Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Reason For All This Upheaval II

I’m sitting on a train bound for Grays (in Essex), after a day at the office. I’m in the quiet zone which for reasons known only to the god of the 16:55 from Fenchurch Street is never quiet; some turd somewhere is inducing early age deafness with a personal stereo I can hear from a minimum of ten feet away, maybe more ... that or my hearings great. At least three people have had or made phone calls, with the obligatory look into everyone’s faces to indicate their defiance of the tacitly agreed rule that mobiles aren’t allowed ( though it’s sign posted on around nine panels per seating section and the carriage is half empty as are all the “make as much noise as you like carriages”).

I didn’t start off as a Quiet Zone snob, it just happened a I realised the benefits of thinking space; be that reading thoughts, or typing thoughts ... or those strange micro dreams at the edge of sleep proper, where the combinations of sounds and maybe the motion, what you had for breakfast and the last thing you consciously looked at combine to cast you momentarily into a void of misheard conversation far from reality, places disturbingly (when you awake) better than where you are or where you are heading ... to whit work. Going home though is a piece of piss set your countdown timer and chow down on that half hour solid doze.

When I got on the train I found a sandwich bag full of piss, some empty drink cans (beer and soft drinks) and a load of spit and snot at one end of the carriage on the floor. This is clearly some rebels attempt at “ownership, making their mark, causing upset, having a laugh”. I’m not sure; if an animal pissed in a corner I’d understand. The bag of piss being discovered at some point will cause the train to be taken out of service, so either the cleaner between trips turned a blind eye at turn around because it was so close to full rush hour, or the cleaners don’t run through at this time of day ... selfishly I didn’t report the piss bag because I didn’t want to get stuck in the city because of a cancelled train.

I’m into the last thirty six “working” days of working for my present employer. It’s sixty days give or take a few hours until the 1st of September, when we hope to start the month long shakedown of the motorhome in Kent, before we bail out of the UK and head south with the sun. It’s days like today that remind you why you’re going.

Escape, re-evaluate, explore, live, risk for pleasure.

This carriage stinks, musty and warm like the piss smell has followed me. It hasn’t, it’s just a state of mind smell, induced by the enclosed space and the raw disgust. I should have changed carriages completely.

The office has been full of woe because of the ongoing nightmare that is off-shored IT services. Our once colleagues jobs out-sourced to numpties who know in essence Fuck-all, and get away with it ... and who by turns offload their shit back on to us, when their skill sets don’t meet the required levels ... so very frequently ... someone saved some money somewhere, to pay someone else some extra money from the money saved from somewhere ... er ah eer ummm. But that is about the size of things, the little people getting fucked with a P45 and a cheque, while a few elites and shareholders maintain a dividend. Bend over grin and bear it. But not anymore for a while!

The politics, the stress, the arguments, the constant "well if you don’t like it leave", mentality that has been all pervading since late 2008 early 2009. The feeling that fifty years worth of employee rights have for the last five years or so been expediently walked over like eggshells someone high up in the ivory towers, eventually got sick to the back teeth of the sight of, and decided now is the time to wade in stomping with glee.

Don’t get me wrong some of the those employee rights were utterly abused, and global companies with global products and services should be able to operate globally, however the net effect of throwing the baby out with the bath water for the sake of "margin", has been a step too far in the opposite direction. People need hope and people need a reason to work to pull themselves back to prosperity other than “well it’s been a breeze but we’re in the shit and we need you to throw yourself on this sword ... may hurt a bit, possibly ruin your life your childrens life and result in divorce ... but lets not forget the greater economy ... and the share holders, now don’t make a fuss just ... er um er kill yourself. Jolly good”.

Escape at some points seems like a petty reason to get away (even with the above). To escape the rat race, the commute, the unhappy faces of my fellow passengers, the sleepers in the morning and at night ... whom this last year or so I’ve joined more frequently than I would like, or like to admit.

Neutral or sad faced people worn thin by work eeking out a few minutes sleep to ensure the evenings labours, fun or routine get sorted before bedtime and the next iteration of the misery, of 9 to 5, five days a week, before the all too short weekend comes round again. And you can feel human again for a few hours ... because that’s all it is ... a few hours ... one hundred and sixty eight per week, at best you get forty eight to yourself and maybe sixteen to twenty of those (if you are lucky) being awake and yourself.

PS: The bike needs a rear cassette and a new chain

PPS: I started writing this a week ago.

Addendum 12/7/13: The cleaners do walk through at 5 minutes to 4pm.

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