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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 12:46 pm:   

My latest blog entry is about "real" work and how it's not very good. Anyone else here dislike real work as much as I do? Conversely, is there anyone here who loves their job? I'm not referring to full-time writing: I mean conventional work...

Here's my blog on the topic:
http://rhysaurus.blogspot.com/

Bye!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:00 pm:   

I have complex feelings about my work. Of course it prevents me doing what I would really like to do in life, but it also provides me with the means by which I can engage in those preferable things: a regular income. I also find the nature of my work very satisfying, and certainly when compared to previous posts in which I've cleaned up mill yards in howling winds, gone up scaffolding not even tethered to the side of the building, done all the mugs' tasks at an estate agents', etc. That's a good sense of perspective to have, I think. The present job also offers me a lot of perks, like free travel to great places I'd never have visited otherwise. But, at the end of the (working) day, my heart's not wholly in it. You don't choose your vocation, and lucky are they who have marketable ones.

So, all told, I like my job a lot, but give me a choice, and I'd be writing/publishing full-time. But that just isn't possible.
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:07 pm:   

> ...but give me a choice, and I'd be writing/publishing full-time. But that just isn't possible.

Yes, my thoughts too. Living in the UK I don't earn enough to support myself from writing, even at a low level. I've been waiting for years for my writing income to approach 1/10th of Tim Lebbon's, but it ain't happening...

So now I'm wondering about the feasibility of going somewhere much cheaper and living like a beach hippy and barely sustaining myself just from writing. It would mean abandoning what I take for granted in British society. Do I have the guts to take this step, I wonder?
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:07 pm:   

Me! I love my work, Rhys! But that might be because I'm now self-employed freelance, so I can pick assignments which I really enjoy and leave the rest. I'm my own boss, so I don't need to call anyone "boss".

Job satisfaction has always been really important to me. When ever I've been in a job I haven't enjoyed, I haven't been there long. It took me a long time to find something I *really* enjoyed doing - my real vocation in life, ie. teaching - but once I found it, I'm sticking with it. I wouldn't even want to leave teaching to be a full-time writer - writing will always be merely a hobby for me (sorry, that's probably the wrong thing to say on a board full of writers!).

I have a few "dream jobs" at the back of my mind - things I wouldn't mind having a go at for a short time. Funnily enough, work in museums is one of them! I've always adored museums since I was very young - I just love being amongst old artefacts. Other "dream jobs" (temporary), would be working in a second hand bookshop or travelling with a circus.
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:12 pm:   

I used to say that being a full-time writer was "wrong" because it disassociated the writer from the real world... but lately I have been questioning how close any ordinary worker in any ordinary job gets to being in "the real world". Not much closer, if any, is my current suspicion...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:23 pm:   

Depends what you're writing about. Remember Greene's maxim that a writer spend 21 years living life and the rest of it writing about it. That's not inaccurate, perhaps, but I do think an ongoing engagement with life, with all its attendant wrinkles, is important. Fuel for the imagination. There's another old saying about folk who don't have time to write because they're too busy being in life; it goes: they're too good to be writers.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:26 pm:   

And let's face it, some jobs are rather more 'plugged in' to life than others. I'm sure a social worker has more to draw upon, ficton-wise, than an accountant.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.169.219.237
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:27 pm:   

I spent many years in an office, later including driving about in a car all over UK for business meetings - that was my life. I can't regret it now. It just was.
Glad I'm retired.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:27 pm:   

(Not that that makes them better writers. That's in the lap of the Gods.)
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:28 pm:   

This is when Des tells me he was an accountant! :-)

Doh!
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 01:50 pm:   

You can tell I enjoy my job, since I spend most of my free time doing exactly the same thing! I'm essentially a publishing handyman. The only difference is that it's fiction in my free time, non-fiction when I'm working.

Rhys, are these thoughts prompted by doing your tax return? Just finished my first - wasn't as bad as I expected.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.24.98
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 02:22 pm:   

I enjoy my job most of the time. There are days when I'd rather not be there but I consider myself lucky to be paid a good salary for something I find interesting. The folk I work with I consider friends, and it can often be good fun, although I could do without being on call.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 03:27 pm:   

I hate my day job. Hate working with other people, too. I wasn't designed for it. Unfoirtunately I'm reasonably well paid, so am stuck there for life...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 03:37 pm:   

Here's the job for you, squire: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8035168.stm
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.176
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 04:45 pm:   

I never liked my job (in the reservation office of a big shipping company) and saw my chance to try different things when the firm ceased to exist. Got a teaching diploma in the interim and am currently enrolled in my second year of journalism. The perennial student, that's me! But it's fun to be around young people. Will I ever find regular work again? I doubt it, bachelor degree or not. Other than that I am also in my last year at the music academy and planning to additional years.
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Degsy (Degsy)
Username: Degsy

Registered: 08-2010
Posted From: 86.133.49.52
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 05:47 pm:   

A couple of years ago the Labour government announced that they were raising the retirement age to 67.

