As another weekend draws to an untimely end, 35 hours of soul destroying tedium circles through your conscious like a corporate feathered vulture. Sunday's television schedule does little to distract you from the thoughts of a job that you once donned your finest suit to secure, and here, in a moment of depressing clarity is the realisation that, "this is your life." Instead of a red book filled with your greatest feats and wittiest one-liners, the best that you can achieve is two pages of Arial 11 point detailing your employment history and one or two hobbies that you added in a desperate attempt to make it sound as though you were a true team player and not the mis-anthropic, work-hating malcontent that you actually are.

If this sounds familiar then fear not, you are not alone. The Daily Grindstone is here to help you through the perils of employment and give weight to your long held belief that, despite the hype, work just isn't that great. So... make another cup of tea (remember that a full kettle takes longer to boil and can add minutes to your break), get comfortable, and prepare to adjust the scales of the work-life balance a little more in your favour.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Why jobs are like used cars

Very few people, myself include, could say that in all honesty, they have never started a new job without even the slightest bit of enthusiasm. Most of us view a new job as a new start, the opportunity to finally find a career that fulfills our creative desires and satisfies us both intellectually and financially. Sadly, this optimism tends to decline as the weeks go by until it eventually abandons our psyche in a mass exodus that leaves us head down at our desk weeping uncontrollably. For this reason, a new job is very much like a used car.

When you are in the market for a new car, all memories of the last 'dream machine' that almost ruined you, are forced to the darkest recesses of your mind where they are joyfully recycled into fond memories of summer days with warm winds gushing in through the sun roof (which, by the way, used to let in more water than an open sluice gate).

With these cheerful memories to hand, you take yourself to the nearest used car dealer. It is here that you see it. Sparkling away in the sun, alloy wheels refracting light like the window of H.Samuel, is your new car. It's recently been waxed, and with the smell of your friends admiration and jealousy tickling your nostrils, the seduction is complete.

Having handed over your hard earned cash (or your credit card details if you live in 'Borrowing Britain') you smugly drive away from the forecourt full of pride and enthusiasm. It's at this point that you notice that the interior light fails to illuminate when you open the door. Oh well, nevermind you say, you never really use it much anyway and you can always fix it in a few weeks time.

A few weeks have passed and, unsurprisingly, the interior light still remains suspiciously dark when you open the door. Sadly, the interior light isn't the biggest problem you have anymore, a strange knocking noise fills the cabin whenever you change gear. Nevermind you say again, the MOT is due in a few weeks and you're sure it'll be an easy fix for the mechanic.

The day of your MOT comes and the list of necessary repairs is really quite long. In actual fact, your shiny and sweet smelling new car is now a pile of bolts, rubber seals, and interior light bulbs, with a distinct smell of burning. Thankfully the burning fumes are masked by an overpowering smell of disappointment and you can barely see your car through the smoked glass effect created by your tears.

In the same way that your new car seduced you, only to end up crushing your heart between it's oily cogs, your new job will eventually reduce you to a smouldering pile of crushed dreams, broken aspirations, and crumpled P45s.

It's a shame to end it here, but annoyingly, I have an interior light bulb to fit!


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