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Lovely canteen in the workplace

Lovely canteen in the workplace

You can stop your incessant emails and comments, a new blog has arrived. It isn’t that I have forgotten about this but rather because I have recently re-entered the workforce and have been very busy.

Sometimes I stop and I think, This is absurd. I think this because of times like five-thirty a.m on a Saturday, which seems like such an unfair and unnatural time to be active. Also, moments where I catch my eye in the reflection of the computer screen and stop to consider for a while that I am in a place I do not want to be, where I can’t read a book or have something to eat until I’m told I am allowed.

There are good bits, like when I get paid and I can buy things. I’ve bought a lot of great things and also some great stuff so far and I look forward to buying more.

But it is still weird. In work, I had to have an unflattering photograph taken and now I have to wear it around my neck all day when I am there. If I was to do this outside of work I would be labelled eccentric or even a narcissist, but in work it is just normal.

This isn’t one of those jobs where you have to wear smart lady trousers with no pockets. Here you can wear whatever you want so long as it is appropriate. If you’re confused about what is appropriate and what is not I have an anecdote which will serve to illustrate the difference. So here is the anecdote then. (Please skip ahead if you feel confident with appropriate casual work attire.)

A woman who works with my mother once arrived at the office wearing a t-shirt that said, simply, DYKE, in rhinestone lettering. Though this sounds like a very nice t-shirt and shows she is comfortable with who she is (right on, sister!), it is actually inappropriate. It is not the rhinestones that are inappropriate – they may seem more suited to evening wear but it is actually acceptable to wear them on a casual t-shirt in the daytime – but the word DYKE. There are many other words you can have on your t-shirt if you want to make a statement, perhaps test these on friends and family if you are unsure.

Because of the loose guidelines I start every morning wondering if I am dressed too casually. See, it is important to me to feel as though I am wearing pyjamas, as this reminds me of being at home and watching TV. That is where I am happiest.

I miss this at work. I sit back and think of my cats, lying in rays of light on the carpet, half asleep. I miss them so much. After work I buy them gold tins of cat food with fancy names, Ocean Fish in a White Sauce with Spinach, because I love them and I can afford to now. At home I serve it to them like a waiter, saying the full title of the dish before placing it down. They do not leave a tip.

After a long period of unemployment, it is normal to become accustomed to your own company. Also, it is normal to become unaccustomed to other people’s company. You spend so many days talking only to yourself and your cats, doing a fart whenever you have to, that it can be difficult to re-assimilate with society.

A heron, free to spend his days however he wants.

A heron, free to spend his days however he wants.

It is strange to suddenly spend up to nine hours a day surrounded by people who are forced to be in your company. In many ways this is a good thing and you realise that despite our differences we are really All the Same. Except for people who are Just Awful, and you must spend time with these people too. You must smile and talk to them even if they have just slagged off all cats.

You must be nice because we are all a team and we are working toward a common goal. You may not care about the goal, it probably isn’t what you planned for in life. Your own personal goals might include being a best selling author and marrying Ryan Gosling when he stars in the adaptation, but while in work you must pretend you care about Their goal.

This is a good starting-off point for any working relationships, knowing and accepting you are all pretending to care about the same thing, you will always have this in common. If you need to engage with someone while you are waiting for your sports bottle to refill at the water cooler, try asking them about themselves. If they reciprocate, respond enthusiastically about their life! Not too enthusiastically because this can be frightening to more timid colleagues.

Several times a day you may ask yourself, Am I weird? because often you will say something and you will notice that your conversational partner has pinched their eyebrows together in a quizzical manner. Most of the time this will be about nothing and you will determine that you are not weird but everyone else is. But once in a while you will think you are weird and you will have to tell yourself to tone it down until you get home and you can fully be you again, talking to your cats and farting, happy in your DYKE t-shirt.


Sock it to Me!

When I’m feeling blue and need to cheer myself up I need look no further than the end of my legs. This is where my feet are and my feet are where I display my collection of novelty socks. Today I have gathered for your perusal a selection of my favourite socks. Think of it as Top of the Socks, if you like, or merely a list if you are less inclined to puns and things. I have limited myself to four pairs, each special in their own way, and I hope they make you smile. Perhaps this will inspire you to look at your own socks and choose the best ones! Good for you but remember this is about my socks, so don’t start going on about your own, it would be rude.

gpigs

At number four I have selected this pair of guinea pig socks. I have always dreamed of owning guinea pigs since five years ago when someone showed me their guinea pigs. However, I can’t be bothered. Cleaning out the cage of a guinea pig or rabbit (similar in pet responsibility though not much in genealogy) is a real hassle and I don’t have time for that.

You will note the repeated pattern of the guinea pig against what I like to call a spearmint green background. It is soothing to look at. Not like the backbreaking work of cleaning a guinea pig hutch but with all the aesthetic joy of looking at an animal as silly looking as a guinea pig. Ah. I feel better already!

roar

At number three there’s a theme you’ll see regularly in my wardrobe…dinosaurs! These dinosaurs are not photorealistic and instead are what looks like an interpretation of a child’s interpretation of a dinosaur. In bright, uplifting colours these guys aren’t as threatening as the raptors depicted in the feature film Jurassic Park.

The words on them say “Roar” which is what they want you to believe a dinosaur talked like. But we can’t really say for sure they would have, so let’s not put words into their mouths when they aren’t here to defend themselves.

squarebear

At number two we have a good friend of mine, Square Bear! He is a creation by outstanding British brand Marks and Spencer. As you will have come to expect from Marks and Sparks – as my mum calls them – they are of high quality and make your feet feel like they are submerged in a bucket full of long-haired kittens, such as ragdolls. Because they are so soft.

I have multiple socks featuring Square Bear as well as a nightie. There are three things you should know about Square squarebearcloseBear:

      1. He is square

      2. He is a bear

      3. His ears are always a different texture to his body

I’ve provided a close-up for inspection.

You see that the body is made of regular sock but the ears are a luxurious faux-fur. Reach out as if you can touch it, so soft, so golden. It is magnificent. I plan to buy more Square Bear socks when I visit M&S this week, he is such a cool guy.

faves

Here we are. The number one favourite pair of socks. Just pipping Square Bear to the post but I’m sure you will see why. These socks are so detailed you can look at them up to several times and see something new almost each time. A beautiful scene, if you let your imagination run wild it tells you a story. I imagine it as a Norwegian landscape, the twilight hour, in a time where animals rule the earth and giant magic mushrooms grow willy nilly.

favesclose

Foxes, squirrels and look, down there by the feet, it’s only hedgehogs!

A plethora of woodland creatures. I would like to meet the artist behind these socks and shake their hand, they are masters of their craft. I bought these from Tesco, a wonderful surprise on an otherwise mundane shopping trip. When I wear these socks I feel like anything is possible, I am walking on a magical world.