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Monday, 12 July 2004

The Job of my Dreams




I'm shattered. Hedgehead at work ended the day gossiping at me about weird single women who drink too much wine and have twenty cats in one ear, while Hippyboss decided to exercise her right to the odd Gestapo moment by upbraiding me in front of 200 colleagues in the other, because she thought I looked as if I might want to leave her sucky meeting early. What I was actually doing was craning my neck to see someone's data and work out who'd fucked up, me or them, on it.
So, for that, and for skipping the 8.15 Monday morning meeting for 52 weeks so far, and for other sins which I cannot remember, I have a detention tomorrow. A penalty meeting at the end of the day, with Hippyboss. Who will no doubt at best say something barbed that could be interpreted wrongly if you gave a fuck what she thinks she could do to you, and at worst decide to be nice, clasp you to her unrestrained heaving bosoms and stroke your face till you pretend you're grateful.
Ageing hippies are far more trustworthy when they're doing the decent thing and stabbing you in the back.

I must be a very very naughty co-worker. I felt thoroughly ashamed of my lack of team spirit and went home to sigh heavily at my twenty cats.

Far away from the guilt circus that is a job you have no interest in politicking over, in reality news, I have the opportunity to retrain as anything I want (bearing in mind I'm shit at maths, though). The sense of choice is overwhelming.
What would you do if you could have the job of your dreams?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Looby
"The "pub" nearest to me (I say pub, but it's really a community centre and venue with a bar attached), is somewhere I never normally go, partly because it looks like the set for a pisstake TV sitcom about yoghurt knitters. It has a strange attraction for 50-year-old weirdy beardy men, and people who suffer from imaginary illnesses like ME, (a strangely class-specific virus which somehow affects university lecturers and psychotherapists more than it does catering assistants and people working in care homes). They also have a rule of not serving alcohol before 4pm, although you wouldn't want to be in there at that time anyway, unless you want to hear Proud Mum noisily cooing things like "Ooh, seven today! What a clever boy! Yes, Leo, we're going to go and paint our ant faces now.""

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:42 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 July 2004 1:54 AM BST
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Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 1:00 AM BST

Name: lemonpillows
Home Page: http://www.lemonpillows.com

If I could have the job of my dreams, I would be a songwriter. Sit at home/in the studio by myself, or with other songwriters, pen songs and record them. Then make lots of money when some @#%$! boy band murdered the song but got to number one with it. :)

What's your dream job??

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 1:34 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

I don't know. Perhaps one with less responsibility than the current one, for a while, or les direct contact with the public. Or in fact with anyone!

I had a very clear idea of my dream jobs, right up until the millisecond they became possible, when all my ideas scarpered.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 7:12 AM BST

Name: Lux
Home Page: http://www.shylux.blogspot.com

"people who suffer from imaginary illnesses like ME, (a strangely class-specific virus which somehow affects university lecturers and psychotherapists more than it does catering assistants and people working in care homes)"

Always good to be reminded that I'm hated.

by the by, I know some other people who imagine that they have this illness who work, or used to work, as:
-special ed teacher
-administrative assistant
-dental hygienist
-homeless advocate
-environmental engineer

Kim Akers didn't play on the US Olympic soccer team in 2000 because she was under the delusion that she had ME/CFIDS. She talks about it in the mockumentary I Remember Me.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 8:05 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Yeah, I thought twice about including that part of Looby's post, as you're not the only reader of this blog with ME. But what persuaded me to quote was:
1 inspired rantage is a part and parcel of his blog - witness the hyperbole about yoghirt knitters and face painting either side,
2 his attack seemed to me to be a beer purist satirising a pub which is not entirely about beer,
3 he often posts way OTT rants and is always quick to retract and apologise if he sobers up finds he's wrong, and
4 I wouldn't censor something that sounded damaging or hurtful to me, so I decided not to in this case.
That may or may not have been the wrong decision on my part - I can see it was on the line, so may have crossed it.

I apologise if it upset you - I didn't think it was a serious attack, and perceptions of illnesses very often very from nation to nation. Witness the English distrust of American diagnoses of things like ADHD. Part of the issue is that the process of making such diagnoses is generally still in its infancy over here - therefore those who are diagnosed do tend to be middle class, and able to push for new medical thinking to be adopted. (I'm talking about ADHD, as that's what I know about - but I would have thought it were similar for many illnesses).

