June 29, 2006

B.B.C (Bye Bye Capita)

"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.
Onwards and upwards though. Now I'm gonna be a trucker. Not any old trucker either. My initial fantasies about driving for the Stones or some F1 team went out the window the second I found the above picture. I've got a new life aspiration - piloting rocket trucks.
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."
What about error codes? I'll definitely miss those because there's no error codes when you screw up in lorry world - just the ear-splitting scream of metal on metal and blood-stained tarmac. Best be careful.
I think I'll also miss the opportunities for brutal honesty (and outright lies) afforded by late slips:
"Sorry I'm late old chap. Got held up in six-way talks over the North Korean nuclear deadlock."
Or: "Sorry I'm late. Got lost in a really good book on the underground and missed my stop. It was 1984 by George Orwell; about a world where workers have to account for every second of every day to a machine and the slightest deviance results in reprimand. You should read it."
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."
"The East York-Shire Lawn-Mower Racing League may well be four-wheel motorsport but, to be honest, is about as entertaining as dropping a cheese grater down your pants then going for a 10k run. Now quit whingeing and watch the motorbikes."
"Andy. Rest in Peace dude."
Seriously, it's been an okay place to work and my colleagues have been a fine bunch. Hell, I might even miss some of you.
Take it easy, one and all.
Mike. 21/07/2006


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