breathe down our collective necks as well, so whatever I'm doing, no matter how important, has to stop so I can sell a cardboard box to someone who's now made me forget to do something vital. In fact, the two most hideous sounds in my known universe are the thudding footfalls of someone who's just walked into the shop, or those fucking phones. My job is basically being distracted from doing admin.

Wednesday's anger was all encompassing. I was running the shop on my own as the boss was out, leaving me to deal with people who do things like phone up when I'm doing something else, and say things like 'I want my bags.'

Christ.

'Well who are you?'
'X Deli.'
'And what bags do you want?'
'The medium ones.'
'OH YOU FABULOUS CUNT, WE HAVE ABOUT TEN SIZES IN ANY GIVEN BAG AND I REALLY CAN'T TAKE THIS FUCKING ROUTINE EVERY SINGLE DAY.'
'Just look it up on the system'
'NOOOO! NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! IT'S NOT A SYSTEM, IT'S A DELL, AND I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF DOING SOMETHING AND TRUST ME, IT'S NOT SOLITAIRE AND I HAVEN'T HAD A LUNCHBREAK IN 21 MONTHS. CAN'T YOU EVER, JUST ONCE, JUST KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT, LIKE WE DO WITH OUR SUPPLIERS? YOU KNOW, BY KEEPING SOME KIND OF FUCKING LIST PERHAPS???'

By Wednesday night, it had occurred to me that my rage had a chemical basis; I have stopped smoking. I have stopped smoking and am surrounded by fucktards. Obvious, really. But having said that, I have turned 33. 33, and in another stop-gap that always fills in and becomes my History. These stop-gaps will Never, Ever End unless I break this fucking cycle, unless I finally decide WHAT THE FUCK I WANT TO DO, then maybe I could aim for it instead of just wandering aimlessly and bitching about it later. And today, the boss is away again. Under normal circumstances for everyone else, this is very very good. In my circumstance, this means doing everything myself, being nagged to a husk, and getting very very angry. Plus my colleague, a 41-year-old bruiser who spends most of his time sitting down and reading the paper til 5pm, gets extremely arsey when I ask him to take a message or ask for a cup of tea.

Oh goody.

On a tangent, I left my flat on Bank Holiday Monday and ten seconds later was on my very quiet High Street, quite surprised to see an enigmatic looking Debra Messing - and I'm 97¾% sure it was her - walk past me and towards Hammersmith. So I was treated to the odd sight of queuing up at a cash machine while Grace from Will & Grace waited for the lights to change, all with a Mona Lisa smile on her mug.

But why, why, WHY was she heading for Hammersmith???

15 comments:

Han said...

You sell bags. Oh dear. And I thought my job was dull. You need to get out of there ASAP before you end up on Tony Robinson's "Worst jobs in History".

Angela-la-la said...

You stopped smoking? Without realising or what?

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I'd like, one of those plastic bags please, you know, the sort that can hold a pound of lard without leaking, gotta be a zip lock. Cause I can't find those fuckers ANYWHERE! (Don't ask me why I want a bag that can hold lard)

actonb said...

You sell bags. I wasn't expecting that. Not entirely sure what I was expecting but it wasn't bags.
But pfft. I sell resin. Tis a job. At least you've got talent, vision and ambition... Go for it!

la fille mariƩe said...

Do they at least come in different colours? I'll take a medium in hot pink plastic, and an extra extra small in green polka dot paper, no handle, please. I knew our friendship would come in handy one day.

me said...

A good move - girls like bags of all types, really, they do.

luna said...

I sell my body.
Do you have a large bodybag to keep it fresh?

Read the papers,you're in a doomed badindustry,one that kills the little prawns of Hawai by suffocation:therefore the nasty plastic bags are shortly to be outlawed,like in the avant garde village of Modbury (an a la mod sort of place) and San Francisco the Wackies.
You should hop off while it's still time and instead sell cornstarch and organic cotton bags.
Much cooler.

I've been stockpiling fancy plastic bags for 20 years in the long sighted aim to resell them to collectors on e-bay.Riches are nigh.

luna said...

Seems Hammersmith is itself heading to becoming the new celebrityville.
Did you snap her on your mobile?
Can we see the pic?
You could try selling the info to heat magazine.

fwengebola said...

Han ~ Yup. Ta. I will try, but the other guys are pretty decent for once. And sadly all male.
Ang ~ I packed in. For a week though. A Friday night without tobacco and alcohol was too much to take.
Vi ~ Nah, we don't do ziplocks, only self-seal strips. I could probably source them for you but the minimum will be in the region of 50,000STOP IT I'M NOT AT WORK
Actonb ~ Resin? Are you a dealer? And thank you for assuming I have talent, vision and ambition. One would be nice.
LFM ~ I can do you a nice baby pink plaSTOP IT.
me ~ I find that hard to believe. Although occasionally some women do remark what a great shop we have, which forces me to look at them as if they've just shat on the floor.
Lune ~ Way ahead of you. We are leading the field in eco-friendly biodegradYAWN...
Luna again ~ No.

Waynecoff said...

I reckon if I sold bags, it would have to be body bags, mmm, nothing wrong with that, I have had some shit jobs in my time, clearing gardens in the rain, house rubbish, that was really awful, creppy crawleys all over you, errrrr,

fwengebola said...

Are you on crack?

Joie de Vivre said...

She was going to a party at the Palais? Or have they knocked that down already.

Quit the fucken job. Jeesh. Sooooo obvious you are meant for greater things, so hurry the fuck up and do it. You need to write (anything! but for $$$) or do stand up, or find out what it is you want to do and do it.

I'm 35 and decided today (while getting jealous watching fat ugly married folk on the bus) that i am middle age, therefore its no wonder im so fucken tired and bored and panicked. no way will i live past 70. So, youre trotting up my rear (you wish, ok, ok, i wish. hmmn?) at 33 and need to ensure you spend the next half of your life loving what you do.

those bag/box people dont deserve you working such long hours with no lunch and no thanks. fuck that! take your life back.

disclaimer: joie's life sux and she cannot be held responsible for any glass broken from stones in her house.

Joie de Vivre said...

oops, sorry for mega long comments today, inexplicable (read: stoned)

sue said...

As you already think I'm stalking you, I'd better not mention that I used to buy bags for a living. At least I understand how dull it can be. Have you done anything about the writing yet?

fwengebola said...

JDV ~ Dunno if it's not been knocked down yet, actually.
God, you're right! I'll seize the day immediately! I'll.. no, wait, writing comedy is too damn hard. Oh hello, Self-doubt, here's a nice cup of tea. Put your feet up.
And Jdv, have another joint.
Sue ~ You bought those bags before? Oh dear. Well I'm submitting things to people, but as always I could do more. Ho hum.