I Have Grossly Over Estimated The Human Race. Again.

There I was, minding my own business, when I overheard a truly confusing sentence. On the subject of returning to work after a holiday, having been asked if they had enjoyed their time away, somebody said the following words in a similar order to that represented here: “yes, but I’m glad to be back, you run out of things to do don’t you”. No, I don’t. Do you? Is that not one of the most depressing things ever. One week off and towards the end of it, things to do that weren’t going to work have become thin on the ground. Within that life, after seven days, all leisure activities have been exhausted, every social engagement engaged. There is nothing left but to return to work. Why not just die.

It seems to display a shuddering lack of imagination. Sure, it must get tiresome playing with the kids, seeing friends, lying in the shade of a tree on a sunny day. Being the master of your own time and movement. Actually I can see why you’d be glad to return to the repetitive grind of your occupation. The warm, sweet embrace of safe, reliable employment. No wait, shut up, you’re an idiot. If it’s true, if there are people out there who actually are pleased to be back at work – because frankly, my actual life is so void of substance I require my existence to be defined by the next addition to my C.V – if that is possible, then I have grossly over estimated the human race. And that seems unlikely because I pretty much hate all of you.

Like most of you, I have a job. It’s a nice little job that I actually quite enjoy, and it fills up a lot of time that I would otherwise only spend scratching myself whilst watching Bargain Hunt. There’s also the financial reward and social interaction, which I’m told is an important thing. However, quite a lot of my time at work is spent with my brain off. Not completely off. No. That would render me a useless, immobile, drooling mess. It seems to be able to shut down all higher functions, just powering the ones that allow me to carry out my duties and offer conversational scorn should anyone mention soaps or Big Brother. I can type and talk and listen. I can even remember basic drinks orders for when my legs take me to the machine. Which they do involuntarily, when my body requires fluid. Anything more complicated, or more noticeably, anything in any way creative, and my brain becomes confused. It splutters into life, startled by the unfamiliar sensations of stimulation. I was prepared for data entry and very rudimentary Excel work, it says, not complex interactions or anything of use or substance.

I’m over egging it somewhat, but you get the gist. Employment is all well and good and everything but it’s just work. If I never worked another day in my life I would not get bored. If I ran out of books and television and film and thoughts and friends and dreams and projects, I would simply count all the hairs on my body and still find more joy in that than in serving you. Black’s Law Dictionary defines employment as “A person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, where the employer has the power or right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be performed”. The power or right to control and direct. Fuck me, if that alone isn’t enough to have you phoning in sick next week then there is no hope, you’re already a fleshy robot. I do not understand, how can this happen. What’s gone wrong? Somehow: everything.

I find it very difficult to understand because I have the opposite problem. You see, when my brain is set to power-saving, work mode, it tends to save power. That’s kind of obvious. I spend the working day feeling tired. I yawn. It’s not a good look. But when I get home, after a little while things start whirring again. Thoughts start popping up. I’ve wasted so much time, says my brain, I need to stretch my legs. By which it means my legs. Except Brain doesn’t mean my literal, physical legs, it means my mental, metaphysical legs. It’s a tricky one, my brain. So I’ll watch some television to shut it up, which works for a while, or I’ll shoot some virtual suckers in the face. Sometimes I might even see a real, living human being and hang out and chat and laugh and stuff. Because even I occasionally need to remind myself why I dislike everything. Then I’ll look at a clock and think, fuck, I should probably go to sleep. But my brain’s all like, no. No, I don’t think so. I’m not finished yet. So I don’t sleep, initially because I’ll convince myself I’ve got a little bit longer, that one more go/episode/drink will be alright. But come lights out I’ll be staring wide eyed at the ceiling, my very retinas quite possibly glowing with wonder.

Basically, whereas some people seem to run out of energy in their personal life, finding it too difficult and time consuming to operate it themselves, I find that the world of nine-to-five can be a bit of a cancer. I can’t stand having my day dictated to me, I find it patronising. Time spent serving someone else, simply so that I can afford to eat, seems like time wasted. So I have to make up for that in the evenings and weekends, I have to squeeze an extra seven odd hours a day into the few I get after work. Which means I tend to over compensate, over indulge and stay up far too late. It’s annoying really, because I know I need to go to sleep, which means Brain knows, and we also both know that if we feel tired now, we will feel even more so tomorrow if we don’t shut up.

So I’m going to shut up.

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