Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Strictly Stressful Saturday!

I have come to a conclusion - Life is undeniably stressful on a continual basis, in otherwards all of the time!
Everybody is stressed 24/7, and the pressure to be successful is forever unforgiving!
Why is there so much emphasis on bringing home such a substantial slice of the bacon?
Is it in order to pay for.......the nanny, the chef, the housekeeper, the gardener, holidays to exotic far away destinations, the flash motor or two, the country retreat in Berkshire and the chalet in Verbier?

All for what? In a penny-pinching attempt to keep up with the Joneses.

That is of course in between the winter showers, the freezing days and nights, and all of the seven hours of daylight we get at this time of year!
Nobody has any spare time!
(Nobody has any manners! That is a whole subject in itself, but I'm not going down that road now, perhaps a topic for discussion at a later date).

Monday to Friday is habitually monotonous - up, work, home, eat, bed.....roll on the next day!

After a painfully busy first week in a new job that incorporated the standard 'virgin new boy' artificial pleasantries and introductions that accompany any new vocation, namely 'this is the coffee machine,' 'that's the bog,' 'meet the team' and the added bonus of 'we don't talk social topics of conversation to our fellow colleagues during office hours, irrespective of your persona.'

The reason, because these people are all so damm self-righteous, they live to work and do so assiduously, in between kissing the Company's backside.
All very noble......I think not!

Then only a few days into my first week the opening test of my own persona was bestowed upon me - 'The Xmas Work Bash' on Thursday evening, (where I must have known all of 3 people).
It was so appalling that I might just need counselling if I am ever to contemplate attending another one by choice!

Think Boy George meets the Spice Girls and allow a bunch of inebriated suits the opportunity to shrill, screech and whine away with the aid of a geriatric karaoke machine. Throw in some sesame toast and spring rolls smothered in acidic red ketchup, and wash it down with the poison of choice, tawdry vino and warm beer. All this on a dancefloor covered in rancid vomit.

Visualise, and the words cheap and nasty spring to mind!

And then to have to go into the office the next morning (Friday) pretending you enjoyed yourself and then finding yourself with no option but to agree with people you have never spoken to before (let alone know their names) that it was without a shadow of doubt the best soiree of the year - better than any Hollywood showbiz shin dig of the modern era.

The euphoria I felt as the clocked ticked around to 5.30pm on Friday was short lived for by the time I rocked up at home I felt too dog-tired to go out socially, and with the usual chores to do before footy on Saturday praying on my mind I decided on a relatively early night, so I could wake up fresh as a daisy in the morning and raring to go!

But I overslept on Saturday and time was against me. I looked at my 'to do' list, attempted to prioritize my chores and off I went with purpose.....initially.

First stop, the barbers, but inevitably on a Saturday there is a queue, not a substantial one, but a wait of sorts. As I leave I look at my watch and the pressure is on. I'm running late now.
The wait combined with not getting up as early as I had intended meant I had no time to do anything else.
I was due to meet the boys in a pub in South Norwood before the game at about 1pm for a bevy, and to watch our South London rivals, the Addicks hopefully get tonked by the Albion in the lunchtime kick-off on Sky.

The combination of heavy Xmas traffic and the propensity of public transport to let you down ( particularly it seems when you require it most) added to the frustration, and meant I arrived later than planned at the pub and as a result was faced with a heaving, dogged throng of like minded fans all wanting the same thing - beer!

To the match. 1-0 down early on to the Yorkies of Wednesday and the day was already spiraling inordinately downhill at rollercoater pace.
Wednesday fans are giving us plenty of stick but then we get an equalizer and a bit of respite.
In the 2nd half the tension mounts, the opposition graze the woodwork twice and Speroni dives full length to tip one over the bar - are we heading for a first defeat in eight games.....and thus spending the evening looking pitifully into the bottom of our post match beer glass for an answer?
No, because 17 yr old Sean Scannell comes to the rescue and gets the Eagles' winning goal a minute from time, with a sublime chip.

We breathe a huge sigh of relief, combined with a slight sense of 'we got out of jail' & then the inevitable elation that accompanies any positive result.
Off back to the pub to meet the boys again, one of whom has just become a father for the first time.
Who needs an excuse but we had one......lets paint the town red (& blue).

We leave sumptuous South Norwood about 7pm and headed at pace for the salubrious surroundings of The London Borough of Bromley.
Anyway three of us did, as we hailed a taxi to take us to one of our regular haunts.

Ten minutes later we were inside and comfortably perched at the bar.
We sank a few more pints, nailed some shots, toasted baby Alice umpteen times and then proceeded to get thrown out!
Ok so we were a little the worse for wear, but we were behaving, our language was clean and we were generally minding our own business.
It wasn't like we were manhandling the ladies, nicking other peoples drinks or riding unicycles through the bar whilst fire-eating.

Anyway there we are standing on the pavement outside scratching our heads - did we really get chucked out and if so why?
So I walked up to the entrance ushered to one of the meatheads on the door, who was then immediately joined by a fellow meathead and said in basic Anglo-Saxon English, 'Why did u throw us all out?'
I then said relatively calmly, 'my pal has just become a father and we were wetting the baby's head.'
He tells me my pal was asleep on the bar. 'No I said he did at one stage have his hands against his ears and elbows on the bar, but he wasn't asleep and so what?'

Feeling a little peeved and forlorn the three of us dejectedly trudged away shaking our heads in disbelief at the turn of events!

My pals and I on the odd occasion used to get thrown out of bars when we were in our teens & twenties, not in our forties!
So financially light and brassed off we headed our separate ways home and it was still only 10.30pm or thereabouts!

What a farce?

You go out to enjoy yourself, you're not bothering anyone, you're relaxing in good company and the above happens.

As I made my way home I considered my day.......then I reflected on all the stress, strain, tension, frustration, conflict, hassle, pressure and anxiety that had multiplied itself throughout the day.
It was a Saturday, no work, the opportunity to socialise with friends, watch footy, have a beer, and generally unwind.
The CHANCE to enjoy yourself away from the Monday to Friday rat race. FAT CHANCE!

As I neared my front door, Sunday was almost upon me, and I had calculated that there were only nine shopping days remaining until Xmas and I hadn't yet sent a card, let alone bought any presents!

Ok I'm a guy and we don't multi-task (according to women & scientists that is) and ok maybe, and perhaps in some people's eyes I had got my priorities wrong.
Maybe I should have forgone my real passion on a Saturday - not going to footy and meeting up with my pals, and instead gone Xmas shopping with the rest of the planet. But no I work all week, get up at 5.30 each morning, am I not supposed to use my weekends to do things I don't normally get to do in the week like socialize (work get-togethers definitely do NOT count).

With all the pressure and stress of my own weekend up to thus point, which had not included anything along the lines of shopping, household chores, or preparing for Xmas etc, I think work MIGHT in fact be more conducive to normality than one realizes!

Its predictable, admittedly dull, sometimes repetitive, but you know where you stand, what to expect, what time you start and finish, and of course it pays the bills......like next year's season ticket!

Anyway I'll be there next Saturday, at football that is, not doing chores or Xmas shopping!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was trying to remember what happened. It all went blank once we left Norwood. I've been thinking all this week how I got bruises on my arms and knees. Anyway cheers for the drinks, I think the tolerance level must be down at the moment, what with the baby and sleepless nights.