Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Working 9 to 5…

I could have quite easily entitled this update as “Working Class Man” but for reasons revealed later Dolly Parton is a better choice than Jimmy Barnes.

So, as you may have guessed I’ve been doing a bit of work. For the last three weeks I’ve been temping at a company called Ascent Media. Sounds good so far. They run all the network operations for Discovery Channel. Still sounding good. My job is to put a barcode sticker on every single tape that has played and will play on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Home & Leisure, and Discovery Kids Channel… some 80,000 shows! Not so good after all.

Yes, my day plays out like this: I take a tape from the left hand side of the desk, stick a barcode on it, scan the barcode, type in the old barcode number, type in the show’s name, put the tape down on the right hand side of the desk. Repeat until 5pm. It’s mostly data entry but there’s also a bit of spatial management involved (stacking crates in the corner of the office); as well as some graphical alignment (making sure the barcode stickers don’t cover the tape labels. I try to keep myself amused with all the weird and wonderful show names you’d expect from the Discovery Network’s far reaching library. Favourites include “So There’s A Brontosaurus In Your Backyard”, “Going Bush With Goldie Hawn”, and “I Am Joe’s Repetitive Strain Injury”.

Luckily I don’t share this misery on my own. There’s four others; all contracted out from a recruitment agency comically called Beavers. The vibe is a lot like the movie The Breakfast Club in many ways. Five down-and-out youths confined to a room for an entire day, disgruntled with the system, all with far better things to do with their time, dreaming of being somewhere else. Whereas the characters on The Breakfast Club were repaying their debt to the school we are there to repay out debts, fullstop. Also different from the movie is that the six of us are more akin to the United Nations. Two Londoners, a Kiwi, an Irishwomen, and a Dane-who-was-raised-in-France-but-studied-in-Glasgow.

As well as giggling at ludicrously named animal documentaries we also pass the time with various betting games. Such as: 'Guess Who’ll Walk Through The Office Next' and 'Guess How Long Ellen The Irishwomen Will Take For Her Smoking Break'. I tried instigating a pooling of our lunches and the person who correctly wins a betting game would win the entire spoils; thankfully no one listened to me.

But on my very first day of Data Entry and Spatial Management I did have one person fooled. James The Londoner had popped out to the bathroom and the remaining two boys and two girls got into a discussion about body hair (I have a feeling it was inspired by the Goldie Hawn show). Anyway, James returned and I advised him we’d been having a body hair conversation; and that Russell and I had taken our shirts off to show the girls our chest hair. Without even questioning the notion he whipped off his shirt in front of the entire office!

That was as outrageous as it got. The days are mostly filled with stereo wars. We all get a turn at imposing our varied musical preferences on the others. Unfortunately Ellen The Irishwomen only likes two artists: U2 (not surprisingly) and Dolly Parton (which I regret ever putting on my ipod). I’ve got the others hooked on some Kiwi fare such as Fat Freddy’s Drop; while I urge you never to listen to any Franco-Danish Glaswegian Prog Rock.
Stereo liberties such as those are a thing of the past now… yesterday I started work at HMV (a big music store); and I fear all I’ll be listening to from now until the 25th of December is Robbie Williams and the Crazy Frog battling for the Christmas Number One.


At 9:42 pm, Anonymous Phantom48 said...

Great to hear from you again. Thought you'd got lost on the moors somewhere in the misty British weather. Sounds like you're right back where you started in Akld. But hey - look where that finally led you, so can't all be bad.
Keep those blogs acomin'
Love you - Mum

At 9:55 pm, Blogger Bee said...

Hi Badall from Isaiah

Isaiah saw your picture in the blog and pointed to it and said Badall. I'm sure it's no reflection on your personality, I haven't shared all those home truths to him yet haha.

Good to hear that are in a position you are familiar with music, music, music.

Well enjoy Crazy Frog and Schnappi.

Luv Bee, Martin, Isaiah and Dayna

BTW you are the only aunty/uncle whose name he has said.

At 12:30 am, Anonymous Anita said...

Hi Randall

thanks for the update. Well I guess you look fondly to pay day. HMV sounds like a step up. Surely they wont have Crazy Frog and Robbie Williams playing all the time.... not if you have anything to do with it :)

Glad to hear that you've found a way of passing the time away, even if it's dreaming of something more inspiring.

Hang on a bit longer, as Mum says, it's a step up, and the next move could be it!


At 4:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Randall,

Gr8 2 get anothr update. Glad 4 u that some cash wil roll in, but @ what cost? Surely you'l get a burst of xmas carols from sum artist or anothr! Cam luvs crazy frog even askd 4 it 4 xmas! LOL.

Keep smiling, keep writng & hopefuly yr big brake is around the corner.


At 9:06 pm, Anonymous Tom Kelly said...

Sounded a bit like the first job I had in London - stamping sequential numbers on the top right hand corner of each page of evidence for a big court case then filing them in ringbinders - 8 of us doing it - thankfully we were able to reach a consensus about which radio station to listen to.

Is the HMV gig in the mega-store Oxford St? Look on the bright-side, perhaps your new theme song should be Yazz - 'The only way is up!'


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