I’m having a very odd week. I can’t read.
There’s been all this kerfoofle going on in my mind about the blog, for a start. I have been amazed to watch the stats (obsessively, Stanley says; no doubt correct on this occasion). There are people reading in Japan! I don’t know anyone in Japan! Wow! And its one of my favourite countries!
There are people reading in Finland! I definitely don’t know anyone in Finland. This is unbelievably exciting. I always thought that writing (and then being published) was the best way to communicate with anyone (anyone that can read, I add, of course). You don’t get interrupted, you have time to put your thoughts together…and one day, someone far far away, might read your thoughts and feel a sliver of fellow feeling (which is always a good thing – I can think of few things so worthy as realizing someone far far away is Just Like You). I’m still waiting for that papery moment. But it’s astonishing that people I don’t know, most definitely far far away, are taking the time out of their busy days to read my waffling here.
I know who the person in Qatar is (hello you!); I know who the people in New Zealand are (hello all of you!)…but I only know who some of the people in Australia are. A mystery!!
Germany! India! Ireland! The USA! Who are you all? And thankyou! You move me to possibly an excess of exclamation marks!!!! (Though of course, there is no such thing.)
I’m only sorry I don’t have anything earth shattering to say today. See, I was thinking, after the being nagged into this (etc – won’t go into all that again), that I would finally unleash all my lofty opinions and important sounding thoughts (I am one of the ones for whom the expression Legend In [gender] Own Lunchtime was invented). Until I realised I am about to possibly not have any, anymore. Because of time restriction.
This is due to the other reason why I can’t read (or provide a cogent book review or something, today, which was the plan). Because it’s an Annoying World in many ways, I have to go and get a Saturday job any minute. You know, money.
This has filled me with further tiredness because I find Wonderful Fluffhead to be an exhausting job. He’s Wonderful, and cute and such an interesting little person; but he’s a 24 hour gig. I usually get some time off on Saturday, thanks to Excellent Stan (as he does on Sunday – got to be reciprocal, entire basis of enlightened self interest ). In my time off I would write my stories sometimes; read sometimes; do yoga; go for a walk unencumbered and just for looking at things. Or sit about squinting out of the window and watching the seasons change with all the plants and birds I still can’t identify yet, this being my first garden…And now I might have to Go And Be With People, and be smiley and helpful and grateful for the money.
This is where it gets grumpy and confusing. See: I used to be a receptionist. I was a Very Good one. I very much like to genuinely smile and be helpful and get paid for it. I dislike being micromanaged; told how incredibly important I am to a company (its first impression etc), and then being paid possibly the lowest wage in the office. That’s hypocritical. The idea that only people who directly bring in wealth are worth money. Atmosphere and ambience are priceless. If I was indifferent, ambivalent or just flat, in my job, I am something a possible client would remember. I’m in there somewhere; I’m a factor in their decision to deal with the company or not. Support staff and how they are in person or on the phone are what underpin a client’s decision to work with a company – or stay with them. You can do all the contract negotiation you want and be the lowest priced (and probably least efficient and most irritating to deal with), but Good Customer Service is completely priceless. Managers and Directors forget this.
Then there’s the fact I dislike all the fuffle that happens when a receptionist needs to go to the loo (‘can’t you hold it till I’ve finished typing this document?’); or on holiday or off sick (companies never have this cover satisfactorily sorted – there’s usually only one coverer; and if she is sick or on holiday…you just can’t go till they come back; or if its sick, you do, but they aren’t happy). You are never very high on the company’s list of people to be cared for.
And, like any person hastily being thrust back into the job market, I’m not going to get a chance to have a look about for a pleasant place to work (something I believe in, like a…health food shop, or – wow – an art gallery, something dimly lit and reverential)…I shall have to go straight back to what I was doing, as it’s the quickest route. Offices pay more than shops (as a general rule), so it’s back to an office for me, if I can find a Saturday one. Saint Mum may get pressed into service if it ends up with me needing to do two days instead of one.
