Friday, 17 September 2010

Thanks Chris Waitt!

Most of you out there who have been reading this blog an haven’t spoken to me in a while would probably think ‘Where on earth has this all come from?’ Truth be told it’s not really like I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I dabbled with the idea when I was applying for Uni, and I ended up doing English and Media, so the subject was vaguely related. I just didn’t think I ever really had it in me to be constantly imaginative, and I’m not sure why my mind has gone into overload the past few months.

It all started when I was watching one of my now favourite films, A Complete History of my Sexual Failures, a documentary made by and independent filmmaker named Chris Waitt trying to seek out why all the girlfriends he’s ever had have dumped him. If you haven’t seen it, find it and watch it, it’s really fantastic. Anyway, in this film he’s got a notebook in which he scribbles down all his thoughts on the research he’s doing. Jealousy hit me from this moment on, and I decided that I too wanted to write. I think the idea of creating something is what I was drawn to, and having stuck with it for a while now, I’ve loved every second.

At this time in my life there were so many changes I was going through, and I was learning new things on an almost daily basis, about myself and the way I want to live my life. So this is what I turned my notebook into, and I named it ‘Lessons I Learnt in my Twenties’ The next day I skipped on down to Paperchase and bought a beautiful embroidered book, some think felt tips and let loose. I was stunned at my capacity to just keep on writing more and more.

Sadly I did not anticipate the felt tip pens leaking through the pages, therefore meaning I had to figure out a way to cover up the backs of every right hand page. It struck me at work the next day how much paper we waste, especially in receipts, and particularly at my work, the little bit of pink and white striped paper that shows when the till roll is nearly running out. So I proceeded to irritate my co-workers no end by taking every piece of paper that was wasted home with me instead of throwing it in the bin. To this day none of them know what it’s for because I just didn’t feel like telling anyone about my writing at that time, and now I just like winding them all up. So this will prove whether they’re reading it or not; yes Rob THAT is what I use those bits of paper for!

To give you an illustration of what kinds of things I wrote, here are some snippets:

Things to remember…number 10:
Popped into the Indian Consulate in Birmingham today.
Lesson learnt:
The Indian Consulate is in fact not where you go to apply for an India Visa. It’s in a building down the road. However, now I know what it’ll be like to have dozens of Indian people stare at me.

Things to avoid…number 9:
When running, I very nearly ran over a snail. I had to dodge it and it completely put me off my rhythm.
Lesson learnt:
Smashing his house and himself would definitely have put him off his rhythm.

Things to remember…number 11:
Do you ever find yourself wandering through a supermarket trying to figure out what it is that you want to eat. Then, suddenly, basked in a ray of glory, you see something and think ‘YES, this is exactly what I’m craving’?
Lesson learnt:
Today, for me, this is a Caramel KitKat chunky.

Things to avoid…number 4:
Me: Would you like one of our re-usable shopping bags for £2.99?
Customer: No thanks, I already have loads of those at home. I’ll just have a plastic one.
Lesson learnt:
Nothing. Why these people have ‘loads’ of re-useable shopping bags at home and don’t re-use them is a mystery.

Things to remember…number 6:
I’ve just completely forgotten what it was I wanted to write.
Lesson learnt:
Write things as soon as you think of them.

Things to remember…number 12:
Today I did one of those weird trips where you kind of trip on a paving slab, but manage to recover swiftly and carry on like it never happened, laughing ever so slightly out of embarrassment. Immediately after doing this I looked up and saw a girl in a wheelchair with no legs.
Lesson learnt: Appreciate the legs you have to trip with.

The reason why I thought of this to write about is because I think it’s important that we all remember, no matter how old we are or what we’ve all gone through, that every day we learn something new. I think the worst kinds of customer I serve at work are the people who pretend like they know everything. Pretend like you’re trying to make a mug out of them, pretend they know the refund policy inside and out better than those of us who work there actually do, and pretend like you’re not a human being and just a shop floor drone. This one goes out to you guys, always remind yourself that you in fact don’t know everything, and just kick back a little and take the time to just learn a little.

Lessons learnt is still going, although I think I have more receipts floating around my house than I care to mention, and after collating all the evidence I can safely say that Tesco’s officially has all my money.

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