Stapling My Glimmers of Hope to the Wall of Life


Here’s the story of a bogey, a struggle, and a Grimsby.

I don’t know what was on that pizza, but I can’t feel my lips anymore. Still, it wasn’t as bad as that time I had an uncomfortable bogey annoying the hell outta me. Almost, but not quite. We’ve all been there. I know it’s disgusting, but it’s a fact of modern life, isn’t it? You’re sitting there in the office surrounded by your colleagues and suddenly, your nose becomes extremely itchy. So you scratch it and there’s this searing pain. Your eyes begin to water and you hunch over, momentarily, a tad dazed and confused. There is something rather sharp lodged in your nose, a nose packed with extremely sensitive nerve endings. Something I’ve always thought was a design flaw. Then you realise. It’s a huge crusty bogey. Apologies if you’re having your dinner. Of course, you face a dilemma. You have a ton of work to do and the boss is right next to you. He’s been bugging you to get that project done for some time and you know your bogey problems will take a good half hour to sort out. So what do you do? Thankfully, I can often make myself sneeze, but a lot of people aren’t so lucky. My advice is to fake an emergency. Nothing too serious like a heart attack but maybe staple your finger. It doesn’t really hurt that much but it will sure as hell not stop bleeding for a good half hour. Thus you can leave for the bathroom for a good reason. What? We stapled ourselves all the time in school. I loved my school…

The worst thing is if the bogey decides to unlodge itself, right when you’re talking with the boss. There’s a part of you hoping that he didn’t see it, but you know he did. I knew that day was going to be a bad day, readers. My tarot card readings said, ‘You’ll be doomed to failure no matter what you do.’ Oh. Thanks for that.

WordPress will probably have some sort of legal disclaimer in which I must urge my readers against stapling themselves, but you can’t stop a teenage boy doing that in the UK. Boys will be boys. All men here have to do that as a teenager in school. It is a rite of passage. Most go for a finger or the hand. The really brave, or really stupid, go for something a bit more adventurous, like the forehead. I even heard a tale of one lad who stapled his dingle. So if you have a young family and you are thinking of moving to the UK, mmm, maybe try somewhere else…

My school was demolished, by the way. Can’t think why, though. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. If you leave secondary school thinking, ‘I loved that because I learnt a lot’, you never went to secondary school. If you leave thinking, ‘Wow! I’ve never been in so much pain!’ then you went to secondary school. Try doing rugby in three feet of snow in nothing but your underwear. That’s an experience, let me tell you that.

As girls often say, boys are weird. Yup…

I’ve started my work experience, this week. Started a tad frightened and ended with pizza. And there was cake in the middle. So, that’s something, I guess. I’ve entered the exciting world of graphic design, and if I’m being honest, I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. Art is all I’ve ever known. I did it in school. It was the only ‘A’ I got. In college, I did art. Passed with flying colours. Then I got a national diploma in art and design. And now I’ve ended up in work experience designing things and… I’m not very good at it, readers. It’s like being named Derek and spending your entire life wanting to be a porn star only to realise that that nobody named ‘Derek’ has ever ended up in the porn industry. I flunked English in school, by the way. No idea why. My similes are brilliant…

It’s a bit of a nightmare being surrounded by three more graphic designers. One who is studying such in college, one who’s a lovely nerd who spends every waking second on Photoshop and one who’s studying such in university. And here I am. I don’t even have Photoshop on my computer. Do you want another simile? It’s like turning up to your first porn audition in a tweed jacket and bowtie combo. You just feel so inadequate for the role at hand. Not that I’m saying there aren’t any porn stars who wear bowties, just that there are far fewer of them than those who don’t wear bowties. You see where I’m coming from?

I’m trying my best but I don’t think I’m selling myself too well. There was a chance of a job at the end of all this but I’m certainly not in the frame for that at the moment. When I need to speak I can’t, I feel paralysed. I can’t talk to people and I’m struggling to be around them. I’m the oldest person there apart from the boss and I feel so inferior to them. One lad who works there is nearly 10 years younger than me but he’s so grown up. Handling what is a very difficult role with impeccable style. And the other lad, God, he designs logos like a pro. And there I am designing crappy looking banners for shop windows. I don’t feel the sense of pride I think I should. I’m doing what I want but it just isn’t making me happy. It’s like turning up for your first day on a porn shoot and instead of being by a glitzy pool in Miami, you’re in a fish and chip shop in Grimsby. I’ll stop with the porn analogies…

You could say that it’s because the others have worked there longer than me, but the lovely nerd has only been there for three weeks. Two more than me. I just don’t fit in and I don’t feel like I belong there. I’m not being given anything good to do, really. I know you have to work your way up from the bottom in life, you’re not given anything good at the beginning, but honestly, it’s deflating. I don’t even want to get out bed in the morning. If I was offered this job tomorrow, and it would pay very, very handsomely, I wouldn’t take it. It’s everything I wanted and everything I didn’t want, all at the same time.

I guess I know how Danny feels, now. He was a little lad I looked after in school. A transfer who came in at Year 1 when I was in Year 6. Very tiny. Very frightened. Suffered from extreme social anxiety. Wouldn’t talk to anyone. He couldn’t. Had a little teddy with him. So I was called in to the head’s office and they asked me if I’d look after him. Keep an eye on him. Help him out. So I did. And I loved that little kid. An outsider who became a very popular little boy. It wasn’t me who did that, it was all him. Aye. I know how he felt when he started.

Still, there are glimmers of hope. I’ve designed the logo for a new carpet shop. And all their posters. And all their flyers. And leaflets. And a billion other things for them. Sure, I didn’t get paid for any of it, but they had an opening day party this week. Oh, was I invited? Oh no, I certainly wasn’t. Well, why should I have been? But they had a huge cake and I got a slice of that. It was delicious, and you know how much I love a sponge cake, readers.

And the people are lovely, as well. They’re trying their best to make me feel welcome, even though I stick out like a sore thumb no matter what I turn my hand to. I just hope this turns around, because if it doesn’t, then all I’m good at will come crumbling down around me. And then I’ll be well and truly… buggered. And not in a fun way like poor Derek.

Oh, and the pizza? That lovely nerd is leaving soon for pastures new. Whatever that means. So the boss bought the office pizza, chips and Coke. Aww. I like him. Cake and pizza. You certainly wouldn’t get your boss buying you pizza if you worked at Barclays, would you? I like my pizzas plain, which it wasn’t, but I didn’t want to be impolite, so I ate it. A decision I immediately regretted. I do not know what I ate, but my mouth was immediately on fire. I have never experienced pain like it. My lips went numb. My heart felt like it stopped. I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were red and watering. At one point, I’m sure I saw Jesus…

I thought taking a sip of my Coke would help, but heed this advice, readers: Coke only exacerbates spicy related nightmarish endeavours.

Although I’m sure you won’t be taking my advice any time soon after I suggested stapling your finger…

French-Algerian philosopher, author and journalist, Albert Camus (1913-1960), once wrote: ‘There is scarcely any passion without struggle.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
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