Sighing. People. I am fond of saying to people who know me, that most people either bore me or scare me. The other ones are my friends or friends to be. Other people like to point out to me that I’m anti-social, and a bit misanthropic. This isn’t strictly true. I think humans are integrally good and very interesting (no Original Sin for me, terribly unfriendly concept). I never get bored of thinking about people or watching them. I just get bored with individual or grouped ones that I can’t communicate with properly because of semantics, or whatever paradigm is stuck in their minds that sometimes they aren’t even aware of. (I’m sure I have loads too, before anyone thinks I imagine I inhabit the only non glass made house in history.) Or they have had such hard lives that they are filled with complex layers of defences, that require years of patience to get through to locate the real person.
I try and try, then I get bored (if it just isn’t working), or scared (if their paradigm includes aggression and world domination, or a simple personal level sociopathic disregard of other people and their freedom to be different to the speaker). I overthink most things, and no interaction with anyone is just a throwaway interaction for me. It’s just the way my brain has become wired over time. I constantly attempt to moderate it (it takes up far too much time to overthink), but it’s a work in progress. The world is always waiting to catch up to me whilst I tinker.
When I’m not tinkering, I like to rest. Sleeping was a great rest, once upon a time. A period in which no one demands anything of you at all. That blissful just sliding off feeling. Mmmmmm. Since the last trimester of pregnancy with Fluffhead, when it got impossible to sleep in virtually any position, sleep has gone away. It rarely happens properly anymore. I doze; I have spectacular fifteen minute or one hour power naps. (Stanley likes to point out to me that I do sleep, he sees me doing it. That’s not the issue though – the quality of it is. If I always have one ear out, and I’m a light sleeper anyway…)
So, barring sleep, I escape into books when Fluffhead sleeps. I read regular modern lit, pulp trash, modern and old classics, magic (the actual kind), American romances (very different to English ones, with a massive and I mean massive sub-genre selection out there in those). Text books, history books, biographies etc. At the moment I’m in the middle of nine separate books, in case of mood change. And I can’t get my mind around any of them right now.
Partly thanks to the wonder of having Japanese, Finnish and German readers. I’m just astounded with the idea of these faraway persons at their computers in rooms I have never seen (or maybe they are outside at a café – and what’s the weather like?), with whole lives I know nothing about (are they happy, are they distracted, are they feeling well or ill??), casting their minds over my dribbling here. It’s a flummox, it really is. A lovely flummox. And partly due to my good friend Worrying, with this job hunting. See. People are great. I just have such trouble actually dealing with any of them on a regular basis!
And I almost did get an ok job. Wandered into a very nice looking local business yesterday, and made use of my Articulation and professed keenness for filing to express my perfect fit to them. Proper marketing job it was, all on spec and everything. Backed up, after this hopeful meeting, with a sparkly email and updated CV when I got back home. The Manager was going to go away and consider things. Today received very lovely email, not your usual knock-back form-letter. But bottom line saying they were already over budget for staff. However…I’m on file. Ah. ON FILE. The bane of the work-seeker.
Ah well. At least I have some faraway people to yak at. Hello faraway people! Wish me luck, I shall carry on trying to get a job. And now, as Fluffhead sleeps, I will attempt to read. Wish me luck for that too. If I get time between the job hunting, I may write tomorrow.
 It’s not like when Alias Troubadour at first lost his ability to touchtype after a stroke, and I went to the keyboard to type an email and I swear I felt that ability lingering in the air just above the keyboard. I can’t touchtype, yet for a few seconds, my brain knew exactly where the keys were, though I had closed my eyes. When my mind said: ‘Foofle, that’s not possible’, even while another bit was saying, ‘WOW, this is amazing’ and getting ready to type, I lost it. It seemed to just disappear. Bit of a magicfail of mine there. Still can’t touchtype. Do ok nonetheless.
 This is partly due to one of my parents earliest housekeeping jobs being as live-in housekeepers for the Mitsui Bank in their then offices in King Street, London. My experience of Japanese people as a tiny person was that they are lovely. I wonder if Leo will ever see this. He was my favourite – he used to smile at me so kindly, as I wandered about in my little home-made dresses, when they had a family-do thing in the office. We used to get invited, isn’t that nice? I used to get fed sour tasting little rice snacks. When I worked for a Japanese company as a teen, it wasn’t so nice. But then, I was the menial inventory girl; not that many menial staff are treated with much humanity anywhere, so I count the former experience with more weight than the latter.