Monday, 3 March 2014

No, girl I have never met in my life, the noise from downstairs is not bothering me. The fact that you are now crawling underneath my duvet at 3am is.

People are strange, aren't they? One minute, they're complete strangers to you, your paths never having crossed and greetings never exchanged, and then the next minute, it's 3 o'clock in the morning and they're lying uninvited in your bed (whilst you are in it) talking about their work photographing pigs and explaining that, despite never having met you before, they really like you and would very much enjoy being your friend.

 Wait... That's not normal behaviour? Oh. Right. Maybe someone should have explained that to the girlfriend of the housemate I have only met once when she decided that it was acceptable to do just that one night after getting in drunk after a work's Christmas party. There I was, trying to block out the noise of house music emanating from downstairs so I could get to sleep, when my bedroom door opens and in walks a girl I have never seen in my life. Groping her way across my bedroom in the dark, she sits down on my bed and beams at me. "Hiya! I'm Kate! Is the noise from downstairs bothering you?" I stared at her. No, the noise from downstairs is not bothering me. The fact that you are now crawling underneath my duvet is. Of course, that's not what I actually said, because I am too ridiculously polite to tell a stranger to get out of my bed, even if it is completely justified. Instead, I made small talk for an entire quarter of an hour, gave her a courteous pat on the back when she leaned in for a very uncomfortable (for me) and intimate hug, and then told her to go next door and meet my other housemate Nathan, as I'm sure they would get along great. (Nathan was asleep at the time and was somewhat less welcoming than I had been. He has now put a bolt on his bedroom door.)

In other news, I have a new job! Don't get too excited, it's still in the same work place, only now instead of slicing up ham and being patronised by customers, I am in a nice warm office (read: roasting) doing things that fall under the category of 'marketing'. Sounds profesh, right? Part of me (worryingly, the dominant part) wanted to turn up on the first day carrying a briefcase and wearing a power suit, but I didn't want to send a misleading message (the message that I am in any way competent and/or professional.) At first, I was surprised that I'd got the job, but on reflection, I can see why. I mean, who wouldn't hire someone that had created a slide that said 'pause for applause' at the end of their interview presentation? It's understandable. My first week ran as smoothly as can be expected. I spent most of my time (and am still spending most of my time) Googling marketing buzzwords, listening to instructions with a vacant expression on my face and wondering what the hell a spreadsheet was. Even if I had listened in GCSE I.C.T., that was eight years ago, and in the period of time that has since passed I have consumed copious amounts of alcohol and killed a worrying amount of brain cells. After some in-depth internet research that consisted of me doing a Middle Aged Woman search on Google (different to a normal Google search in that instead of searching the words relating to the topic one wishes to explore, one simply asks Google a question. For example, "I am at work and someone has said the word spreadsheet and now I am possibly having a stroke. Can you help me?"), I eventually managed to scrape together enough knowledge to open a new page on Excel and start inputting some data. I always thought of Excel as being like algebra or French - something teachers tell you will come in useful during your life, but deep down you know it really won't and consequently feel it is acceptable to pay no heed. Up until now, I thought I had made the correct decision.

Week two was also not without its trauma. On Monday, as I was taking a stroll around the outside of the shop, treating myself to some fresh air and giving my mind something to think about other than how difficult it is to work at a computer and not play Tetris, I happened upon the goat pen. Noticing one of the goats had only one horn, my sympathetic nature took over and I hung my hand over the pen to pet the unfortunate beast, thinking that his life must have been a hard one, filled with the bullying and the stigma that comes with being a little bit different. The goat (George, if you're interested) came to me like a moth to a flame. He nuzzled the palm of my hand, grateful (it appeared) at my friendly gesture. He soon began to let himself be vulnerable, allowing me to run my hand over his rough fur. I have trouble letting myself be vulnerable with new people too, and George and I definitely had an emotional connection. Before long, he was licking my hand affectionately as I chatted to him about spreadsheets. It was like we'd been friends for years. I was just about to suggest we do something fun over the weekend, maybe eat some cardboard from the warehouse, or perhaps he would let me braid his fur, when out of the blue I felt a sharp pain in my finger as George sunk his teeth into my flesh. My world collapsed. This four legged beast, the one soul who had listened to my Microsoft woes, had comforted me, had let me in, shown me the side of him so often hidden, had bitten me. As the heavy tears, saturated with hurt and betrayal, threatened to cascade down my face, I gave George one last pleading look. I was destroyed. But I was a survivor. I could get over this heartbreak. I took solace in knowing that the friendship we shared was special and would always be a part of me, regardless of the events that just occurred or any that would inevitably follow. (I also took solace in the fact that he was standing in his own shit. Not so tough now, are you dickhead?)

I am into week three now and, so far, things are not looking too bad. I have not broken the printer or caused the entire floor to stink of burning plastic after accidentally melting a whole sheet of plastic in the laminating machine. In fairness, it was a slight improvement from the first time I used to laminating machine when I just put a piece of paper in and expected it to come out the other side laminated. Apparently the plastic is not in the machine. Who knew?