You dive into the undergrowth and see movement in the bushes in front of you. Ordering your Warriors to spread out in order to make yourself less of an easy target, you run towards the bush ahead. A small brown-skinned creature suddenly jumps out from behind it, pointing a long blowgun straight at you. You recognise it as a Blog because of its dog-like head and the shrunken heads that are tied to its belt. Infamous for cooking human flesh in large cauldrons, Blogs are hated and hunted down by all human races. A split second later, a poison dart is flying towards you. If you possess a shield, turn to 73. If you are not carrying a shield, turn to 330.
— Armies of Death, Ian Livingstone, Puffin (1988); Wizard (2003.)
So I have had, what, ten continuous days of no work since I got let go from the mailroom. They have not been ten productive days. Here are the goals I set myself:
Here is how they went:
What else? I was at a friend’s thirtieth, in London, and a couple days in Oxford, with Rey, watching Uchouten-Kazoku and eating brunches, and also I finished FTL and Desktop Dungeons a bunch of times each. And I had, yesterday, both a sudden-onset head cold that made me bedbound right when I’d convinced myself I was capable of Being Productive and salvaging the weekend, and, plus a depressive fit or spasm where everything presented itself as meaningless; I think if there’s causation here it’s, actually, from the latter to the former. Today feels a little better. I have a job tomorrow and I have no money left, because another thing that happened in this ten-day period is that a cheque that I will be living on for a month or so failed to arrive in the five business days in which it was meant to arrive, and when I called the party responsible I was informed it had never been sent and would now take, in fact, an additional ten days.
Earlier today, in probably the nadir of my ten days without work and failing to Be Productive, while I was trying to google up a deviantart furry image of an otter for a cheap laugh on Facebook (there are reasons why I am not Productive), I found one of the more horrible corners of the internet I’ve stumbled across: that in which people post in-depth reviews of pornographic Japanese figurines.
Bravo to Orchid Seed for giving her a realistically-sculpted anus, too. You’ll never be able to see it under normal viewing conditions, of course, but it’s nice to know that it’s there.
They made the bra look real, when you put it off and hold it like that the straps are wrinkelt, the designer of the art took also care of the details, and gave the bra buckles. I gave this part a 7/10 in enjoyment because the bra wont hang like it was supposed to in the art. When i hang it over her belly it falls off. So i it hangs straight next to figure. It is not a big problem, but it would have been nicer if i good hang the bra like you see in the art and promo shots. Not sure if the other versions have this same problem. Or it is just a minor issue on this one.
After probably less than ten minutes this went from comically squicky to unhappy-making on two or three major levels. I think it was the figure with three detachable vagina details that did it: it recalled a bit in Dworkin’s Pornography, the claim that the reduction of female bodies to body-parts is a mode of aesthetic control: or however that goes (“dismemberment.”). I read it back when I was a teenager and cared about things. The whateverth-anniversary reissue of Intercourse is one of the ten or so books left on the pile of books, is why Dworkin came to mind, probably.
q.: which of you posted a fairly laudatory post about uchouten-kazoku a couple months back? i can’t find it!
I got “let go” today. I guess there are, after all, ways to leave the mail-room other than “up”.
I am closing with surprising rapidity on that elusive three-digit follower count, I guess from now on all of my posts get to have Mspaint penises in them—
I also had this funny sense, sitting in the call centre, listening to the pensioned population harangue me about their fuel bills, that it was nice, somehow, interesting, to have a job that was connected to something topical or relevant or in-the-news, even in this ridiculously minor way. I was going to phrase this as a gag about keeping Important Social Document The Tumblr Blog Timocratic Youth topical, but that feels like a get-out clause for the sort of deeply-felt narcissism that makes it seem like I, myself, for some reason ought to be in a position related to Witnessing These Our Times. Further to which: on Thursday I went to an interview for Natural England, re whom—since the agency person who sent me there kept mumbling the name, and I didn’t see it written until the afternoon I showed up for the interview, under-prepped because did you ever try and get a call centre to be generous about time off for interviews—I didn’t realise who they were, exactly, or I was surprised to find out who they were, and why they’d been in the news, and I wasn’t quite ready to have processed this surprise, which is why I didn’t get this job, see, because when they asked what can you tell me about Natural England my response was you’re the ones who do the badger-killing, right?
I lasted three weeks at the call centre, in the end; probably the highlight of my last day was the pensioner who called in to told me that with her heart complaint these price rises would probably kill her, and that it would be my personal fault. I spent most of that day reading Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. The campaign we were on was being ended early; people had stopped calling by the end of the second week, to some extent; by the end of the third, we’d less than one call an hour. So the following Monday would have been my last day, except that I was told I had a one hundred per cent rating on my calls, (as were, I think, about 10-20% of the intake,) and so they wanted to spend the Monday running assessments to see if I were “suited to any other roles.” Thankfully I’d been offered something mildly less tedious to start that day (in a mailroom (the only way out of the mailroom is up!)) and so the temptation to actually go in and be assessed was pretty minimal. Which is good: I mean, I probably would have done: out of that whole apathy-as-a-form-of-penance mental dynamic, and because it included a maths test, and who doesn’t love a maths test.
The people at the centre seemed to split entirely down the middle into decent human beings and call-centre lifers who seemed compromised in terms of having a self or recognising other people as existing; viz., a lot of these latter seemed just incapable of navigating from one side of a room to another with respect to the people in it, just would walk into or through you and then stop and glare at you as though it were your fault. Probably the best illustration of the bone-felt weariness of the place came from our trainer’s last words on the first day I went in, where the necessary soft skills to deal with aggressive customers were taught with reference to the Mountain of Conflict, which, when sketched on a whiteboard for us, looked like this:
But, then, he said, it has a tree at the summit, thus:
And then the foothills of Dispute and Resolution were to be covered with a sort of vague scrubby brushland, thus:
But here was the thing: it seemed, the vibe I got was, that this was something the guy (his name was Greg, I think) had come up with, one day, as his Last Defiant Gesture, that he was going to draw the Badly Drawn Whiteboard Penis of Resignation and walk out of the call centre a free man; and that, instead, someone had said “that’s good, that is, a bit of the laugh at the end; you should do this at the end of all your training sessions,” and that this was thus the tenth or fiftieth or five-thousandth sad penis he’d drawn; that how to draw the Funny Penis was just there in muscle memory, and his face fell as his hand outlined it for him, almost against his bidding.