I'm sure when Looby gets back from his day out in London he'll speak for himself.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 9:35 AM BST

Name: NC

I thought painting ant faces sounded quite fun:-) I take offence at making fun of innocent mums and children ;-)

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 9:43 AM BST

Name: P.S.

I thought blogs were a forum for positive and negative opinion and feedback? The beauty of it being that all sides have a chance to reply and put their voices in the discussion

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 10:14 AM BST

Name: NC P.P.S.

Not addressed to this blog but given the mismatch between the impression left by the quote and the impression of the blog writer, I have noticed that people are willing to portray themselves online in ways they would not in real life, and in ways that breach normal social conventions. Others may not agree but I have definitely seen it.I don't mean conservative values, just social conventions that guide the way we treat each other in reality.

Why the need for an alter ego, and do these attitudes spill over into everyday life or remain confined to the internet?

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 2:18 PM BST

Name: Nursie
Home Page: http://muddyblog.typepad.com

I AM that single woman!
ADHD doesn't actually exist. Over here, doctors love to prescribe things, as they can get oodles of money from us and the insurance companies. Kids are hyper, kids have trouble focusing. That's what kids are like in the era of MTV and video games. Doctors have become worse than lawyers. And that's quite a stretch...

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 6:20 PM BST

Name: Lux

That perception is not nation-specific, in fact it hit very close to home. So to speak.

It is true that most people diagnosed are middle class, because they are the only ones who can afford quality health care. And unless they have supportive family or friends, they are downwardly mobile from that point.

I don't know what you mean by, "I wouldn't censor something that sounded damaging or hurtful to me, so I decided not to in this case." Who forces you to post things damaging or hurtful to yourself? This is your privately-owned space and you're free to do with it what you want. I don't see where censorship comes in.

I don't expect anyone to edit what they write on their blog in consideration of specific bloggers who might be reading. I *was* surprised to read that you *did* consider specific readers with ME/CFIDS when deciding to post the quote. Given that, I don't really know how to respond. I'm tired of defending an illness I don't want and never asked for.

I don't take everything that I read on the internet personally-- I've never read Looby's blog and he doesn't owe me an explanation for what you quoted. Neither do you, really... I'm not the blog police; my original comment was just my response to what I read, not a demand for you to edit or retract anything.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 9:09 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Lux quite justifiably pulled me up short on these things:

It is true that most people diagnosed are middle class, because they are the only ones who can afford quality health care.


Yeah, I see what you mean. To be honest, I would go so far as to suggest that Looby is more likely to be ridiculing the middle classes's effectiveness at complaining than anyone's illness though. I don't want to put words in his mouth (she said, putting words in his mouth), but certain classes complain well, and so it's not surprising they are the motivators for change in areas of public life like health. I wish the UK middle classes actually used state schools and the NHS hospitals - lobbying for improvement would suddenly become effective if they did.

And unless they have supportive family or friends, they are downwardly mobile from that point.

Ouch. Yes. There's no answer to that. Sorry!

I don't know what you mean by, "I wouldn't censor something that sounded damaging or hurtful to me, so I decided not to in this case." Who forces you to post things damaging or hurtful to yourself? This is your privately-owned space and you're free to do with it what you want. I don't see where censorship comes in.

I mean if I enjoyed the tone of a post that I considered damaging to my ehtnicity or minority status or social group, I *think* I'd still post the quote. I don't know, I just *think* I would.
I was thinking about this all day, and decided it was a really stupid excuse.

I don't expect anyone to edit what they write on their blog in consideration of specific bloggers who might be reading.

No, I wouldn't think you did. I also respect your right to respond anyway you see fit. It's why the comments are still enabled, actually.

I *was* surprised to read that you *did* consider specific readers with ME/CFIDS when deciding to post the quote. Given that, I don't really know how to respond.

I thought about it, and rightly or wrongly, I figured they can defend themselves. Not in a hang them out to dry way, but you and Ophelia are pretty vocal and able to state your mind. I didn't think I'd be permanently bruising any shrinking violets, so to speak. Again, if I did wrong, I apologise.

I'm tired of defending an illness I don't want and never asked for.

