I’ve been applying for jobs. Jobs such as lecturing, where you can get paid a lot for not doing too much, because few are qualified to do it properly. These are jobs that have actual days off and real holidays in them too.
It’s not that Local Shop is boring or unpleasant in any way. The work is mindless, repetitive and easy. It has made me trim and fit and strong and I can think about other things while doing it on autopilot.
It has taught me how to deal with the general public and it has shown me why the carefully constructed food safety regulations often fail. The last three years have not been wasted, not at all. There are big problems I can now easily fix if I can find someone in authority who cares enough to let me try.
I like it there. I like Boss, I like the staff, I like the way unsuspecting new staff assume that the janitor must be a bit thick. We have some new ones just starting and I bet you can imagine the evil smile I’m wearing right now.
I really enjoy responding to the superior attitude of some customers with a full-on Jeeves impersonation complete with complex sentence structure, words they don’t understand and for the most superior, a positively imperious demeanour. Being so polite it’s actually insulting, but nothing they can complain about.
Today, Gullible Girl asked me to look out for the name badge she’d lost. I said ‘How will I know if it’s yours?’ and it took her a moment to respond. Just a moment of confusion, but it was there. It’s those moments that just make my day.
Yet I have to leave this job and work somewhere with better pay and actual, regular days off. I didn’t care before but I need that regularity back now. I need to be able to plan more than one day ahead. Eventually I have to get back to self-employment at something – I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up – but in the meantime I have to build a reserve. Not too much, not yet, for reasons that should be obvious, but enough to let me relax a little.
I’m going to miss Local Shop, a lot. I’ve worked for much higher pay before. It isn’t so different. I’ve argued with PhD level people that Electrofag is no more going to make people take up smoking than dildos will turn lesbians straight or Quorn sausages will make vegetarians crave meat. And I have met PhD level people who didn’t get it. There’s no sense in being dismissive of the shop staff. Academia is just full of better qualified idiots.
Some of the new staff have already given me The Look. ‘You’re a lowly janitor, I’m a Shop Assistant’. I find it hard not to smile that wicked smile sometimes. They have no idea what’s coming. Oh there is no malice in me, but the playful pranks will not be denied. They will continue wherever I go next.
Big changes are happening around me and to me and yet I am not at all stressed by any of it. I feel strangely calm and relaxed. This year my life turned upside down and inside out and everything was broken and remade into something different and yet it feels right. It feels like it was all supposed to happen. All the past crap had to happen to get to this point. Is that an unusual thing? It doesn’t feel unusual to me.
There is much more crap to come yet, but I’m ready for it.
It’s almost as if I’ve been waiting for it.
Oh yes, the title. I stole it…
I think it should be ‘race’, not ‘trace’.