Following a rush of blood to the head a few years ago, I have a LinkedIn account. At the time (of the aforementioned rush of blood to the head) I was of the opinion that joining the burgeoning website might be of some benefit to me in my professional capacity. I think that it was a reasonable conclusion to arrive at, and over the years, on balance I think it has probably been a positive factor in my working life; I've made a few useful connections and re-connected with some people from whom I hadn't heard in a very long time. Although I've pretty much dropped off the professional radar, my LI (I can't be bothered writing the full name all the time) account will regularly poke me - via email; no bodily contact please - to tell me excitedly that 'people' are looking at my profile, and that I should immediately check to see who's been checking me out (cue: wolf whistle) and why don't I upgrade my (currently free) account for only $XX dollars a month?
It gets me every time: within only days - or sometimes even hours - I will rush to the site to see how many hundreds of people are clustering around my online presence in open admiration of my manifold accomplishments and life experiences - after all I'm a very attractive proposition for anyone seeking a broken down, pot-bellied, balding Englishman with extensive experience of policing and senior management. Typically, as today, the number of people who have been looking at my profile (I think my left is the least offensive) is...one. One people. Perhaps LI should write a logarithm to allow their messaging to use the word 'person' when the occasion fits (in my case, every time).
Aside from proving that people (some of them extremely annoying people...or do I mean 'persons', since they come along one at a time...hmmm...) I previously worked with have some kind of morbid fascination with whatever I'm not doing these days, such visits to my profile will achieve nothing. I haven't updated it for a couple of years now (when I tried to basically - yet politely - tell the rat race people to go and race right into the river/lake/pond/cesspit) and I have no intention of so doing. However, there is a useful side to my ongoing LI existence: it makes me think outside of the cosy box I tend to construct around myself - it helps me to remember what I hated so much about previous jobs.
Seeing many of the people that I used to work with still doing the same things in the same places that they've always occupied is a useful tool. Indeed, some of those people were useless tools, but I digress...well actually... no, I don't...
Let's be very blunt: work for the majority of us is a means to an end. Typically, it allows us to pay for shelter, food and the necessities of survival within modern society. If that weren't necessary, I suspect that most of us wouldn't go to work. A minority of people work at something that they feel passionate about, which they enjoy - hell for a few years I had that privilege myself, and going to work was a joy during that period. However, based upon conversations with colleagues and friends over the last thirty-something years, work tends to be a pain in the rear end for most of us.
Most of my problems with work revolve around - sorry, what am I thinking? ALL of my problems with work revolve around tribbles - sorry, sorry...I mean people. I'd like to be able to say that I have worked with lots of truly awful tribbles - sorry people; really terrible examples of the species, but in truth I must admit that only a small proportion of my former (and current) colleagues fall into that category. The overwhelming majority are - as you would probably expect - normal, unremarkable examples of homo sapiens while the remainder of the tri...people...could be classified most simply into two groups:
1. Pretty darned awesome, or
2. Irritating F*ckwits
I can cope with average people and their/my propensity to occasionally do or say something ****ing stupid. I can enjoy working with pretty darned awesome people who are professional, intelligent, ethical and moral - in fact as I implied earlier, I've been in that position, and it was wonderful. What, however, I cannot (and this may come as a huge surprise to you if you've never met me or read any of my previous postings) deal with are people with no apparent empathy for anyone, no understanding that their actions impact other people, or care nothing for the effect that their behaviour has upon people around them. I have quite simply exhausted any patience that I ever had (there was never a great deal available) for this type of human being.
So far - I hope - not too unreasonable. You may of course already be disagreeing with me - in which case please pause to seriously consider whether you may have unwittingly become an irritating f*ckwit. If you think not, pray continue...
There is, however, another 'however'. I know what you're thinking: Whoa! This may break a literary rule about the number of 'however's it is allowed to have in a single paragraph (or indeed; a sentence), but since I tend to ride roughshod over most literary regulations and customs as I ride my lonely way along Curmudgeon Street, I say this: WHAT...EVER. Wow, that would have felt good if I hadn't, upon hearing that expression, instinctively wanted to slap myself across the face with an eighteen pound sledgehammer. I promise not to do that again. Anyway...where was I?
Oh yes: however...the real issue, I'm afraid to admit is that ...well...more and more people are becoming - or at least, so it seems - less acceptable. Now before you fly into a rage, smash up a few small breakable ornaments and perhaps the kitchen window (after all; a flying mantel clock will think nothing of a couple of panes of K glass as it passes through them), frighten the neighbours who then call the police who in turn arrest you for causing a disturbance and subsequently release you without charge some hours later, to return home to find that Billy Burglar has taken his opportunity to gain access to your humble abode through the broken kitchen window to purloin your tablet, your iPhone (it serves you right for having one), your 54 inch TV (serves you right for having one of those too), left your front door wide open, allowing local cats, raccoons to enter and pee on your Winchester settee, yet left your five year-old desk top PC alone, still with this blog page open on the huge, heat-pumping monitor, CALM DOWN! I understand what this really means!
It means that I have started the curmudgeonopause.
Curmudgeonopause: the time of a man's life when he begins to hate everything and everyone which/whom is not already dear to his heart. I am experiencing the following symptoms:
Occasional hot flushes,
Increasing apprehension when farting,
Persistent yet random jolts of pain in my back and joints,
Bouts of weariness (especially after large meals),
An inexplicable craving to watch TV programs which then annoy the bejeezus out of me,
A developing sense of profound dissatisfaction with ALL cable TV channels, especially Discovery,
A burgeoning sense of dissatisfaction with all terrestrial TV channels
A total lack of tolerance for poor driving,
Deep resentment that Canadian Netflix has such a feeble choice,
A complete lack of understanding of modern popular music (just for the record; I typed the word 'music' with a sneer on my face),
A reluctance to go outside unless the weather is quite perfect,
Alarm that many policiticans are now younger than me,
A growing distrust of anyone with tattoos,
A preoccupation with the idea that my legs may be getting skinnier,
A deep-seated conviction that I need to buy a 1970s Lincoln Town Car,
The feeling that my teeth look worse each month,
The notion that for a little runabout/shopping car we may need to get ourselves a Buick or a 1978 Dodge Ram,
I seem to be absorbing all the hair on my head and body (with one area of exception - but let's not go into that),
The certainty that I look like a complete tw*t in a T-shirt these days,
And finally: a tendency to start a blog post on a particular subject but end up talking about something quite different by the time I reach the last sentence.