Friday, 9 September 2011

Pictures Of Matchstick Men


About four o'clock in the afternoon I look up from my computer to the same view that's faced me all day.  Just your standard office: arranged in rows of desks facing back to back, low partitions between each just begging to have Table Tennis played between them.  The same Call Centre employee that has been sitting in front of me all day looks up and realises that yes, yet again, I am staring vacantly in his direction without realising what I'm doing...

What am I doing?

My body feels tense from sitting in one position, my eyes have been aching for some time and there's the slight sense of nausia that can arise from too much time infront of the computer.  Nowadays I almost feel like I should carry around a small glow light that can reflect on my face so that my friends can recognise me sans computer screen.

I decide that I've had enough and, even though its not break time, I step out of the building and into the world beyond the high metal fence.  Out here are the broken echoes of the old factories, their machinery still singing their stacatto songs amongst the broken bricks.

As a kid we used to come up here for the works Christmas party - over a thousand kids crammed into a room with a cinema set up - food, drinks and presents all on the company.  Hard to imagine any corporation today doing that.

I can feel the heavy weight of my mobile phone in my pocket  From this tiny screen I can go anywhere in the world: text or email anyone.  Hard to believe that when I started my last job mobile phones were only for execs.  How many of us can now imagine a world without them?

I take one last look at the world around me, taking in the smell of petrol from the main road, listening to the sound of the traffic.

I ask myself: why do we spend so much of our lives shutting ourselves off from all of this...


7 comments:

Titus said...

Ooh, just the kind of ennui post I like!

Dear Quo, in the days.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Don't they allow music in your office then? You could listen to it on your computer wearing headphones.

Argent said...

Know that feeling all too well! Sadly, though, bills need to be paid, food bought and so on. My real life is the one I have outside of work, with my friends and my music and, of course, the blogworld.

The Bug said...

I was TOTALLY distracted by the video. Were those wigs they were wearing? Fascinating. Like the song though...

I work in a call center so I can picture your day perfectly. I'm lucky because I'm not one of the collectors - I work for the corporate attorney so we're not out on the collection floor. On the other hand I'm pretty much always reflected in the glow of a computer screen too. Like right now :)

Michael said...

I feel like this often, but it tends to become a this is better than that scenario and leads me to a cloud of frustrated desire. I wonder how we can escape this duality? What would it that be like? (There, I'm in it again!)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Titus - indeed. Whatever you want...(groan)

GB - sadly not, not even via headphones.

Argent - yes indeed. Work can take you down, down deeper and down...

Bug - no that was their own hair. Francis Rossi is a lot balder these days and has forgotten all but three chords. Still as you don't appear to have heard of them i guess they're no longer Rockin'all over the world...

Michael - you can't always get what you want...no, hang on...that was the Rolling Stones...

Frustration - yes indeed. :)

Lydia said...

I remember writing a poem about these feelings -- turned out to be a poem about one of the buildings in my view -- decades ago.
I left the office behind 11 years ago now, which seems hard for me to believe (and lordy I hope that I'm not forced to return due to finances) because I still have nightmares about work. Not dreams. Nightmares. Just as fresh as if I clocked out at 6:00pm that evening.

This was a most excellent post, my friend.