Wednesday, 23 February 2011

red tape

I've been feeling really constrained and kind of flat recently due to all the monotomous, unnecessary processing that is done in the world, and how it kills so much time and rips the fun out of everything. Anything you want to do requires identification, photographs, signatures and forms with all the boring details of your life. I never tried to memorise my national insurance number yet I know it by heart, and the same goes for so many other annoying details. Everything is quantified by codes and usernames and passwords and memorable answers to bargin basement questions. I know it's necessary but it just makes me feel like the noise of someone groaning when it cuts through the good stuff. I can't just be a research student and enjoy the fact that I am doing in-depth, all consuming research. I have to attend pointless meetings and pretend that it's worthwhile. I have to jump through hoops so no-one can think I'll of me. One person reckons I should be doing something to look awesome and another thinks I should be doing something else. I'm signing up hundreds of papers and proposals and creating the names and emails and references for grants and places and positions and before you know it I have to plan my life to the half hour on a phone I'm constantly holding to make sure all the minutia is completed before deadlines. Oh and by the way, there's also that other thing no-one told you about literally the moment before it has to happen, so get on it!

All I'm saying is studying history sometimes feels more like studying how to be a secretary who reads historic fiction on her lunch break. It's not only that though, but everything. Does anyone else feel like sometimes they don't want to answer the phone or check their emails or read the mail because they know there will be something there that requires the dragging out of old lever files of past letters for numbers and details to sort out whatever new anomoly is stopping things from just ticking over? I feel like that right down in my core and it's like a freezing sensation that you can't just do what you were going to do, you have to do the job of a civil servant, again. It all comes at times and it gets to the point where waking up thinking, 'right, today I will do this and this and this and come home feeling like I have accomplished something' to 'aww man I have to so to the f-ing post office to find out that I have undoubtedly written 0.01mm outside of a white box and have to fill the form out all over again, and therefore can't change the name on my driving liscence, or anything else for that matter, until I can fill a replacement form and find the slot to get there and do it'. And you know what? It n e v e r s t o p s. Just there, as I was typing, I remembered a thing from the bank I have to sign and send back, literally so the woman has the legal right/protection/whatever to call me. That's right, to call me, not to arrange a remortgage or purchase my kidney.

I guess I better just go and do that because hey its getting dark and that means there ain't much time left of this day to get all this crap done.

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