And I remember thinking (I was 33 at the time): 'My God, I've got my entire life to live all over again before I'm out of the rat race.'

A chastening thought.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 06:18 pm:   

Hubert, it seems, had reservations about his reservations.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.176
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 08:10 pm:   

I'm not choosey, in fact I've worked as an unskilled labourer in various situations just to know what it would feel like, and that was sheer hell compared to what I had been used to before. Airco unit construction (assembly line work of the worst kind), vegetable processing, fish packaging, toy assembly, and a few others which happily only lasted a few weeks or days. I'd come home aching from head to toe, unable to make a fist let alone play my guitar.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 08:18 pm:   

I think the worst job I ever had was a pre-Christmas job plucking turkeys when I was at college. Sheeesh, I don't know how I - as an animal lover - ever did it. I was desperate for money at the time. Doesn't excuse it though. I can still smell the stench of the shed we were in as I type this now ...

(hey, this might be why I reacted so badly to the story "Bernard Bought the Farm" in the last BBoH)
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 08:56 pm:   

I was just punning, Hubert.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.139.244
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 09:07 am:   

Seamus Heaney said that a writer needs an "illiterate life" whose contact with people and real concerns is not filtered through the written word. But he wasn't thinking of a life of meaningless drudgery to make other people rich, whether on an assembly line or in an office. Corporate culture replaces people with roles, language with bullshit, and interaction with exploitation. It poisons and falsifies every aspect of humanity.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.151.150
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 10:46 am:   

Everyone's heard of the anchorites. I've been reading about Saint Julian (a woman) who was walled up in a church and communed with God. She suggested God was a female presence, a mother. She said we had to forgivce *all* sin because sin was a learning process, however bad it was, and that we all learn from one another's sins. She said more, and even more interesting things than this. She was walled up for decades and seemed ok about it.
I feel writing is like being an anchorite, that we need these people who separate themselves from normal life and pass on what they learn. My wish is that they are appreciated - even those who do not see print - as figures who do speak to something higher or deeper and pass what they find on. Writing, being creative, puts us at a huge crossroads (yes, Proto - that message came in handy!), gives us for the moment the eye of 'God', lets us see what the world is and can be.
This might sound high falutin' but I do feel it to be true.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.169.219.237
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 11:10 am:   

Anchorite or Rousseau's Noble Savage?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.31.7.247
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 11:26 am:   

More of a Hobbes man, myself. Mediated by Merleau-Ponty. An uneasy yet fruitful partnership. A bit like Cook and Moore, but with longer words.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.151.150
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 11:30 am:   

Isolation seems the key thing in both. Remember the prisoner I mentioned last week who started reading out of boredom and became a good man.
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Rhysaurus (Rhysaurus)
Username: Rhysaurus

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 212.219.233.223
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 11:39 am:   

When I'm forced into the company of others, I long for isolation; when I'm forced into isolation, I long for the company of others. I'm like a goddam classical positive-edge-triggered D flip-flop -- with the same problems of metastability! Sort of.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.176
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 12:45 pm:   

I know, Gary, I know.
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 01:07 pm:   

I like my job very much: commissioning editor for an independent genre publisher.
Previous job (academic production editor) bored me after 5 years, but the company I worked for treated us very well.
The company here is nice but has nowhere near the amount of benefits of the last.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.175
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 02:02 pm:   

I like my job quite a bit - it's in product management where I can be creative and meet with several (potential) customers. Challenging and intellectually stimulating.
I would not be able to work for a long time at a job I didn't like. If you think about it, your job is most of your daily existence, when you substract sleeping, commute, eating, grocery shopping etc, there is not so much free time left in a weekday. Hence it is in my mind important to like what you're doing, or change towards something you do like.
I have a friend who doesn't like his job, he sees it as purely a means to be able to do other stuff. He's also quite passive and preferred not to think too much about my arguments above.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.176
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 02:33 pm:   

Precisely, Tom. Life is too short and I simply can't be bothered with someone else's production schedule again. Not to mention co-workers who are as moronic as a cow's behind. Even if it paid well (which seldom happens in Belgium) I would have serious reservations. My time is much too valuable.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.190.139
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 09:08 am:   

Weber's analysis of the historical and social impact of the Protestant work ethic is full of insight.

Er, that's Max Weber.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.170.142.112
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 09:23 am:   

I've read that. One critic described it as "a mountain of labour leading to a molehill of a conclusion."
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.176
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 11:25 am:   

Modernity seen as an iron cage. A very apt metaphor and I've always appreciated Weber's verstehende approach. I more or less act according to Axelrod's 'Tit for Tat' precepts, more from instinct than from principle. And I still have a soft spot for Marcuse: "l'Imagination au pouvoir!"
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 11:48 am:   

"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."

