Friday, 29 November 2013

Exhibit A: First World Problems

Exhibit A:  Print-out of file from suspects’ work PC, as follows:

My password at work is “#firstworldproblems!”
Can anyone beat that?

In the first few weeks in this job, I was down about a lot of the circumstances, and found myself angry a lot of the time.

My password is not “#firstworldproblems!”because my job every single day reinforces my prejudice against high-earners, who are far more likely to be rude and pushy than those on lower/average wages.

My password is not “#firstworldproblems!” because it reminds me that most of the queries I deal with are of very little importance in the global scheme of things, and the kind of “problems” any of the billion or so people in the world living in absolute poverty would presumably happily trade for their own problems (like finding the food, clean water, sanitation etc that will keep them alive for another day).

My password is not “#firstworldproblems!” because my “problems” in this respect are of the existential kind that really poor people have no time for (not that they can’t/shouldn’t, mind, it’s just that ennui vs contentment is necessarily less important than starvation vs survival)

My password is “#firstworldproblems!”because it reminds me that my “problems” at work are of no real import. 

My password is “#firstworldproblems!” because I can leave whenever I want, and I will not starve as a result: First World Problems.

My password is “#firstworldproblems!” because most of my small, everyday annoyances involve the slowness and glitches of the computer systems I use.  So, when the system locks me out for no reason (this happens, on average, twice an hour), doesn’t recognize my password, doesn’t tell me it doesn’t recognize my password until I’ve got someone on the phone waiting for me to help them (this happens, on average, three or four times a day), I again type: “First World Problems!” and smile to myself.

I smile because even if this is a shite job (and it is), I’m not here for long.
I smile because even if I lose this shite job today or tomorrow (and I might), I won’t starve, I won’t have to walk three miles for clean water, I won’t have to find somewhere to sleep out in the cold.

I smile because this shite job isn’t really all that bad, and I have the power to make it relatively better or worse.

I smile because even though all this doesn’t mean I’m OK with having a shite job, or no job, or being skint, or subject to the same injustice that causes starvation for many and relative poverty for most….well, I just smile because I know all this and I’m capable of feeling it as true even as I get annoyed at the trivial daily grind that all of us here put up with.  And it gets me through said grind.

I smile because smiling and feeling alright is not up to my boss, the chancellor, bankers, my colleagues, our customers or anyone else: it’s up to me.  So I choose to smile because of all the above, but mostly because I want to.  And I’m still in charge of what I do, however much of the other stuff is outside my control.

Right, I’m off.

You can take this job, and re-staff it.




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