Oh, Lux, sweetie, it was humour. Bad taste humour I can accept. But it was intended that way. :-(

I don't take everything that I read on the internet personally-- I've never read Looby's blog and he doesn't owe me an explanation for what you quoted. Neither do you, really... I'm not the blog police; my original comment was just my response to what I read, not a demand for you to edit or retract anything.

No, I realise that. I'm glad you responded honestly, though - you made me think again about my actions. I don't live in a vacuum, I just sometimes act as if I think I do.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 9:16 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

See, my extensive experience of the condition makes me forcefully disagree with that. ADHD as something over diagnosed, however, and Ritalin as vastly overprescribed - we'd agree.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004 - 9:23 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Come off it, NC, you've been out for a drink with Looby - (;OD) - you *know* he'd say it in real life if real life were down the pub. And his delivery would be charming enough to persuade you he wasn't trying to be nasty too.
Perhaps one of the issues is in quoting from friend's blogs. I can't divorce words from friend's blogs from what I know of their character. And Looby's open, honest, gregarious, diffident, clumsily sarcastic, generous and funny.

Of course, I'd agree with you on any other net user than Looby. Or perhaps Zobo.
Although I think perhaps sarcasm and aggression are perfectly normal parts of our personalities that it's healthy not to always repress - so the net seems a valid and useful locus in which to do this, to some extent.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 - 1:03 AM BST

Name: looby
Home Page: http://www.loobynet.com

Bit of a leap there Lux to thinking anyone hates you. That much, I assure you, is all in your mind.

I'm quite skeptical about ME, simply because the only people I have ever met who say they have ME have been middle class. The last one I met, down the funny pub the other night, said that his ME had been a lot better since he moved to a tiny village in France and started living a more relaxing life. The one before that was a theatre director who fell in love with a university professor. Handily, Prof was a Greek, and her symptoms seemed to improve when she gave up her job, moved into his spacious seaside house, and started lounging in the sun all day with a few gentle trips to the local taverna in the evening. I have known other similar people. So despite ME sufferers being quite resistant to the idea that ME has a psychological origin, it does seem to improve when their general lifestyle changes for the better. Perhaps ME is a sort of modern hysteria or nocturnal wandering: a protest against some general unspecific unhappiness with ones life.

I'm struggling to be generous there though, because I still think that ME is just a new term for a mixture of laziness, tiredness and perhaps mild depression. The last three affect everyone, but they don't sound very good in a doctor's surgery, so the middle classes invented a better sounding name for it in order to get a more sympathetic hearing, and a greater portion of the finite resources available to doctors.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 - 1:37 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

I understand that because I posted a quote from your blog, your opinion is under attack, Looby, and if anything I regret putting you in a spotlight like that, for what I thought was a funny post. And I understand your opinon.
I don't like standing by and watching you insult Lux, though, mate. I really don't. She's got it, it's real, and she reads here, and I value her comments. Please play nice.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 - 1:38 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Oooh f uck, now I've annoyed everyone.

I've managed to halve my stats in one week by exactly this sort of malignant whingeing and bothering of folk!

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 - 12:25 PM BST

Name: NC

Yes I know no harm was meant and I have liked everybody in real life:-) I was also thinking of another net user a little closer to home who I found had a strange alter ego online;-) he he

I am not a big net user and I still see it as abit seedy but can admit it is just another forum for introductions to people.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 - 4:54 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I can't imagine who you mean, and how deep their pseudo gradening / hosepipe persona may go! tee hee.

I know what you mean about seediness. When I was @#%$! about on a computing masters at King's, I read a fabulous article by Dale Spender about attitudes to computing - specifically addressing moral panics. She responded by going and finding manuscripts from Caxton's era, written by monks who deplored the dangerous invention of the printing presses.
Every charge they levelled at books - dumbing down, dangerous access to knowledge which will be abused, the death of society and the family, encouraging stupidity and the lowest common denominator, stupefying our youth, etc - is one that has since been levelled at cinema, television, telephones, computers, computer gaming, the internet and playstation thingies.
Every single accusation levelled at modern culture was once thought to be a threatening consequence of the dangerous rise of books.

It really made me think differently about computers. (and then I jacked in the course, but that's another story)

Monday, 19 July 2004 - 2:54 PM BST

Name: jatb

Many people who have ME also react very badly to pollutants and these tend to exacerbate the effect of the illness, so if the person with ME previously lived in a large city or under a flight path then going to live on a beach in Greece probably would help.

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