Monday, May 17, 2010

Work Shmirk

Perhaps I'm naive. Maybe I'm really an optimist. But deep down, I knew this moment would come. I even thought of killing off this blog as, well, buying New Place and waving goodbye to rented cesspits seemed like some kind of end-of-an-era, but it isn't. It really so fucking absolutely isn't.

The fact remains, as I marched into work this morning, that I don't want to do my job anymore. The new commute has been strangely exciting these last couple of months; catching trains instead of tubes, seeing slight different miserable faces every morning, walking to my desk from a different direction, but it's all largely bollocks ~ fripperies to make me forget that I really don't dig what I do.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not above working for a living. I'm not even sure I'd know what to do if I didn't have to. I couldn't just do nothing after all, but life's gotta be about quality, and getting out what you put in. Yet all my jobs have felt mandatory, shackle-y, rendering them all just a notch above a prison sentence with a pay packet attached.

I guess whatever I used to find rewarding about my job just isn't there anymore. You could teach a chimp to slam its fists into a keyboard and pick up phones and it could do what I do. Probably better, too.

I now despise phones to such a degree that I barely recognise myself. I hate mobiles because the voice on the other end is very rarely clear and unbroken, and unless that voice is coming out of some Amazonian goddess you'd met a few nights earlier, chances are you're going to have a very frustrating conversation. And I hate regular phones too because 9 times out of 10 at my work, it's going to be someone who wants, nay, expects you to drop everything you're doing and start helping them, because THAT'S THE KIND OF JOB I'VE GOT.

I'll be sat at my desk trying to wade through spreadsheets, preparing quotes, invoicing clients and so forth when the phone'll just ring, completely unannounced, totally at random. And you'll have to trust me on this...

... sometimes, when it rings, I can actually feel my heart sink.

And these people, our customers, scoff at the prices I give them.
Or they 'tut' when their goods aren't in, and start asking me difficult questions like, "When will it arrive, then?"
But normally, they'll just place an order and describe items in the vaguest possible terms, meaning I have to back up my spreadsheets, stop working on quotes, and drop invoicing clients because the guy on the other end of the phone wants "what I normally get", forcing me to wade through all their previous orders in a verbal version of pin the tail on the donkey.

And I know I'm in a bad way because I can normally put enough 'chipper' into my voice so they never really know that I want to pick-axe their heads.
But lately it's all I can do to sigh, and grunt in monotone. I can't be bothered to disguise my frustration anymore, to the extent that a couple of customers now refuse to speak to me. My boss has even dropped hints that I look for work 'nearer to home', as if I've moved to the Outer Hebrides or something.

But this is old news. And it scares me. Because I haven't moaned about work in a looong time. I had a completely different post planned, a roller-coasting one with barbecues and South American women and sweating visibly during awkward family situations but instead this happens, and I'm bitching about work.

So please leave a comment if your day job sucks, because if there's one thing I love, it's a whinge shared.


Blue soup said...

Well, I had a shit day at work too.

Hasn't made you feel any better has it? Thought not.

You need to take a week off mate and sit down and think about something you could bear to do for 37.5 hours a week and then go looking for it.

Life is too short to hate your job this much.

Easier said than done, of course, but I'm just an outsider looking on.


Bea said...

Well, if it's any consolation, I'm a student and I fucking hate being at university. My most enjoyable job to date has been my time spent as a clerk at the local council's works depot. Some of the things I did included organising the daily whereabouts of scary heavy machinery, tell council plumbers where they had to go to fix a sewer spewing human effluent onto the street, and supply burial plots at a reasonable rate to the relatives of the recently expired. I started at 5:30AM every morning. At least there was never a dull day.

Here's hoping things start looking up. For both of us.

And if you haven't already seen it, you really need to watch Office Space.

Anonymous said...

if there's a bright side to a shit job? it makes you appreciate the hours you're NOT in the office, i suppose.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Do you know what's more difficult than a day job that sucks? Being laid off in a recession with a mortgage and other responsibilities hanging over your head. Watching your 8-year old go off to school in the morning while you stare into the laptop scouring the thin job market.

Boo-hoo. Poor you. You're finally starting to work my nerves.

Anonymous said...

I always worked on the basis that you moment you realise you don't enjoy your job, you need to find a new one.

I had a great day yesterday, just to redress the balance!

Anonymous said...

Fweng - check this clip out:
What motivates people...

Linda J

McTodd said...

The Unbearable Banishment said...
Do you know what's more difficult than a day job that sucks? Being laid off in a recession with a mortgage and other responsibilities hanging over your head. Watching your 8-year old go off to school in the morning while you stare into the laptop scouring the thin job market.

Boo-hoo. Poor you. You're finally starting to work my nerves.
May 18, 2010 2:59 AM


You’re missing the point of this blog...

The whole basis of which is that Fweng whinges on endlessly – but amusingly – about the totally trivial, utterly unimportant (non-)problems that beset his life. After all, if we’re being objective, what has he to moan about? For that fact, what have you to moan about?