-Billy Corgan
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 01:32 pm:   

The Smashing Pumpkins' last manager (before they split up) resigned on what she said were health grounds: Billy Corgan made her sick. The most pompous, attention-seeking bore I've ever seen on stage. Mind you I never went to see Placebo.

The Smashing Pumpkins' 'Disarm' is rather beautiful though. And 'Soma' is breathtaking. But after that second album it was downhill all the way.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 01:46 pm:   

Placebo are one of my favourite live bands, I've seen them 7 times now at least...

Love 'em
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 01:52 pm:   

As Jools Holland commented rather acidly, Placebo's name tells you a lot about them.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 02:00 pm:   

Joel - I 'was' a big fan of some of Smashing Pumpkins, and think the album that sunk them the first time round, 'Adore', was their best album (only their fans didn't think so).

But yes, Corgan is not liked, and does seem rather pompous.

A friend of mine went to see them in Manchester in their last live UK appearance, and said Corgan's voice was dreadful.

There are some singers who can get away with it, though usually I'm not a fan if the vocals are off-key, etc, but in this case, for all their hype, I find my friend's reaction to walk out in disgust quite understandable.

As for Placebo, they are a great great live band, and Brain whathisname, hasn't yet in the three times I've seen them done anything which I would deem Corgan like.

But I can understand where you're coming from, given the interviews I've sen him give which sometimes err on the side of indulgent.

Could be worse, could be Liam Gallagher, though he simply just makes me laugh.

He was quoted yesterday as saying he has no idea what his lyrics mean.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 220.138.164.206
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 05:42 pm:   

Siamese Dream is my personal favourite, but the Pumpkins' third, fourth and fifth albums all had some great songs. Corgan is a much better guitarist than singer. He can come across as awfully indulgent and defensive in interviews. More than a few good musicians/songwriters are like this (Lou Reed comes to mind).
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.182.24.98
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 07:54 pm:   

Could be worse, could be Liam Gallagher, though he simply just makes me laugh.

He was quoted yesterday as saying he has no idea what his lyrics mean.


Ah, but maybe he's being clever, almost along the lines of a handful modern artists who, when asked the meaning of a piece of work, reply that that's up to the viewer to decide.
On the other hand, maybe he's just a twat.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 08:03 pm:   

I believe tw*t.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.92.146
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 10:29 pm:   

> I've read that. One critic described it as "a mountain of labour leading to a molehill of a conclusion."

What were they?
(I'm too lazy to read it).
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 11:13 pm:   

Despite Billy Corgan being an utter knob, I like a lot of the Smashing Pumpkins' music. As Huw says, Corgan is a far better guitarist than singer. When he was on form, he could make a marvellous racket. The lyrics were sometimes sound (Stand Inside Your Love), sometimes ridiculous, but I'm not generally a big fan of rock/pop lyrics at the best of times, so generally ignore them.

The Smashing Pumpkins 'reunion' album, however, was a fucking disgrace.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.201.67
Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 05:22 am:   

It was terrible, wasn't it? I tried to listen to it a few times but didn't get far. It's gathering dust somewhere now under a huge pile of more worthy CDs, I expect.

'Stand Inside Your Love' is a great rock/pop/love song, proving that they could still make great music by their fifth album (although not every track on Machina was so good). I think the sprawling Mellon Collie has a lot of good stuff on it too, and Adore is underrated. For me, the best stuff is on Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie: 'Mayonnaise', 'Cherub Rock', 'Rocket', 'Disarm', 'Soma', '1979', 'Tonight Tonight', 'Love', Muzzle', 'Zero', etc... some great, memorable songs).
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.204
Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 09:36 am:   

I started life s an electrician, which I enjoyed because it was technical and physical and kept me very fit and healthy. My dad was abrickie and i was broght up on buildign sites becse that was where i used to earn my pocket money mixing cement and digging holes.

I ended up at BT when I was 23 and stayed there for 25 years! Unheard of these days. AT BT I was variously an electrician, project manager, Quality Assurance something, editor of departmental newsletter and finally a technical author writing books that no on ever read - nothing; changed there!

Then I girded my loins and took the money offered and ran and now I teach at a further education college; electrical installation and technology so Iíve gone full circle.

This is the job is the job I enjoy the most, no doubt about it, had, unpredictable but the most satisfying job Iíve ever done.

However, if you offered me the sort of contract that would allow t=me to write full time...

I would bite off your hand hen wish I had a job out there in the real world because the real world is the oil that lubricates the writing machine.
Cheers
Terry

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