Friday, May 27, 2011

“Motivational Seminar”.

Are there any two words in the lexicon that can chill the blood more? I suspect not.

“Motivational” is bad enough - if you need ‘motivating’ to do something then it’s because it’s something you don’t want to do. Ask yourselves; do you need ‘motivating’ to spend all Saturday in your pants on the bean-bag playing video games? No you don’t – you’d be doing that anyway.

“Seminar”? Basically slang for ‘making a short conversation last a thousand years by inviting a bunch of twats you don’t care about to give their worthless opinions’.

Anyway. I have to subtract two days from my life to attend one of these dreadful things.

I’ll not bore the world with it’s eight-gagillionth blog post about ‘how corporate working life is a bit pants and that’ because – lets face it – wearing a suit every day and working in an air-conditioned office isn’t really as bad as fruitlessly hacking-away at an unforgiving coalface, but I will gift you with a series of ‘motivational’ bullet-points I have been supplied with to ‘keep with me’ during this dreadful seminar next week.

The following BBFC-style advisory does apply:

1) Reading further will potentionally cause your brain tissue to melt into a watery-grey semen-like substance that will begin seeping from the tear-ducts of your eyes, causing you to weep hot bitter spunk and cerebrospinal fluid down your cheeks - making the lower part of your face resemble one of the melting Nazis at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark


2) Actually make you shit your pants.

What follows have been cut-and-pasted and not embellished in any way. Connesiurs will recognise the wearingly constant exclamation marks. The bracketed comments are my own, where needed. You have been warned:

“People will never consistently do who they aren’t!” [I’m not convinced that this is anything other than a random collection of words. Unless it is the colloquial ‘do’ in which case it means ‘fuck yourself’. Hmm.]

“People remember the experience long after they remember the price!”

“When you increase the amount of time you think about things you start to add in other dimensions!” [The only thing 'increasing' here is 'fear'. What other 'dimensions'? If Doctor Who is not hosting this seminar I shall feel let-down}

“If you don’t know where you’re going all the roads lead there!” [To where? That literally makes no sense.]

“If my life was a business would I invest in it?” [Currently, I'm not even investing in you mate - and I've not even met you.]

“What you say… will be the way!” [Ok then. "I'm the next James Bond."]

“Pain is the catalyst for action……Pleasure is the continuation of action” [What? Really. What?]

“What you think about you become!” [See above. I am still awaiting my MI6 invite.]

“If you think you can or you think you can’t… your probably right!” [Although the author of this Motivational Speaking seminar ‘pre-prep’ document is hardly motivating me with the fact that he doesn’t know his “you’re” from his “your”]

“Amateurs practise till they get it right – Professionals practise till they can’t get it wrong!”

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of the questions you ask yourself and others!”

“It’s not about doing major things differently… It’s about small changes which together have a compounding effect on the end result”

“In a world where the BIG things make little difference it’s the little things that make a BIG difference!”

As of Tuesday, I’ve got two solid days of this. They’re (not ‘There’ or ‘Their’) not even providing lunch. Pray I do not murder someone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I am re-potting some sunflowers. There are about eighteen of them, roughly ten inches high and they currently reside in just two pots, originally planted as seeds by my son and daughter respectively.

They’re getting a bit crowded.

I select the tallest from each pot and re-plant them, placing the two small sticks each of my children have written their names on into the compost of the plant they belong to.

Chatting under my breath to myself, I refer to each of the plants with the christian names of both my son and daughter as I have done throughout the growing process. If I did not live alone, someone would probably tell me that not only is talking to plants a bit odd, but talking to them as if they were actually your absent offspring is even odder.

And I would tell them to fuck off.

So they don’t feel left out, I also re-pot the remaining, less successful sunflowers, and put them and their larger siblings in the sun on the patio. They’re getting big now, and I think they’re ready to leave the house and amuse themselves outside on their own.

It’s a task I’ve been putting-off for over a week now - despite acquiring the compost, pots, bamboo cane and twine - without really knowing why. But of course the reason is obvious, as any Oliver James-reading armchair psychologist would point out:

I just don’t want them to grow up.

