RIP 30, Hope, and my Feminine Right to Trousers

Okay, so I’m not a character in a DC comic. I guarantee if I were, it’d be the most boring character in the storyline. Check out Wonder Woman – she comes from Paradise with no formal qualifications yet immediately gets a position of relative power. And she has an invisible plane. Even I have better qualifications. Maybe my chances will increase if I get a lasso…

Yesterday was my birthday. This time last year I was being asked, “Have you managed to achieve everything you wanted to by the age of 30?” I hadn’t thought about it until that moment. She perhaps thought that was a really awesome and enlightened question. I ended up beneath my desk, rocking like a lunatic as I sucked my thumb and shed a tear while the candles burnt down into the chocolate cake.

At this point, my long list of achievements included the following:

  • A four year relationship with a man who forgot to mention he didn’t want a relationship.
  • A job working for the world’s worst company where my chances of progression are all horizontal (if the Boss has his way) and duties include editing the Boss’ Mistress’ family photographs and doing her son’s homework and A-Level coursework
  • A consistent 15-year failure in my attempts to get myself a job in publishing
  • Almost every friend I have resenting the publishing industry after ending up in it purely by accident through agencies
  • Possibly the world’s largest number of unanswered job applications
One year later, my achievements have changed slightly:
  • Defiantly single (some call it “man-hater”)
  • Still working for the world’s worst company where my chances of progression are all horizontal (He remains persistent in his attempts) and duties include doing the Boss’ Mistress’ son’s office work with the possibility of progressing to his university work
  • A consistent 16-year failure in my attempts to get myself a job in publishing
  • Almost every friend I have quits the publishing industry because they never wanted to work in it to begin with
  • Maintenance of the world’s largest number of unanswered job applications
  • The discovery that owning kickboxing kung fu kitten thighs mean I can no longer wear trousers.
In celebration of my mediocrity, I went and had a great day with the Man Of The Four (and a half) Years. We had fish and chips, got drunk, laughed a lot. My jealousy raged like gamma radiation through my blood cells and I’m not convinced I didn’t turn slightly green when he was texting his ‘stalker’, a woman he ‘doesn’t talk to’, texting her pictures and the like. All innocent, he says, all harmless. And yet he was still texting someone he claims to hate.
It would seem my personal life is only marginally better than my work life, but consists of more death threats.As I ate my hot cross bun whilst staring into the eyes of the Feathered One this morning, just before he bit my nose, I wondered where I would be if I had focused in my life.

I left school with a full house of Bs.  Bs.  B.S.  Bullshit seems to be appropriate for my lack of focus at the time, and if I had knuckled down a little, perhaps revised instead of … not, I would have come out of my GCSEs with As instead.

Perhaps I would have chosen to go to university. I doubt it though. Even from a young age, I declared business studies a cop-out degree, and okay, perhaps I could learnt all sorts of brilliant technical words had I studied English and what have you, but why do I need to know ‘~’ is ’tilde’ or ‘&’ is ‘ampersand’ when ‘squiggle’ and ‘and’ will do? When was the last time you heard about when your mate drank far too much ampersand woke up on a beach in Calais?  Never,that’s when! And nobody talks about tilde so I won’t even try putting that into a sentence.

I’m one hundred percent certain that I’d still be in journalism right now. I’d own a couple of dogs (Siberian Foxes), and young Wicket wouldn’t be in my life because it would never have crossed my mind to bond with a bird of prey. If I were still in that line though, it’d be a step up from being groped by the Big Boss when I’m told to work late.

Would I be in a better place if I’d done the university thing? It’s a possibility.

A lovely young man I know, with a salary of approximately £250,000pa, gets on with me for the reason that we almost share a life. The only difference is that he stepped into his father’s footsteps and went all the way to an Oxford PhD.

He recognises my intelligence, having witnessed first hand during interviews that degrees don’t a great employee make, and somehow I have succeeded in my mission to dumb him down to a level where he has perfect use of words under two syllables. He asked once about why I don’t use less basic words. I pointed out that yes, I understand what he’s actually saying whenever he uses his six-syllable monstrosities, but it’s much quicker to use one syllable. Especially in Essex, where I was greeted by a speeding car yesterday with the joyful cry of, “Oy, you slag!”

In Essex, one syllable is much easier than two. The locals aren’t guaranteed to understand that one syllable, as evidenced by these morons yesterday.  Let’s break it down:

Real Oy: An expression of misery or grief. Roots are Yiddish.
Essex Oy: A greeting of some variety, generally used to grab attention. Roots are unknow.
Real Slag: A cinder of some variety cast from a volcano/Vitrified material separated during smelting (or so I understand it.) Also a Dinobot.
Essex Slag: Someone who as a rule of generalisation wears short skirts, is a bit of a cock tease, and pretty much shags anyone she meets.

At the time of the shout, I was wearing jeans, a long baggy jumper and a calf-length camel overcoat. I last had sex in 2008. I don’t know them so it couldn’t have been a greeting, and nobody could accuse in my attire that I’m a serial sex magnet, which leads me to presume they were grieving over the waste separated from ore.

When I took birdbrain out for a walk recently – because it’s important to take your owl for a walk, you know – I passed a mother and daughter. The daughter, who must have been about four years old, was over the moon, and was tugging at her mother’s sleeve chanting, “She has an owl, she has an owl!” Her mother looked across at me, carefully eyeing up the creature sitting on my shoulder watching her with keen interest, and said to her daughter, “Don’t be silly, that’s not an owl, that’s a kestrel.

Not Wicket

Not even close, mum!

You’d think, though, that the mother would at least have been embarrassed by her infant knowing more than she does.

On another walk, I was approached by a couple of guys in their late teens. One asked made the mistake of saying, “Right, love, we got a bet going on here. He says that’s an owl, I say it’s a bird. Which of us is right?”

I must have stared at him for an eternity (about 10 seconds).

When these people graduate, they’re honestly more likely than I am to get a job they like.

I have made approximately 15 applications this week alone. The law of averages for some dictates that I should at least get one interview. Alas, I put in my CV to over 5,000 jobs in the three years prior to Hetero Erectus hiring me, and this was my third interview out of that lot.

The companies I apply for could do a lot worse than me. In fact, they normally do. Persistence is good. Doesn’t get me anywhere, but it’s a good trait to have. Apparently…  But I swear, there’s going to be an argument if I ever meet Sally from Bloomsbury. She spends too much time rejecting my CV.

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