Thursday, 21 June 2007

Bad days

For some reason, despite the fact that nothing terribly bad has happened today, I am having a bad day. A few trivial annoyances have occurred, as have some good things, but the badness of my mood is completely disproportionate to the happenings of the day. This is totally silly and irrational so I'm going to relate them in order to prove that to myself and put them to bed.

**Warning. Very dull post. Reading on is recommended only for those needing a cure for chronic insomnia.**

Trivial annoyance 1: I somehow overlooked having my breakfast this morning, and as soon as it occurred to me that eating would be a good thing, I realised I had about three minutes in which to get myself dressed and be on my way to the train station like a good little pendulum, erm, I mean commuter. (Forgive me, I'm getting ahead of myself. More on the pointlessness of the commute later. I bet you can't wait...)

Trivial annoyance 2: The train I get daily to work was cancelled. This is quite a bad thing and means either sitting at the station for another half hour (not too bad as I'm reading a great book) or jumping on a train heading in approximately the right direction and trying to judge which route is the best idea today.

Trivial annoyance 3: The train before the one I usually catch was sufficiently delayed that I might have caught it, had it not have been packed when it showed up at the station. Despite wishing I could join the ranks of the miserable-looking people inside, I and many others were unable to squeeze ourselves into the train. For a moment, I wondered why we have no equivalent of the station staff who shove extra passengers onto the Tokyo metro, and felt rather affronted that I would be unable to stand all the way to Waterloo pressed uncomfortably close to someone else's armpit/chest/groin/halitosis, but only for a very fleeting moment. Then I reconciled myself to the thought of reading some more.

Trivial annoyance 4: The following train was cancelled.

Good thing 1: I had time to pick up a baguette for breakfast. Mmm, Chinese chicken before 9am. Yummy….

Trivial annoyance 5: The train I finally got on stopped at every piddling little station between Guildford and Waterloo. This would take a long time. I would get to work about an hour later than I should. Then I had a minor brainwave: get off at Wimbledon and take the tube.

Good thing 2: No shortage of seats on uber-slow train. Good for reading.

Trivial annoyance 6: At Wimbledon, I discover the District line was broken, as in no-body knew when the next train would arrive or where it would go to. Not even the whizzy little information boards would give me a clue. I joined the collection of equally-spaced, lost-looking commuters facing towards the platforms and felt a bit pissed off.

Good thing 3: I read more book.

Good thing 4: Train arrived eventually. I got a seat. I read more.

Trivial annoyance 7: When I finally got to work, I had to put the book down. Damn - two hours of book later, I'm really into it! Worse, the people at work I needed to speak to weren't there, and if it wasn't for a set of jobsworthy rules, I could have achieved everything I've done today from home. Bummer.

Trivial annoyance 8: Work is frustrating. I will spare the sorry details.

Good thing 5: Lunch was nice...

Trivial annoyance 9: That man REALLY winds me up.

Trivial annoyance 10: I have no internet access. I can't check out the best trains to get home quickly. It's already 6:20, and despite the very cool views from the office, I'm sick of staring at the never-ending sprawl of London. I want to go home. I'm practically stamping my feet...

Good thing 6: I check my hours for the week and my terms and it turns out that I don't actually have to work 7.5 hours per day, provided I clock up 37.5 each week. Hooray. I'm out in a flash.

Trivial annoyance 11: The first of my trains home is delayed by 15 minutes. Arse.

Good thing 7: Waiting at the station means more book. Hello again. Now, where was I...? And it’s not raining.

Trivial annoyance 12: The train arrives and is packed. But not so packed that I can't squeeze on if I consent to having a bad armpit stretched over my nose. Eeeew. No room to read, and feeling a bit nauseous...

Good thing 8: It is a short journey.

Good thing 9: Next train has seats. Book time.

Trivial annoyance 13: Seeing the suited corporate clones snoozing on the train is not attractive. They look so depressed and pointless. They probably do this every day - get up, commute, work, commute, sleep, and have no leisure time. I suspect if I closed my eyes, I would look like these people, too. What a depressing thought.

