Inane Ramblings: Britain
Less direction and narrative than Twin Peaks, but just as confusing.
I’m from the UK.
I self-deprecate in almost every conversation for the sake of humour. When asked how I am, my go to answer is that I ‘can’t complain’, before proceeding to complain in copious amounts about shit weather and our government. When someone cuts in front of me in line, I don’t say anything. I just turn to the people behind me, raise my eyebrows and wait for them to raise theirs back in joint disdain for the cretin in question.
How British of me.
Despite that, there’s a few things I don’t get about England. I HATE tea, though my family, friends and work colleagues may disown me if they found out. I don’t get the fascination with our beloved, eerily immortal queen. Oh, and James Bond sucks, no matter where you’re watching it from.
But most of all, I don’t get the system here.
I don’t get the work ethic here. You see, I work for a recruitment agency. We’re a generalist agency, handling entry-level to C-suite roles in most industries you can think of. Virtually every person I meet between the hours of 8 and 5 is looking for work, and I get that. I’ve been there. A lot.
Now I can’t speak for every country, but I see a hell of a lotta stuff online about people who are stateside, working their asses off. Side hustles, side ventures, side hustle ventures; 2 jobs, 3 jobs, even 4. I don’t know if 4-jobs-guy was being ironic.
I’m unsure what you guys think, but to me that sounds like a train wreck for the psyche. I’m 21, and I feel like 4 jobs would hyper-age me to 81 a la Matt Damon.
In England, if you wanna work more than 48 hours, you have to sign up for that shit. You have to waive that hour-cap away, otherwise nobody can make you work more than 6 full work days a week. In my workplace, sometimes it can be a task and a half to make sure a candidate turns up to work for 5 days a week, consistently.
It’s a cliche but you wouldn’t believe how many people are taken ill, or are in a car accident, or are the victim of a family emergency, or have sick dogs to take care of for a single day, or can’t afford to get to work, or just straight up avoid contact on Mondays.
Not that I’m bitter.
I get it though. Very few people WANT to work four jobs simultaneously. Hell, who even wants to work two? They’re doing it for a reason, and it’s a reason I respect; they’re hustlers. They hustle. They love hustling. They live for the hustle. It’s all about the hustle. Hustle.
But seriously, I do respect it. I’m learning to have that drive myself, rather than float along. The people I’ve met recently have inspired me like no other point in my life. I’m ready to hustle.
Rounding this off, I have just one piece of advice for anyone who’s feeling overworked or stressed, and it’s reasonably British: simmer the fuck down. Make sure you don’t lose yourself. Unless you’re about to die in the next five minutes, you can take five minutes out to relax (and if you are about to die, you might as well kick back for it).
Take time. Don’t drown in the endless sea of bullshit that is the grind.
This is usually the spot where people plug their latest book, their blog or their totally-not-satanic cult. I have none of those things currently.
Here’s the lowdown.
My name’s Lewis. I prefer Lou, but no-one calls me that (maybe you can be the first!). I’m on LinkedIn. Talk to me there. I’m starting a film-and-gaming-and-generally-nerdy-shit-blog soon.
For now, here I am. Hope you liked it.