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Sign_in_London_Underground_07By Louis Rive

Commuter hell. They were supposed to be on strike those work shy bastards. I have sunk the best part of a bottle of single malt in anticipation for travel chaos leading to a day in bed eating toast. But no, and reduced service means two things.

1. It’s even busier than normal
2. People can still get to work.

This is the “essential service” apparently. Sadistic fucking cunts. I have wasted a bottle of whisky on you “you half hearted turd spawn of Cameron’s Britain”.  Now I know that some stain will have made it through the barricades and manfully got to work on time so any attempt to claim that “commuter chaos” was the cause of my lateness will fall on deaf ears.

People were literally queuing out the door to get a train to go to a job that they neither like nor understand. What else could you do with your day? Moment’s silence as grey cells gradually spring to life. That’s right! Anything? Any fucking thing that isn’t the dismal grind of packed trains, strained relations with co-workers and the new “Asian infusion” range at Pret a Manger. Go out and enjoy your stay of execution for one day.  Run around, buy a dog, fuck someone (consensually). I know you all want to, it’s just we have all been conditioned to accept that we can’t do all the fun stuff anymore. The party’s over.

We seem to think it immature that some people choose not to conform to regular work patterns. What could be more mature than going to the same place with the same people, Monday to Friday, then get drunk with the same people in the same places before doing the same stuff with the same people on your day off. Sit for hours doing things you don’t care about and have the ignominy of still having to wear a uniform.  There’s even a football team. It’s just school but without the prospect of endless holidays.

Peoples’ attitudes to work are quite interesting. I recently heard that the chap who won ten of millions of pounds in lottery winnings was going to keep his day job. Are you pulling my pisser? “It’s what I know” is the answer he gave. Well my friend this is what I know. “You are one messed up wanker”. You had the chance to escape this dismal grind but no you burned the secret Colditz glider and alerted the guards to the tunnels. What a waste. The only reason I work is to finance this pitiful existence because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t even know what I do. The job title has “finance” in the title but I mainly file stuff and think about the 4 for £100 deal on shirts at Tyrwhitt’s.

Why do you do your job? “Well Louis, I like to be at the forefront of such a dynamic company.” Bollocks. You file stuff just like me and we never get anything done. 3 years and I have no idea who I even work for. Every day I sit in the back-stabbing chrome and metal nightmare that is “office drinks” and listen to these sycophantic fucks going on about what they do as if that is the only thing that defines them.

This brings me on to the parties. Remember when parties used to be fun? Pissed pants, cheap lager, finger fucking hours of entertainment. Waking up with a good story. Now it’s the Formica kitchen Royksopp infused nightmare that keeps to the same format as a job interview.

LOUIS “Would you like a beer?”

FACELESS CRONY#37 “haha er ya. Ooo stella…dangerous. So what is it you do? How do you know…?

LOUIS ‘Yeah I work in finance for Gilbert Waterhouse Sachs but really I would love to…”

FACELESS CRONY#37 [blindly interjecting] haha that’s greeeaaat. Put on your lash helmet the party’s kicking off. Don’t you love Dave Guetta?”

I look around to see several similar pairings talking about pensions and graduate schemes and houses in zone 4. Some soulless music, which I swear is only a beat, is being described as the defining sound of our generation. The same people who less than 3 years ago were merrily drinking and copulating in equal measure have gone under the radar and joined the herd.

Interest and salary are two linked concepts. Someone should make a graph. The higher the salary the less interesting people get. Even the cool ones. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even Mick Jagger’s a bell end. The best people you meet are on minimum wage. I guess this is because nobody gives a shit. You just stumble through shifts eating the canapés and gobbing in champagne because it’s funny. You can have a laugh, flirt and drink on the job and sure you get fired from time to time but who cares? They don’t even know my name anyhow.

But now it’s an office schmoozing event and I stare at the merry faces of the catering staff as they gossip in a language I don’t understand. Once upon a time we were the same but now I am The Enemy. Ah well another couple of bottles of soulless import lager and then home, I think. The tube is on strike tomorrow as well.

Louis RiveLouis Rive was born in London, England but raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. He infrequently attended George Watson’s College, Edinburgh before leaving early due to “irrevocable differences with the staff”. He studied Ancient History to MA level at the University of St. Andrew’s writing his final dissertation on the development of the toilet in the ancient world.  Louis has been exposed to the working world since he left school aged 17 and has to this day worked a plethora of jobs.

Despite holding an MA from one of Europe’s top educational institutions, Louis has not gone down the road of many graduates in getting a “proper” job but instead continues to work many “dead end” jobs in an attempt to stave off the 9 to 5 lifestyle. From supermarkets to bookies, it is his experience within the lower reaches of employment that forms the basis of his writing.

An aspiring musician Louis is very interested in traditional music from Scotland and the wider Celtic world (aka Ireland). He is a fully trained cellist and also plays banjo and guitar to a good level. Currently residing in London, he plays in renowned Scottish music act, Deep Fried Fiddle. Alongside music, writing has provided Louis with an outlet to share his stories and vent his frustration at the often-ridiculous world of work.

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