Friday, 28 March 2008

A Unique Experiment (II)

In December, my reader might recall, I was asked to partake of a truly bizarre experiment - ie to drink an increasing number of "Stella"s - a little known concotion from Belgium, thought to contain alcohol (to a percentage of roughly 5.1). This experiment having gone exceptionally well, and having been successfully repeated many times - thus proving its results beyond doubt, except to the dwindling band of "Stella deniers" who insist that it does nothing for them), I have been asked to undertake a second, dangerous task.

This time I have been asked to "go to work".

I shall try to describe this disturbing experience as best I can - but be warned, it was deeply unpleasant, and readers of a more sensitive disposition might prefer to go to DK or Dizzy now.

Well, it started by my having to "get up" at 7am. My mouth was dry, my head was pounding. No-one told me that Stella-experiments and Work-experiments might not mix! If anyone wants my advice, may I suggest you don't try to partake of "work" if you have been "on the Stella" (as aficianados say, I am told!) the night before. Goodness me, this was painful. I levered myself out of bed and undertook breakfast - a meagre repast of Weetabix and tea. Ugh. It was unutterably ghastly. I tried to shower but I found myself falling asleep under the lukewarm water.

I drove to work. This was interesting, as it provided a chance for me to test my use of language, especially words we often call "inappropriate", when I was stuck behind slow lorries! I did enjoy doing that, although I even surprised myself at times!

Some time later I arrived at work. Upon arriving there I immediately engaged myself in "tasks". These are activities, not freely chosen, but attributed to an individual by another individual, which the former needs to undertake for, I believe, a largely indeterminate length of time. The latter is generally spoken to with respect, as I learned the hard way, when I accidentally told them to "fuck off"!

On occasion I was called upon to deal with "problems". These are events which are not controlled by an individual but which the individual is nonetheless called to resolve. I found this logic strange, but managed to undertake a few of these anyway. I think my "boss" was impressed - at least, that's how I interpreted their telling me to "get out of my sight" - I guessed I was no longer needed to solve problems!

I was struck by the logic of "breaks". These are moments of non-work: but, while my "boss" was largely able to identify and isolate such moments for herself, I was repeatedly told that I was unable to avail myself of these until I had completed whatever it was that anybody else had given me to do. Often another "task" appeared at just the moment I was to take a "break". Just my luck! Strangely, though, the person who had given me the task was often to be seen smoking or on Facebook while I was performing this duty. I wondered what appalling tasks they had been set that required them to inhale noxious gases!

Later it was time to go home. How can I sum up my impressions of this wholly bizarre activity? Well, I was very tired, quite angry, rather annoyed, somewhat disheartened and completely disillusioned. I was hungry, physically aching, and looking forward to tonight's "Stella" experiment. But I was missing something. I had been told that one received renumeration in return for work: ie, money. Coins. Notes. The things, which, I believe, one uses to pay for Stella. But I was told as my boss helpfully handed me my briefcase - although rather too rapidly for my liking! - that such compensation would not appear for over six weeks. Apparently, as well as being "at work", it was also called "being on supply" for " a bunch of cynical and money grabbing bastards in an old Cathedral city which also happens to have ancient docks and is not that far from Wales" -and so you don't get your "money" for weeks!

What a day!!

But I don't think I'll be "working" again any time soon!

1 comment:

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

That's the thing with these experiments, they have strange results.

I have been engaging in a similar research project for years.

It's an experiment to discover if, over a long period of time this 'work' business leads to increased renumeration and greater ability to perform the more interesting experiments.

On the whole, I think the research prjoect is, shall we say, taking it's time to yield results.