Okay, so he’s a podgy Jewish Boris Becker lookalike in a boring job who has become virtually celibate (unintentionally) but who at least has his foot on the property ladder.

You, on the other hand, are a single-parent without a job worrying about your mortgage payments, but at least you’re not on the street.

But before we start playing Personal Tragedy Top Trumps, both of you are a fuck of a lot better off than, ooh, about 90% of the planet’s population, and you’re probably both better off than a good 60% of the populations of your own home countries.

After all, I can’t remember the last time I read the blog of some dirt-poor fucker in Darfur...

“Do you know what’s more difficult than having a home, lots of consumer gadgets and more than enough to eat? Being woken early by a jackal gnawing my foot, it had clearly got bored nibbling the last bits of meat off the corpses of my family who were slaughtered by a marauding band of Arab-backed militiamen a couple of days ago. Spending the day sitting in my own shit in a barren dustbowl, unable to move because I’m starving to death. Wondering where the next meal’s coming from, given that my dustbowl is not conducive to the growing of crops. Having to walk ten miles to the nearest source of drinkable water; alternatively, lacking energy (having not eaten for a week) I may have to use the nearby pond everyone craps in. Boo-hoo. Poor everyone who lives in the West. You're finally starting to work my nerves.“

Now, that would trump us all...

I can’t help but think that taking a pop at Fweng for moaning about how hard life is (when it isn’t, really) is like slagging off Gok Wan for talking about clothes too much and not paying enough attention to analysing the international security implications if Iran develops nuclear weapons.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

McTodd said...

You’re missing the point of this blog...


Point well taken. I think it’s the relentlessness of the complaining that finally broke my spirit (wink). I’ve been reading here for quite a long while and have enjoyed it. (Obviously, or I wouldn’t have stuck around as long as I have.) No doubt there are many who would find my “problems” to be a mere annoyance. It all depends which perch you’re looking up from, I suppose.

I like how we’re having this discussion on his blog, but go about it as though he weren’t in the room.

For the record I’m married (not a single parent) and have recently accepted a position. So that’s looking up. But nobody handed me a flat on a gold platter (double-wink).

McTodd said...

Point well taken. I think it’s the relentlessness of the complaining that finally broke my spirit (wink)...

You should go out for a drink with him, oy gevalt...

Sorry for getting your marital status wrong! But I'm glad to read you've just got a job, that should keep the wolf from the door (which reminds me of a one-frame cartoon in the magazine 'Private Eye' years ago, in which two men are standing outside their neighbouring houses, with one man pointing to his front door behind him whilst saying to his neighbour, "Well, it keeps the wolf from the door." On the door is a big sign saying FUCK OFF WOLF).

Ah, simple things...

Kirses said...

heh - comments are funny.

I'm with you on the mobile thing - I fecking hate them, does no one have a landline anymore? I do - fecking ring me on it people!

fwengebola said...

BS ~ The irony of course is that I don't hate it. The guys are great, and I have responsibility, for once. It's also the longest-held job, almost 5 years, I've ever had.
But the actual ins-and-outs? It's a bit ugh.
I'm sorry you had a bad day too, but 'mate' me again and I will have to call you 'love', sticky-out tongue emoticon.
Bea ~ Ooh, no, no, no, no, no! University's great, as it was in my case so must be for you. Plus you're in Australia so the weather's fantastic and everyone loves one another very much, so that must help.
Consider yourself luck you weren't actually clearing up that shit.
And that trailer's slightly killed me. It looks like the only film I'd be qualified enough to write.
And someone's already done it.
Df ~ Yes, I kinda sorta already think like that. Does make one rather lazy during the downt... ooh, Haagen Daas!
Ub ~ God, christ, yes, you have single-handedly reminded me that there is such a thing as another viewpoint out there, and I'm being a cunt.
I'm not trying to be flippant. I mean that. I hope things improve vastly.
Ps ~ I've felt this way for some time. I either have heroic patience (I absolutely don't), or I'm too worried to try something else (which I am).
And thanks.
Anon ~ You are seriously trolling there, but you get a one-chance benefit of the doubt.
McT ~ Oh christ, my comments section is starting to fight. I do like "Personal Tragedy Top Trumps" as a concept, though.
I want to read more of that Darfur blog. You should set up a blog with faux-posts from all sorts of ravaged places; Zimbabwe, Gaza, France. Just think how racist you could be, you scumbag.
UB ~ *cough* I'm right here.
Well done on that position, though. Guilt to relief in about three minutes, thank you.
And enough with the flat. I've wound up with this inheritance-bought place and a still breathing mother. I quite like that arrangement.
McT ~ Which reminds me, when are you free? I need to bitch in 3D.
Kirses ~ Landlines? How very 19th century.
Wish mobiles would catch up, quality-wise, though.

daisyfae said...

McT - i'm still giggling (in a most appreciative way) about the Darfur blogger... oh shit, that'd just about shut down the blogosphere. if we weren't out here whining? what would we do?

Homer said...

