Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dull Day

We all have days like this: nothing of note happens, there are no highs, no lows; just 24 hours of normality. I'm fortunate enough to have an interesting job with numerous side benefits like travel, flexible working hours and the like, but I do wonder what it must be like for factory workers or anyone whose profession is not particularly stimulating to have to endure monotony every day of their working lives. As a schoolboy and student I worked a lot in factories: making burger buns for Wimpy Bars, packing pharmaceuticals and contraceptives for sheep (really!), canning peas and potatoes and delivering the Christmas post and I always wondered what it must be like to have to do this all the time. Most of the people I asked were pretty phlegmatic about it: "Oh, it's not so bad; the colleagues are nice and that's all that counts". There was Amin, whose annual highlight was two weeks in Blackpool with his family; Dolly, deaf as a post and cheerful as the day was long would find something to joke about on a freshly-swept factory floor; Jill would spend all day trying to get my trousers off and Brenda spent the day dreaming of meeting a man who didn't take his socks off in bed. She did divorce later, but I don't know whether her next hubby was able to keep her happy for too long; Brenda was sweet, but she was maybe a little too demanding in some ways. Malik, the foreman, would basically tell anyone who was prepared to listen what an incredible man he was. One thing all my factories had in common: they fed you practically for free. Keep their bellies and wallets full and they'll continue to do a job for you. It's basic psychology, but it certainly worked; there was as good as no turnover in those places.

Looking back on those times and you realise why Prime Time TV is such a hit everywhere. The work fries your brain to such an extent that even sitting down in front of the telly and using a remote appears an intellectual step too far. So you stay on Channel 1, wherever you may be on this earth, and your brain gets microwaved even further. Ultimately, you end up voting Socialist. This is the logical sequence.

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