"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind." -- Aristotle, Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)
"No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don't like their jobs, they don't go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed." -- Homer Simpson, Legend (1990-present)
Not long now till my 23rd P45, in a working life of eight short years, hits the doormat with a familiar thud. I know 24 jobs sounds like a lot for a 24-year-old but you have to bear in mind that some (like the double-glazing call centre) lasted for as little as two hours. In fact, two hours was a personal best (or worst. Depends on your viewpoint). Some lasted weeks, some months, but only BBC Information and the world-famous Oban Times, lasted more than a year.
In the mean-time, however, I'll have to settle for trade-plating up and down the UK, and occasionally into Europe, until I get 'spotted'. Hopefully, my constant itch to be on the move might make me quite good at my new job. Who knows? I might even last more than a year.
Not sure what I'm going to miss most about the old job though.
Perhaps, scurrying back from a fag break so as not to bust the 10-second rule. Or the sense of futile rebellion derived from timing all my breaks to exactly 15 minutes and nine seconds. The Devil makes make work for idle minds.
I've got particularly warm memories about the helpful Health and Safety notices such as "Warning. Kettle may be hot." Or an old favourite of mine: "Although this bin could hold much more, Annie's only five foot four."
I think I'll also miss the opportunities for brutal honesty (and outright lies) afforded by late slips:
I'm gonna miss the regulars too. Without mentioning names (coz that's bound to violate data protection regulations), I'd like you, my former colleagues, to relay the following farewells to some of our repeats who I haven't had the chance to talk to over the past few days. You'll need to figure out who gets what message yourselves:
"Sorry. I never did tell it to the regions but I'm sure your message will get through eventually you wily old fox. By the way, you're not Scottish and I'm not Irish. Honk Honk!"
(high piched) "Noone gives a shit about Palestine, much less your opinions you mad cow. Now piss off and drink some bleach."
"Slough deserves everything Ricky Gervias can throw at it - then some. Get off the gin you psychotic old tart."
"Awfully sorry darling, but Steve's kids never got their Christmas presents. In fact, Steve doesn't have kids. He's gay."
"The reason we don't have isobars on the weather forecasts is because you're the only person in the country who know what an isobar is and we delight in pissing you off you foul and obnoxious old prick."
"If you hate the Daily Mail so much, why don't you phone them for a change instead of implanting me with a life-time aversion to Geordies."
"The fact that you believe Princess Diana amputated your brother's legs before trying to escape in a cable car up Ben Nevis would be seriously funny if I didn't know that you live quite close to me."
"Andy. Rest in Peace dude."