January 19th, 2002

opinion, eye

Today is hate my job day.

Most of the time I quite like my job. I've said nice things about it before, and honestly, most of the time I do actively enjoy it. However, today was awful and I want to rant. I took on a couple of extra shifts this week because (a) I could do with the money and (b) I need to build up my attendance record, which has been awful lately. (Pretty much all the shifts I've missed have been genuine illness, but in this job few people are good enough not to be replaceable. They only sack people if they consistently miss shifts without at least ringing in, but shifts are allocated according to your attendance record. When there isn't much work going, it gets given to the best people. Great if you're doing well, not so good if you're ill all the time like I am). I knew there was a reason I don't usually work on Friday nights.

Basically, ringing people at home on a Friday night sucks! Trying to get people to do a survey just isn't going to happen when people are either going out or sitting in front of the telly. The project I was doing today is quite interesting - it's about mobile phones, and I usually get 4 or 5 interviews in a 4 hour shift. Today, I got one - and that, only just before it was time to leave for the night. Thank God I got that one, though, because I was feeling extremely down. Tomorrow I have the joys of a double shift - starting at 10 and finishing at 7.30pm. Not only am I dreading having to get up at 8am, as I've been completely knackered lately, sleeping for 12 or 14 hours a day - but the thought of 8 1/2 mind-numbing hours is hardly likely to have me springing out of bed.

I take comfort from the fact that many others before me have done my job and hated it. We have books by the phones containing an alphabetical list of jobs, which we use to work out people's social classification. These books are only printed on one side of the page, and so the blank pages are covered in strange doodles that bored people have made. I found a rather existential poem which went:
I have done very well today - I had 6 completes.
And now I do not wish to ring anyone else
Ever again.

There was also an eight-line one which started:
"I'm not interested. Don't you know Sunday is the day of rest and reflection?"
Not interested? Well, neither am I!

waffled for a while about how annoying it is to work on a Sunday, and ended:
The inanity of daily life must go on
anger breeding anger as our reluctant solicitations go on.

I thought that was rather good, until I noticed the repetition of "go on". Oh well. It's difficult to write a decent piece of poetry whilst continually listening to answerphone messages and people hanging up on you. At one point this evening I considered writing "I hate this job" once for every person who hung up, but that would have involved more effort than I could be bothered with.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored
opinion, eye

Of charities and cash.

Going to work every day means that I walk past the same adverts every day. My tendency to read anything with words on means that poster advertisements stick in my mind a lot more than television ones. Seeing the same posters all the time merely reinforces the trend.

There's an advert running all over London at the moment for Tommy's Campaign, who are a charity associated with one or more of the big London hospitals. It reads as follows: "It costs 50p to keep a premature baby alive for 1.8 seconds. Please give generously". I find this advert absolutely boggling, because to me, it's a way of ensuring that no one gives them any money. After all, £5 would keep a baby alive for 18 seconds, and £15, which is about the most I could give at one time to one charity, would last 54 seconds. What's the point of giving money which will be useful for less than a minute? I think about some other charities - how that £15 could provide a meal for a whole group of homeless people, or a well for a whole village in Africa, and how much longer my donation would last in each of those cases. And it's obvious to me where my money should go.

Mind you, even the later two examples are about keeping people alive. Although I'm inclined to think that all human life is fundamentally valuable, I wonder if it's worth keeping people alive in a hand-to-mouth existence. I'm more inclined to give my money to charities involved with promoting quality of life than ones which try to directly prolong life.
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful
perky, wolfy

A strange advert at the station.

Another advert that I walk past every day is for a new thriller. It reads as follows: "Dr David X (Beck? Peck? Deck?) has just received an email from his wife. But Elizabeth Beck/Peck/Deck was brutally murdered eight years ago."

Clearly, this is an example of thriller writers moving into the 21st century. But I have two questions based on this write-up:
(1) If she was murdered 8 years ago, who's been paying to keep her email account active?
(2) How does he know it was from her, when it's been typed?

  • Current Mood