by Jenn Ashworth
This is beyond a joke. Something’s got to give. I didn’t plan my life to be like this. I need to make changes. I need a new job.
I need to get some new clothes. Professional kinds of clothes with pen holders in the pockets. The kind of clothes that require ironing, starching, whathaveyou. I’ll have little metal tubs of shoe polish in all the colours of my shoes. A rainbow of shoes and polish – unless it is the kind of job where you are only allowed to wear black shoes. That’s a thought. I hope it’s not that kind of job. I feel at my most creative when I’m wearing green shoes and I know for a fact they make green shoe polish so I could still be professional.
I’ll probably have to start having a session for ironing and shoe polishing on Sunday evenings. When people ask me what I’m doing at the weekend I’ll have to start shrugging and looking regretful (but resigned to it – like a mother). Can’t, I’ve got to get my shit together for work.
I’ll probably get a shiny satchel or a briefcase. A fountain pen and a magnetic thing to have paperclips in and with me at all times. I’ll need to stop eating crisps in public, drink latte and flick through paperwork on trains. Shit – I’ll even get one of those mobile phones that texts you your email. I’ll sit in the quiet carriage. Make it a policy from now on.
I wonder what kind of job it will be? I wonder what they’ll have me doing? I’ll have to be good at it. I will be good at it. I’m good at things. It’ll be fine. I know about appraisals and professional development and promotion and disciplinary procedures. I know about gross misconduct.
It wasn’t that gross. It was an accident. It was a mistake. I didn’t think the not smoking thing applied everywhere. They were infringing my human rights, anyway. I can smoke if I like. They aren’t the boss of me.
I won’t get carried away. I need to make a list to remind myself. Things I cannot do anymore. Not with this new job coming up. No dramatic make-up. Do not cut your own hair even though it is free. Take a proper packed lunch, not cold toast and left over noodles. Do not name the photocopier. Don’t have sex with anyone. Don’t get bored and colour in your fingernails with highlighter pen. Do not draw pictures of the boss on the computer and forward them to everyone. Don’t smoke. Don’t write poems on your hands. Don’t colour in your nipples with red biro. Do not masturbate in the toilets during your lunch break or otherwise.
I wouldn’t mind a suit, like a proper suit with shoulder-pads in and everything. I’d feel better in one. I’d probably answer the phone more professionally. I’m never wearing high heels though. They can fuck off. They’re sexist. They’re bad for your back. They make me walk funny.
I’m going to do this, I can feel it. Here we go.
Jenn Ashworth is a compulsive liar and a collector of cacti. She writes a blog here.