Monday, July 14, 2008


How to look busy. Hmmm, Stare out the window, not good. Read the paper, not good. Type something meaningless in Word, not great. Do some work? Impossible.

Is that the editor over there, peering across the savannah of computer screens at my under-rated corner? Don’t be ridiculous, he’s got much more important things to be pondering than why you haven’t done any work for the last hour and a half. No way is he going to march over, grip you by the shoulders and say: “Haven’t you done anything since you’ve been here?”

No chance of anything that exciting happening. Instead of bit of work crops up, occupies me for a minute and a half, no make that two minutes, and is done, wrapped up and shoved back down the pipe to the next keyboard monkey to soak in spittle. Back to staring out the window.

Hmmm, I’m pretty sure he’s looking at me now. He’s thinking, “What is that guy writing when he’s supposed to be working? Does he think he’s some kind of reporter? Some comment writer? Obit guy? What’s he doing in the spaz corner, with all the ne’er do wells then? Ah, that must be why. He’s probably on work experience and they haven’t found anything for him to do today. Probably he’ll be gone by next week, no need for me to worry my editorial genius over him, he can stare out of the window to his heart’s content. But I think I’ll get someone to read what he’s writing though, I’m sure its about me.”

Not a chance of that, matey. I’d rather write about eating my own tail than write anything you’d recognise. Yum, yum, cor this tail is tasty. Don’t know why I’ve never tried it before. Yumptious. Good quality protein and all, I must say. A real hearty snack. Hopefully it’ll grow back by tomorrow and I can have another crack at it.

Oh god, now the night editor has got the look as well. Better get my coat ready for the off. Hopefully the oystercard’s got enough to get me home, because it’s a long walk back with no raincoat and no money to buy one.

It’s a long walk back with a raincoat, of course. Tappity tap tap, what a load of important work is getting done in this room. Everyone’s so typie its amazing. No time for a chat, I’ve got important typing to do. Ooh look at me, typing up the world’s news, ain’t I a bit of all that.

Even this drivel can’t keep me occupied any longer. I’ve run out of crap to write. That’s it, I’m on my last legs, I can’t even turn out utter nonsense anymore.

I might invent a torture called Chinese typewriter torture. They sit you in a chair and type around you for 40 years until your brain finally caves in and then they give you £60 a week pension and a decrepit flat in Haringey. Actually its not called CTT, its just called life.

Tapping must be the world’s most uninspiring sound. Rhythmless, tuneless, its completely devoid of any of the things that make sound worth hearing. Although it does hold a faint needling quality, that other people are getting on with work, while you sit there worthless and wretched. If you listen long enough you can hear waves of tapping across the room, like, well like waves, I suppose. I did say it was uninspiring. Little bursts of tapping, like gunfire in a war torn Slavic city, as you sit in a grim hotel room, betting on how far the damp will rise before the night is out.

I wonder if I should time exactly how much of this shift I spend working and how much I spend not working. At a guess I’ve spent less than half an hour actually working and its already half-8. On that basis, I’ll can do no more than the best part of an hour before I go home. Assuming they don’t toss me out with the recycling.
I wonder how long you could do a job that paid you a decent wage for just sitting somewhere for eight hours a day.