In Demand

For various reasons, I am indeed a popular chap at the moment. But not in every way I’d want.

Chief amongst them is in my so-called part-time job. Because it’s shit, and no one wants to do it, and even more so no one wants to work nights, I am called upon if anyone calls in sick. Which is happening a lot at the moment. It’s resulting in me working a lot of night shifts… which is steadily driving me insane due to a lack of sleep.

But also, yesterday I was out delivering leaflets for the political party I’m a member of. People like me are always loved by local parties. We’ll trudge around for hours doing the same thing again and again in the hope that it’ll turn a few voters to us. And as we’re young and fit, we can go on for hours and hours without too much of a problem. Just as long as the councillors dip their hands in the pockets at the end of it and pay for food and beers.

Only yesterday’s post-leaflet celebration was cut short by the dreaded phone call asking me to work the night shift on my night off. I accepted the offer, mainly because I’m a slave to the wage right now. I need every penny I can get my hands on if I’m to amass the funds required to achieve whatever the hell it is I want to do.

Which is rather odd, because I still don’t know what to do. I must have delivered over 200 leaflets separately for my business only a few days before, only to get precisely no response. It seems everything I’ve tried to do has failed miserably. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to get anywhere. All around me are people running businesses. Worst of all, the guy I work for in the petrol station empire is, frankly, thick as pigshit. Presumably dyslexic judging by his appalling written communication. A rather nasty piece of work too.

But he’s running a business with a multi-million pound turnover. It can’t be rocket science. What is it that I’m doing wrong? I could do with getting some advice from somewhere. Free advice, preferably. Because that’s half the problem. Everything I want to do seems to cost so much. Advertising. Rental. Buying stock to sell it at a profit. The initial outlays are huge. I can afford them, but at the same time do I want to? Maybe I’m just not prepared to risk enough to run a business.

Meanwhile, I get more and more frustrated with my life. I have a viable option to escape from this house and live with an old friends from secondary school. That makes me in demand there as well. But I don’t know whether it’s sensible. It could be the worst decision I ever make, because I don’t really know him any more, and for all I know he’s not a very good person to live with. I’ve learned that one through bitter experience. Gonna have to think through that one very carefully.

But what can I do with my life? I’m still no nearer to answering this conundrum. I thought I may have found an answer by running my own business, but no such luck.

Until I get close to solving it, I’m always going to remain just one step from severe depression.

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Sleep Deprivation

It’s not something I’ve been used to – but my life is now in such a state with a constant stream of night shifts that I am beginning to feel rather run down.

This morning as I was walking home from work – a 45 minute journey that I chose to do because it was sunny and warm for a change (after weeks of rain) – I was talking to a friend on MSN on my mobile phone.

Now – this is normally a difficult experience at the best of times due to texting replies very slowly compared with the usual qwerty keyboard entry with several fingers all at once. But this morning I made a mistake nearly every word, and seemed to be going even slower than ever.

Worst of all, and all those who’ve been sleep deprived will know, you get into this rather strange state of watching yourself making a mistake, knowing full well that you’re making it in the process, and still doing it anyway. And then it turns out to be very funny indeed – because everything is hilarious when you’re massively tired.

This persisted for the entire duration of the walk. I did it to try to save me money (might as well as I desperately need it if my plan to move out is ever going to happen) but also because by walking back it means I can take a detour via a McDonalds… as Monday mornings, my last night shift for four days, are usually celebrated with the consumption of an Egg McMuffin. 99p of pure stodge. Yummy.

But lo, upon my arrival home, there was a clutch of things to be done. Two things involving my business – one of which was finally getting rid of a computer repair I’ve been working on for two weeks that has suffered from problems at every turn: broken motherboards, suspected broken CPUs (that weren’t broken), incompatible memory despite the motherboard saying it supports it, and reformats and reinstallations galore.

Sadly though, there were two things I was meant to do this morning and totally forgot due to my sleep deprived situation. First was bagging up the newspaper returns and leaving them on the step. Not done. No returns. No credits. £3 wasted. Goddammit!

Then second was calling up my workplace to tell them about something I forgot to tell them about. Now there seems no point in trying to tell them as it’s probably been resolved, but no doubt with a large degree of confusion caused by my foolishness.

But fuck them. They haven’t paid me properly and there are no wage slips, breaking the law. I owe them nothing.

Then – finally, the worst piece of news hit my inbox at 9am this morning. My plans to move out are in disarray as the place I wanted to move to doesn’t have any flats available in my budget range. Surprise, surprise.

Stuck here. For many more months. The thought chills me to the bone.