9 hours after arriving at school I got a bollocking for marking science books in a staff meeting, as if I gave a flying shit about the arrangements for Infant Sports Day (I don't even teach infants.) Also my friend had to clean dog poo off a child's shoe at 9am. I fucking hope one of us has won the Lottery tonight.

Mad Cat Lady said...

One office I worked in was employing a temp and they had run out of things for her to do, so the manager set her to whiting out the old postal address on all the left over envelopes and sticking the new one over the top, typed out on labels the wrong size which she then had to cut down to fit.

It always makes me feel a little better about my job when I think back to that.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Working in a shit job a million miles away from what I want to do has enabled me to travel a million miles away (give or take) and not work.

Swings and roundabouts.

You seem slightly less whingey now you've moved out of your last place. It's a step forward and making you consider other things in your's nice to see.

PS. It's raining here in NZ. I believe there's a heatwave at home. Bah.

luna said...

Can't fathom why everybody's always at the HagDaze...when MOVENPICK's miles nicer!!

Oh yes do a "Fweng goes camping in France" season,that would be really really funny!

Z said...

I absolutely loathe the telephone being used when email would be a whole lot more efficient and not bother me when I'm working. I had a bloke upbraid me a couple of weeks ago because, writing to him, I put down my address and not my phone number and he had to look it up. I told him I wanted him to write back, not phone me, but I was more polite than he deserved.

You're absolutely right, Fweng, people who want a professional service should behave professionally themselves. Like having details of what they want, bearing in mind that they've had it before so should know. It's pretty basic.

I get a load of hopeful people sending pictures of their tatty old china, wanting to know if it's worth thousands. I let them down gently. I get fed up when they expect me to do a whole lot of research when all they need to do is some basic Googling themselves and complain mightily to the boss, as I reply in his name and he does fuck all of it - but then I do get fringe benefits even if he doesn't actually pay me.

In fact, I work jolly hard and don't get paid for any of it. I grow a whole lot of plants for my son and buy the compost and give him the plants and help in his shop and still pay for all the vegetables I get there, I do all my husband's admin and he used to put down a sum he supposedly paid me on his tax returns but now has decided to actually pay our daughter instead and I'm chairman of governors at the local high school which takes a couple of days work a week with shitloads of responsibility and doesn't even pay out-of-pocket expenses. And I volunteer as a teaching assistant of teenagers, for fuck's sake. I'm a total idiot. It's all my choice, but why on earth do I never choose anything that actually benefits me?

I'm pretty impressed that people don't want to speak to you. I wish they didn't want to speak to me, sometimes, but they think I'm lovely.

heybartender said...

I was fifteen minutes from clocking out. I had removed my apron and my nametag (oh, the joys of a nametag), because I was through waiting on customers and doing cleanup. A customer came up and I had to go out and help him choose a wine. My manager walked up, standing beside me and the customer, looking me up and down (which is incredibly distracting, while I am trying to tell him about this shitty bottle of local red vs. that shittier one), and when I finally stopped talking to the customer and looked directly at her, she said "And where is heybartender's lovely name tag?"
After that I had a guy ask me if I could explain the difference in flavor profile of three different blue cheeses. He didn't care, obviously. He just wanted to know if I knew. I clocked out ten minutes late. The next day we were reminded (as a group, so as not to be confrontational) that we needed to clock in and out on time.
Funny thing is, I don't hate my job, either.

luna said...

Where the hell do you live nowadays? Salford?

The greenfly's not "attacking" you,it's attracted to your funny-smelling ginger barnet...They're making love to you!
Happy now? You finally landed something...On your head !hahaha1

fwengebola said...

Homer ~ That's actually quite an amusing comment, if you're still a pupil. But you're not. Sorry. And neither, I'm assuming, did you win the lottery.
MCL ~ That's horrible. And insulting. One of my first jobs was like that. I learnt after a couple of days to stop asking if there was anything they needed doing, as it tended to annoy the staff.
Still got sacked though.
Jo ~ Not a heatwave anymore, there ain't. And neither have I stopped whinging. In fact I've cracked up a gear, and taken a new level. I so want to travel again, except I know it'll be aimless wandering instead of anything productive at all.
God, how I love aimless wandering around the planet.
I think.
Luna ~ Yes, France, the only other country in the world.
Z ~ THAT'S FUCKING ENORMOUS... You're right, of course. I've never considered that 'Good Service' isn't a one-way street and might actually require some kind of help from their end. And you're right about the china too. I've often seen in comment sections where people ask things like 'Where do samovars come from?' - and this is on an Internet forum - on the Internet - where the answer can be found by posing the exact same question and sticking it into Google.
And now I'm wondering why you do so much free work. Volunteering I can understand. Favour here and there, sure. But everything? I'd, y'know, get into debt, and shit.
And finally, don't envy my miserablism. It's not nice people not thinking you're lovely (although it does make my job easier).
So essentially you were criticised for staying late? And the nametag thing's irritating. Basically you were reprimanded for being stopped as you were about to go home, and helping someone.
Kill the blue cheese guy. Those people are just lonely.
Luna ~ Are you drunk??