Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TV Eye

Maybe it was because we didn’t go away anywhere for any length of time but returning to work this morning after a week’s holiday was surprisingly easy. Though easy is perhaps the wrong word. I mean it wasn’t enjoyable by any means. But it was normal. It felt normal. It felt natural. The old just like I’ve never been away...

Which is odd really because while I was on holiday I didn’t give the place or any of my friends here a second thought. It’s like they all just dropped off my “give a shit” radar and ceased to impinge on my emotional awareness. Not that I wished them badly (well, maybe one of two of them). On the contrary. If I’d managed to think about them at all I would have wished them well. But I just didn’t think. Not at all. In fact I’m pretty sure that while I was away they all ceased to exist.

They all just winked out of reality.

The natural effects of solipsism to place it in a more philosophical framework.

And yet now look at me. Here I am being matey, swapping holiday anecdotes, exchanging TV based gossip and partaking in minor office buffoonery just to pass the time and get me to 5pm with my brain and my temperament on an even keel.

I’m just using them.

Chewing them up and spitting them out. Playing with them like a cat with a piece of string. Creating them purely for my own selfish entertainment.

God but this channel is shit. Where’s the sodding remote?

14 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

You bring it all back; that "If one more person asks me if I had a good holiday I'm going to staple their tie to the desk" feeling. However, it's a great asset on holiday to be able to shut down the whole 'dealing with Betty in the Committee section' side of your brain.

Steve said...

Yep, I've been fingering the ol' stapler with an ever growing sense of irritation I must admit. And as for Betty... grr!

Sky Clearbrook said...

Being asked 10 million times whether I had a good holiday, I can almost live with. It's the nosey bastards who want to know every detail of every single thing you got up to that I've got a problem with. They refer to your family members by name asking what they thought about this, that or the fucking other - even though they've never met them. I like to keep my private life, private.

Phew. I think my birthday cheer is beginning to wear off a tad.

TimeWarden said...

Can't be as bad as Channel Four's "new" music channel, replacing the hits (anag!) on channel 18... if you haven't already discovered it and rightly thrown up in abject disgust!!

Steve said...

Sky, birthday cheer is vastly over-rated unless you're under the age of 11. I loathe people who try and dig too. I like to give a brief synopsis - preferably just once (so it's handy if everyone gathers round and someone takes notes for those who wan't make it) - and then move the conversation onto something less private. My favourite people are the ones who ask: did you have a good holiday. I say "yes" and they say "good" and that's it: finito.

TimeWarden, I've seen the trailers and have been significantly underwhelmed. Neeedless to say I haven't bothered to tune in. Besides which, I had enough of vomit last week!

The Sagittarian said...

Today's health and safety advice - don't mix up Betty and the stapler.

Steve said...

Doh! No wonder my reports weren't staying fastened together...!

Daisy said...

i completely understand...when i am away from the office for any time (even for a training or conference) i completely forget the idiots at the office...maybe it's that i don't want them to exist full stop...all i know is i am getting worse at faking happiness at their existence and i think it may be becoming more evident as the years wear on...

Old Cheeser said...

Oooooh you heartless b*stard Stevenage! You user!! You're more amoral than the Master, Davros and any other solipsistic Dr Who villain going!!

Just kidding.

I know what you mean. I am due to quit my current job in less than 24 hours and dare I say, I'm really not going to miss anyone here. On the other hand, if someone wanted to get onto the subject of cheesy TV, or 80s music, or being gay, well...the conversation positively sparkled! Well, occasionally anyway.

If you didn't miss the place or your work "mates" then that's surely a sign that it was a good break. The worst kind of holiday is where you're dwelling on work-related stuff etc. Well done!

Steve said...

Daisy, I think to get less and less inclined to fake happiness is a good thing. I'm looking forward to getting more brutally honest with people as I get older. I can fully understand why so many old age pensioners are so grumpy and are so happy at being so! Not that you and I are anywhere near pensionable age... we've got decades to go yet, but it might be fun to start the "grumpiness" early!

OC, I really envy you quitting your job (another reason why I didn't miss mine at all while I was away I guess) and I hope your new one is far more enjoyable and inspiring for you. And you're quite right about mulling over work stuff being the sure sign of a crap holiday... I'm pleased I was able to put my work place and work mates so out of mind. If only I could do that while I was actually at work - now that would make all the difference and may even see me happy in my job!

Annie said...

Mmm, probably a good thing you didn't go back on a Monday, or you might have run riot with that staple gun.

Poor Betty, she can't be much of a looker.....

Steve said...

She isn't Annie... and she tends to make the corners of my reports go all soggy.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Simon Munnery (my fave comedian) had a great line 'I'd like to think of you as a friend, but you're just a colleague' and had it sung by a lady opera singer as part of a contemporary cliff-top opera!

On a more real (aka less surreal) note, I was struck at our book launch of 'The Lost College & Other Oxford Stories' on Tuesday night that while I had invited about 20 of my current colleagues along, it was actually two of my 'ex-colleagues' who made it (and I'd only invited the two of them!). Luckily we still had a packed pub what with all the other short story writers and their invitees/members of the public who'd seen our advertising, but the irony was not lost on me that not a single one of my current colleagues came along! I should feel too bad about 'using' them Steve - you'll probably find they're pretty casually mercenary in how much they think about you too when it suits them.

Steve said...

No, no, they love me. Absolutley adore me and would do anything for me. Honest. Move Heaven and Earth and all that.

Yeah right.

You're right, Laura. They'd knife me in the back just to inherit my stapler. Or Betty. I'm not sure which...