Dreaming of Lavender


Here’s the story of bittersweet endeavours, exhaustion, and Capital.

I think there’s only so much Capital Radio one man can take before it becomes a form of torture. I don’t mean to upset the folk over at good ship Capital, but it’s the epitome of everything that’s wrong with modern radio. I know they work very hard at what they do, but I worked very hard at that cake I attempted to bake once, but in the end, it was so bad you wouldn’t even feed it to your dog. It’s one of these modern stations with flashy lights and reflective surfaces everywhere. Full of young people wearing hardly any clothes with their hair all gelled up, riddled with text speak as part of their everyday language. Radio shouldn’t have a feature where you ring up and ask the DJ for some cash and he obliges. “Capital Radio, give me the cash!” It would be funny if he said no. ‘No, I don’t think you made as much of a tit of yourself as is acceptable on modern radio.’ They have around five songs and they play them back-to-back 24/7, and yes, they are all truly awful. Sadly, where I work, I’m the only one who hasn’t been suckered in to this modern radio gubbins, meaning I have to sit at my desk, listening to the same five songs for 35 hours a week. You think you can block it out and you think you’re winning at such endeavours, until, whilst in casual conversation with someone, you reference the latest chart hit. Suddenly, you find yourself rushing to the shower in a desperate attempt to make yourself clean again…

I’m sure we’ve all worked somewhere where the music of choice for the office radio is far from your liking. I imagine this befalls many workers in many clothes shops, who insist on playing music, for some bizarre reason. Shops didn’t have music piped into every corner in the olden days, did they? I was in one shop once debating the merits and pitfalls of two coats. I couldn’t decide on which one to buy. “I LIKE THE FIRST ONE!” “WHAT?” “THE… FIRST… ONE!” “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, IT’S LIKE A RAVE IN HERE!”

You know, we have a pub in my town that doesn’t play music. “Proper pubs don’t have music,” they said when it launched. A similar effort should be made in places of work, too. Yet they won’t turn it down and when you ask them to, they turn it up. I don’t really listen to all that much music. I spend much of my listening time listening to audio books, podcasts and Radio 4, a talk radio station. So when the office radio is blasting out the latest rappy hippy hoppy guff, I can’t hear what the fellas are saying on my podcasts, et al. Sigh. I long for the few hours a week I have without that radio on, I really do.

It’s not helped by the fact that I am the oldest 26-year-old on Earth. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in the world of music. Name me a musician around at the moment, or, indeed, from the last 10 years – nope, never heard of ‘em. Although I’m fairly sure because it’s modern music, it all sounds the same anyway…

It’s worse when a client comes in and you can’t hear them over the noise. I’ve had one client come in every day for the last two weeks, usually for two to three hours at a time. He’s setting up a consultancy and advice sort of company. The type of person who goes around the world giving talks to companies on how to improve and get the best out of the workers. That sort of thing. He needs a lot of things to set up his business, though. A logo, obviously. Business cards. Folders and inserts. PowerPoint presentations. A website. He also wants a menu for a restaurant business he’s involved with. Now, this sort of thing would take a team of people around a month to do. I’ve had to do it alone in under a week. To say I’ve never been this exhausted, tired and stressed out in my life is an understatement. And that’s on top of the Crapital Radio torture.

He’s jetting off this week. Doha, Dubai, New York, Sydney, etcetera. I know I should be delighted by the fact that office workers across those cities will be sitting down this week for talks with this man. Heck, you could be one of those workers. Holding on to folders I designed. With the logo I designed. With my business cards inside. Honestly, however, I’m far too tired at the moment to get all that excited by anything, really. Every second of every day is a constant battle to stay awake. Every other decision I make is a mistake. I forgot to take my bus fair with me one day this week. Another, I decided to force myself to stay awake by buying caffeine rich Coke. That contained no caffeine as it was the caffeine free version.


I’m not even getting paid for this, either. It’s just work experience with no chance of a job at the end of it. If it does have an end, of course. I’ve been here for five months now and I feel absolutely drained. I mean, this man I’ve been dealing with. He’s lovely. He means well. “I hope you know I’m not pushing you because I like doing that. I’m doing it to get the best out of you. Helping you to reach your potential,” he said to me this week. Sounds nice enough. Although it does also sound rather like something a consultant would say. I’ve been working through my dinners for him. Staying back late, well into the dark evenings that have now befallen the UK. You do wonder why you’re bothering, some days. Volunteering is all fair and well, but after all I’ve done for this man, would you hire me? I really need some money. Have you got any money? Email me…

But there’s more to office life than clients and shit radio, right? Erm. Well, erm… no, not really. Ah, the camaraderie between the workmates? Well, we’ve already established they don’t talk to me. Ah, what about all the new skills you’ve learnt? Hmm. Well, I’ve learnt a lot but I don’t retain information, so really, I’ve learnt nothing. But what about the joy of helping a little business and its customers? Are you kidding me? This week, I had to wheel a trolley that would hardly move around a huge old building. That is not joyful. It was painful. This is my dream job, readers. If I were getting paid for it, I’d already be looking at places to live. Already planning my colour schemes and furniture. Working out which plants to plant in the garden, prepping QR codes to put on labels to attach to them so I know which is which and therefore don’t end up putting a potato in my tea when it was supposed to be lavender.

I know I should be happy but I find myself drifting ever further away from it, like a hot air balloon drifting helplessly away from the Emerald City. The Emerald City being my lavender plants. And it’s not for a lack of trying. I’ve applied for over 50 jobs this year and I’ve only had two interviews. Three last year. I didn’t get one last year because I was over qualified. Another, because ‘shy people don’t create a positive atmosphere.’ I’ve been on countless courses. Countless work experience placements. Still dreaming of lavender. Do you ever get the feeling the rest of the human race doesn’t like you very much? Maybe I should start a colony on Mars and mould it in my image.

I’d give my workers the Friday off and ban certain radio stations…

British graphic novel writer, Alan Moore (b. 1953), once wrote: ‘People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.’

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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