Silently nodding my head at my own insightfulness, I head back into my living room and gaze at my unkempt lawn. I wonder why I haven’t got round to mowing it, despite the still-boxed new lawnmower residing in the shed.

Again, the reason is obvious:

I just can’t be fucking arsed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Nice' People.

Blonde Colleague and I are out the back of the building we work in, smoking cigarettes and scowling at strangers.

Blonde Colleague: Anyways. Did you go for a drink with that lass then?

Me: Mmm hm.

B.C: You did? God, you tell no-one nothing you. So? Any good?

I shrug and make a face.

B.C: No?

Me: Naaaw.

B.C: It’s like pulling teeth with you. So – why, like? Aside from her obviously being blind or a mental or something if she’s giving you the time of day.

Me: No. It’s just…she was ‘nice’, you know?

B.C: What’s wrong with that? A nice lass wouldn’t do YOU any harm. Level you out a bit.

Me: I just don’t really like ‘nice’ people.

B.C: YOU DON’T LIKE ANYONE! God. You’re going to die alone, do you know that?

Me: Rather that than knock-around with some ‘nice’ girl who’ll end up making me pray FOR an early demise.

B.C: What do you mean anyways? ‘Nice’?

Me: Well. [Begin counting bullet-points on my fingers] 1) She works for a charity and –

B.C: [Screwing her face in disgust at the very idea of ‘altruism’] What sort of fucking charity?

Me: - oh I don’t know, spastic kids or something I’d stopped listening at that point. 2) She’s also a part-time student and –

B.C: [Equally appalled] Fuck! Studying what?

Me: Psychology and child-care.

B.C: Jesus fucking Christ. What’s that going to get her?

Me: Dunno. A free copy of the Guardian and a pair of moccasins when she graduates I’d have thought. And 3) she does volunteer work for her local Girl Guides.

B.C: Fuck off!

Me: I’m not even joking.

B.C: [Flicking her cigarette across the street and not noticing it hit an elderly woman’s wheeled-shopping-basket thing] Fuck me you’re better off out of that.

Me: Tell me about it.

We head back into our office, a place of dreadful raw-nerved competitiveness and awful pressure where we would each fuck the other over without a second’s thought, far, far away from any horrendous ‘nice’ people. We sit down, stinking of cigarette smoke and cynicism and glare at people.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Receive A Text Message.

I'm not hugely mourning the loss of my daily contact with Thug Colleague, Grant From Work and Silent Ben since their rather ignoble departure from my workplace, but it is quite odd and I don’t like change.

As such I’ve uncharacteristically been in quite regular contact with them as we do the odd thing of changing from work ‘mates’ to actual friends. The last time I did this was with Gay Mark and look how that ended. He wasn’t gay before.

Not that I'm saying being friends with me turns you gay. I'm not saying that at all.

Anyway. I now find myself ‘organizing things’ and that. Not my forte, but I’m rather enjoying it.

Oh and let me make it clear - the ‘ignoble’ aspect was not down to them at all and actually I think they’ve acted rather impressively but that’s all I’m saying. I don’t want to be one of those ‘bloggers’ who gets sacked for jabbering about their workplace and then gets a book deal as a result. I’d hate that.

But I’d started – after nearly five years – to decide they were ‘alright’. Thug was exactly the sort of person I’d never get on with, Grant was so dry he made me look like Timmy Mallett and Silent Ben has – to my knowledge – never spoken to anyone ever.

But still I send a text to Thug offering some gesture of solidarity following a night of cold-drinks related entertainment neither of us could attend. Unfortunately for me, he texts as he speaks so I have little idea what the following reply means:

“Wey ner hit it like mark hits his balls off male anus na cudnt make it had ma fitness class on till 8 wud have been owa late we shud sort owt a gud drink soon mate get all the gud ones owt minus Hitler and ginger Claire haha.”

After several readings I can only assume that a night out of some sort is in the offing.

I think.

More things to organise. *sigh*

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Something Odd Happens.

Are you a woman? Do you have breath-takingly low standards and want to know how to snare yourself a damaged ill-tempered skinny man who spends his down-time scowling at people on public transport? Then read on.

Tuesday evening. I’m on my way home from work but will be getting off the bus a few stops early to visit a hideous shopping centre to buy a cheap DVD player to replace the one that done broke and that. It’s a massive inconvenience and I’m tired.