24

It appears that today is, again, my birthday.

Only this one is going to be one of the most non-eventful I’ve ever had the so-called privilege to experience.

The problem this time is that not only am I older, I have not achieved anything in the last year. At least while I’ve been in school or university, I’ve been able to say that – well, I’ve completed another year of studies. But this past year has been one notable failure after another. All of which has been tediously chronicled on this blog so much that I’m bored of writing about another week not doing anything.

But something else makes this birthday even crapper than normal. The fact that I’m still awake, and will be for another two hours at least, and will be then sleeping until approximately 11am. Only then to get up, have breakfast, do some housework, and then work from 3pm until 10pm in one of the scummiest areas of my home city. I will then come home by about 11pm, with approximately one hour left of my birthday in which to “celebrate” with my family.

Pretty rubbish. And it gets worse, because I’m then working nights the next three days, so there is no chance of us being able to go out for a meal in the evening – which is usually what we like to do for birthdays here. A little break from the norm of having to cook food.

On the brighter side, my patience with living here has finally snapped, due to a combination of family members, family circumstances and terribly behaved dogs which I really don’t like. But now with my new, old job, there is a definite prospect opening up that I could well be able to afford to move out.

There are some new apartments that have been built a couple of miles from here. They are perfectly located, with an ASDA next door, the train station a stone’s throw away, a major retail site nearby, and bus links that go all over the city. The apartment in question just about has enough room to swing a cat and costs a shocking £395/month.

But I think I can do it. In fact, for the sake of my sanity, I must do it.

So I’ve begun to make enquiries. The ball is well and truly rolling on this.

I feel like the only way I’ll get on in life is if I get out. Get out and resume the life I lived for four years. I liked my independence and freedom. I hate being answerable to parents, I’m fed up of living with family members who don’t even talk to me any more and with whom I don’t seem to have any relationship. And I’m sick of all the work I do in this house being taken for granted. They sure will be in for a shock.

So in truth, the best birthday present I could get this year would be a free pass out of here. That’s not to say I don’t like my family, but familiarity certainly does breed contempt. If I get out of here, that crucial distance may be what I need for re-evaluating my relationship with each one of them. Then I’ll be less of a “parent” figure and more of a sibling again.

Anyway. Time for a celebratory episode of Prison Break. Now coming to the end of the third series…

There Is No Normal

Right now, my sleep pattern is well and truly up the wall.

For the past week or so, having done three night shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I have been trying to work out a sensible routine that I can stick to. Unfortunately, my body is having none of it, and it’s not helped by simply going to bed earlier and earlier, thus putting me back into my old sleeping ways.

No, that’s no good at all. What I need to do is like today, even though I’ve just finished a 7 hour shift which was extremely busy, and managed to make almost no mistakes whatsoever (except trust one customer for just a little too long, meaning my till was slightly down at the end of the shift…) … and stay up late.

Tomorrow I will be doing a night shift again. That’s all good, but this week they’re going to be much more difficult as they’re in a very busy location. And the customers just don’t fucking go to bed. Ever. One might think a lull would arrive after a certain hour, but it doesn’t. They just keep on coming. And they’ll happily queue up at the window. It’s no bother to them at all.

It’s at times like that, though, that I’m always grateful when I’m behind the bulletproof glass and I’ve got a safely locked door. It makes what should be a rather arduous job much more tolerable. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say the night shifts are much better simply because things aren’t so frantic for you. There’s much more time to get your banking right, get your safe drops spot on, process the vast amounts of change the taxi drivers give you, and make sure things generally run smoothly.

So while I’m readjusting to working life, I’m actually being hit with work for my business. Got a couple of customers ongoing at the moment, and I’m in the middle of some PC sales, which should be concluded shortly. The miracle of the past few days was that I actually sold a PC through my website. I’m very happy with that, it makes a very pleasant change indeed. If only I thought it would keep going.

Tomorrow I’ve got to try and finish these few jobs off and get my room in order. It’s such a horrible mess at the moment that I hate going up there. And I hate it up there anyway because it’s either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. And right now, it’s obviously too hot. I like the sun. I’m enjoying the heatwave. But at night… it has to cool down at least a bit.

Unfortunately it doesn’t. And worse, I have to try and sleep during the day in a room that at times reads 34C on the thermometer. (Don’t ever get a loft conversion. They’re totally uninhabitable)

So it’s a strange old life I’m leading at the moment. Always on the go, always doing something. I just wish more of my time actually earned me a living rather than kept me from getting bored. After all, it’s not like I’m all that enthused about the potential prospect on the horizon of me becoming the secretary of my local junior football league. Great!