2 Nov 2014

"In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo..."
Something I noticed the other day whilst feeling a bit down due to working with the 'ex' shoplifter bloke in the charity shop.
All the accumulation of detritus we amass over the years, although it may be precious to us, is just so much junk donated in a black bin liner.
I came upon this thought whilst I was sorting out the masses of photo and picture frames in the warehouse upstairs.  One had a plaque on it for a former RAF Wing Commander and some others had various precious moment family photos in.  Now, I don't want to get all "We are all just dust in the wind" here but ....
I mean this is why I never spend money on fashions and, as my summer of selling my most treasured possessions can attest, I no longer quest for the latest gadgets and things.  You'll never find me stuck in a 6am queue to join the rest of the sheeple to get the latest iPhone or do the same six months later for the latest iPhone s with a slightly different colour.
The acquisition of stuff is just so much wasted effort and time.  I suppose I'm lucky in a way with no wife or children to push me in the direction of new house/car/toy/holiday in Tuscany etc. I can pick and choose what I wish to buy and if it's from ebay or a charity shop then so be it.
The one thing I would like is maybe one of those houses I see on George Clarks Amazing spaces or maybe even Grand Designs but at the way my life seems to roller coaster from having a little cash to having no cash then I doubt you'll see me on Channel 4 arguing the toss with Kevin McCloud about whether I should have hired a project manager or not.
Although having said all this about the collecting of material possessions, if in the unlikely case of my winning the competition for Richard Ayoade's Gadget Man I would of course be complaining about the lack of room in my house for all the lovely and soon to be sold on ebay gadgets.  I would keep the PS4...the gaming PC ...and the telescope, and Canon camera ...possibly some other stuff, oh I could do with a new kettle.  But, I would feel guilty about it... honestly.

1 Nov 2014

"The boy who wouldn't grow up
Chasing his own tail
The boy who couldn't grow up
An outing on bail"

Spoiler alert: Contains ranting.

Well, it's been a while hasn't  it? Here I am with one of the worst years I've ever had. Don't get me wrong I know others have had it worse but by my standards it's been a bit of a bugger.
Firstly, I had enough of being treated like crap by my former manager so I handed in my 6 weeks notice after 6.5 years with the company.  Then the DWP(Nazi division) decided that my stating that being depressed enough to go to bed at night hoping that you'd not wake up in the morning and therefore miss work was not reason enough to warrant leaving paid employment... everyone else I've spoken to since, like me, feels that it was.  So three and a half months of no money and me having to sell two digital cameras, several lenses, tripods etc, various pieces of my best telescope equipment, a load of collectable stuff I had and many of my favourite items on ebay to make ends meet later, not to mention a very understanding zombie landlord. I manage to survive the summer, mainly by finishing 4 Assassin's creed games on the PS3, although I used to have savings and no overdraft.  No more can I say that, I had hoped to maybe get into business for myself, then my boss wouldn't be an asshole.  But those plans took a dive when I needed to pay the rent.
In all this time I was diligently applying for jobs left right and centre, although the same old thing comes up again and again.  I need a passport to get just about every job that I get replies from.  Well here we go again I think everytime.  I don't have the cash to get a new passport as I have to pay a large chunk out of the money to my zombie landlord so that my debt to him doesn't get any bigger, even if all the others do.  I mean had I known I would have used some of my savings in the summer to get a passport.... and possibly a one way ticket.  I would like to state that I feel it's stupid that I can't prove I'm British by providing them with references and a work history going back to 1984/5 but there you go.  Also my birth certificate for some unknown reason is no longer acceptable because it doesn't show my parents' names on it.  I did think about writing the words " a couple of cunts" on there in biro, I doubt that would help in my job searching.
One thing that did strike me as completely stupid in the summer is that I have to have two pieces of paper in order to be the frowning guy at road works who spins the stop/go board, go figure.
The final straw was when the guy I think of a like a father to me, one Ken Richards, who was a gentle man that taught me a lot about being tolerant of others, classical music and the appreciation of many cheeses and many mustards died.  Along with his wife Di they both rescued me from being a carbon copy of many fostered kids and heading towards self destruction.  They taught me that it was ok to ask someone about a subject if you didn't understand, and unlike my parents didn't tell me to shut up and stop asking questions.  I was introduced into reading and culture that I would never have been party to otherwise.
When this happened I was still in the middle of the having no money incoming thing thanks to the DWP (Nazi division) and I'd run out of things to sell.  I asked for help to go up to the funeral and the DWP (Nazi division) said, "like a father isn't your actual father."  So basically it was a no. I have no respect for these people.
I have a new philosophy in life though, never help anyone else.  It turns out that being a benevolent member of family when you see someone in need counts for nothing.  I helped with dvd players, blu ray players, printer, laptop, computer chair, countless toys, books, comics and games and when I ask for a room for a couple of weeks I get a no and not even a courtesy call to see if I'm alright or not in months.  So I'm going solo and going to be selfish from now on.
Still, on a more positive note I have begun to volunteer at a local charity shop and have enjoyed it so much.  It was a 'Mandatory work placement' thing the DWP (Nazi division) kept threatening me with so I just said "Go on then" and they did.
It's varied and fun with good people there.... well almost.  Turns out one of the people on the scheme with me was one of my ex shoplifters... and one guy kept moaning at every chance he got about having to do this that or the other and every other word was "fucking".  But they'd all been unemployed for a year or so and the shoplifter guy I imagine even longer as he'd been a nemesis of mine and other members of staff for the entirity of the 6.5 years I'd been at maplin.  Speaking of whom, I've just remembered, the marketing department tried to have me fired over this blog.  Specifically the posts I'd mentioned them in between 5 and 6 years ago.  They lost enthusiasm for persuing that particular line once I informed my manager that I'd spoken to my union and they agreed with me that it all happened pre the agreement I'd signed.  Also that I hadn't posted in the blog for a while since the signing.
Anyhoo, I decided to go and volunteer at the place I am now just for something to do and I enjoy it and they seem to like my work and me.  I'm now the unofficial Electrical testing department, where I make everything ready to be PAT tested.  Also I got a brilliant computer and Marantz hifi out of it cheap so ...swings and roundabouts.
For fans of this blog, or at the very least people who still swing by from time to time, I will try to post more so long as I can keep the 'black dog' at bay but it ain't easy.
See you on the other side. :-)