I move toward the doors of the bus as it approaches the shopping-centre. Someone places their hand on my arm.

I don’t like people touching me at the best of times and this is the last place I expect such unwarranted intimacy. I flinch, jerk my arm away and stop just short of punching Captain Touchy square in the face.

Vaguely Familiar Woman: Hi!

Me: Err…

The bus has stopped and we go through the rigmarole of getting off, entering the hideous shopping emporium and side-stepping all the old people and ‘wheelchairs’ that always hold-up the normal pedestrian traffic in such places.

It’s all a bit disorientating and I’d already retreated into a private mental-place as I usually do when visiting this awful citadel-of-hatefulness so I now have to unexpectedly ‘snap out of it’.

VFW: [Beaming at me like I’ve known her for years despite my only slightly recognising her from somewhere or other] So! What you doing?

Me: Ah. DVD. Ehm. I mean. It broke. [Clears throat and pulls self together. Still a bit rattled about all the ‘touching’ business] I need to buy a new [actually, WHO THE FUCK IS THIS WOMAN?] DVD player, I had a box-set delivered and I’ve not been able to watch it – bit frustrating – so I’m ahhh…

VFW: [Astonishingly not losing interest] Ok. Well I just need to pick up some things from Boots The Chemists then I can give you a lift home.

Me: [Glancing behind me at the bus station] Urrr..

VFW: Oh I park the car here and get the bus to and from town.

Me: Ahhh…

VFW: Currys would be best. Or Argos. [Proceeds to give me in-depth directions ‘in case you get lost’ as I probably would]

VFW: I’ll just drop you a text when I’m done in Boots yeah?

Me: [Still massively befuddled. Who the fuck is this person? She does look familiar. And is quite pretty] Yeah.

I’ve said ‘yeah’ purely to end the conversation without really thinking about the consequences

VFW: What’s your number?

I see what she’s done now. And I’ve already said ‘yeah’. So I can’t not give her my number. And of course I now have to give her my name. Because it would now be ‘silly’ not to. She’s good.

Forty minutes later.

We’re now in her car approaching my street.

Me: Anywhere here is fine.

It’s far enough away from my house for her not to know exactly where I live. She stops the car, after a twenty minute journey during which she has acquired my life-story after a asking a few simple questions and making me feel so awkward that I cannot stop talking.

Me: Ah. So. Thanks for this. I must owe you a drink or something.

That’s something you just say isn’t it? No-one takes that as a commitment surely?

VFW: This Friday or Saturday. Either are good.

Me: [Oh, I’m wrong] Ahhh. Ehm. Ok then.

I get out of her car, dragging my new DVD player with me, and let myself into my empty house and look at my reflection in the mirror. I look haggard, confused and startled.

Me: [To my own reflection] What the fuck just happened?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Nothing Interesting Happens.

A bleary-eyed Saturday morning. I take the washing from the line, carefully fold it and toss it onto the patio table which promptly collapses sending rusty screws, splinters and planks of dry wood aloft which a sickening crash.

I stare at it for a bit, but it does not magically re-assemble itself.

If I were married or had a girlfriend someone would now be saying:

“Well don’t just stand there staring you idiot!”

But I don’t even have that as a distraction.

Taking my splinter-strewn washing indoors I then make myself some boiled eggs that are not boiled satisfactorily. I begrudgingly eat at my dining-table and not in the sun on the patio.

There is a ‘thud’ from the letter-box.

A new box-set. Things are looking up.

The DVD player no longer works.


I go out to buy some compost. I have sunflowers to re-pot. There isn’t any compost to be found in a 5-mile radius. At all. Nor is there available any generic ‘No-More-Nails’ – style wood glue to allow me to clumsily transform what is now a small amount of kindling into a table-shaped object.

Attempting to purchase the Saturday edition of my favourite newspaper, I am thwarted by the fact that it is now actually Sunday because I’ve lost track of the whole thing what with all these bloody Bank Holidays.

I arrive home empty-handed.

Scratching at my partially-successful beard I reflect that the day is not going as I would wish.

NEXT: As an indirect result of nothing interesting happening, something odd – but not terribly interesting - happens!
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