Trivial annoyance 14: No seats on next train. But there is space to stand and read so that becomes:

Good thing 10: More book.

Trivial annoyance 15: Despite being home, I can't yet have a beer or two and forget the inconveniences of the day, because I'm expecting a colleague to call round to collect a paper. This causes more bad mood. So much bad mood, that I'm too busy being in a bad mood to think about doing anything productive or useful such as fixing some dinner. But hey, sod it, if I get hungry enough I'll find something - there are plenty eggs.

Good thing 11: Stray and Badger magically assemble dinner. Housemates are fantastic.

Good thing 12: Neither housemate is showing signs of being an axe murderer. To be on the safe side, if I do happen to go quiet at any point in the coming months and the police make enquiries, please direct them to the earlier post containing an axe-murderer theme.

Trivial annoyance 16: Colleague calls round at some time past 9pm. Almost bedtime, in fact. I have to recount details of work, which I was hoping I would have forgotten about by that point in a merry state of alcoholic fuzz.

There. By no means a terrible day. Nothing awful happened, or anything particularly bad. Lots of good things have happened. It's just been pointless and frustrating and wasteful.

Trivial annoyance 17: Writing all this has made me realise how pointless and wasteful and frustrating my day has been. And mainly how pointless and wasteful and frustrating it is for me to be so annoyed by it.

Good thing 13: I feel better for having inflicted a dreary description of the good and bad things that happened in a pointless day on someone else*. Thanks. And now I'm off to bed.

*I'm worried this may be an early sign of having sadistic tendencies.


Jacqui said...

That was hilarious Rach! I love reading your blog by the way, long may it continue.
Sometimes (not very frequently), I wonder about not having focused more on my career and not taking certain opportunities but then stories like that just remind me of the fact that I chose to avoid the commuting, city, no-leisure-time, option and went for the working-mainly-from-home, setting-my-own-hours, lots-of-leisure-time, combination for a reason! Soon, I'll even be looking at the Pyrenees from my village in BĂ©arn... ;-)))
Chat to you again soon.

Anonymous said...

What was the book?

Andrew Ferrier said...

No. 9: which man?

Pixie said...

Another adventure in Geek land, i'm so enjoying visiting. it's giving me a whole new perspective on life.

But Why? said...

Ouch! No need to rub it in! (Great to see you here, by the way and good to know it's not a chore for you to keep up with the minutae of my life...) One day I fully intend to reclaim my leisure time. Meanwhile, I'm immensely pleased that I have friends who live in eminently visitable locations - I'll be over to see you before you know it. xx

The Bonesetter's Daughter, by Amy Tan.

Lovely of you to drop by. I am practically wetting myself with the desire to reveal all and let off steam about the nasty man, but alas, I cannot answer your question as to do so would be most unprofessional.

Oops, was that another geek moment I notched up? Never mind, I'm learning to live with it...
I'm glad you're enjoying your visits and do hope that passport control didn't give you too much hassle as you crossed into Geek land.

But x

KindaBlue said...

Nah, it's not sadism; you're simply trying to ensure a level playing field. Why should you be the only one to suffer at the mercy of SWT and London Underground?

But Why? said...

Well, quite, but the thing is, were I the only one suffering, it wouldn't have been so bad - empty carriages, plenty seats and no threat of being packed like a sardine into a can of sweaty commuters. I guess it would have been a bit eerie, though, had I have been the only person on the train.

Rob said...

I got that book from Amazon.

You could've warned me that it has the gayest cover in book history!

I can't even read it on the bus

But Why? said...


Surely Amazon has picture technology? If the gayness of the cover is such an issue, you could have tested this before buying the book by looking at the pictures?

Having said that, I think I understand your problem. The cover is rather pastel and arty, and probably doesn't befit someone so Badgery as yourself.

You could try solving this problem by using some other reading material as a false cover. I've always found Feynman's Lectures on Physics to be a handy way of keeping prying eyes away, and they are large enough to conceal most paperbacks.

But x