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Dan what man?

Sometime's just a pretty sky's enough...

Sometime’s just a pretty sky’s enough…

So as it’s been a while I should probably fill you in on where things are with my Dan resolve.

Over six months ago I promised myself (and you dear readers) that I would remove him from my life to give my tattered heart a chance to heal.

Did I stick to my resolution? Did it work?

Well – yes and yes (partly at least).

It was depressingly easy at first. I blocked him from my facebook feed (a genius far less confrontational approach to de-friending), deleted his number from my phone (so as not to do any drunken texting) and sat back and waited – steeling myself to turn down any requests for beers and catch ups that might filter through.

But they didn’t come. Indeed I didn’t hear from him. At all. For over two months.

This didn’t surprise me hugely – I’d witnessed him disappear into the whirlpool of new relationships before. He gets utterly consumed in the oblivion of fresh dewy love before emerging a little damp and contrite a few months later. But still it hurt. All my firm resolve seemed a little silly and just reiterated how unequal our relationship truly was.

Sure enough a couple of months in he left a long and apologetic voicemail. He was a terrible inattentive friend and he couldn’t believe he’d missed my birthday and would I ever forgive him and please say I would so he could rain down beer and love all over me. I sent a text saying not to be daft, all was fine but I was super busy so raincheck on the precipitative lager drinking. Full stop. No kiss.

They’ve been a handful of voicemails and texts since then but not many, and they’re getting fewer and further between.

I hate that he thinks I’m pissed off at him for some petit reason, I hate that he probably thinks  I’m ignoring him because I don’t approve of Zara. I guess for those reasons our friendship may very well drop away all together and I’ll become a distant memory of a friend that turned out to be disappointingly fractious and judgmental . Which is sad, Heart achingly sad, actually.

But on the flip side – I feel better and stronger and happier without the constant ‘what ifs’ that were thrown around through constant contact with him. My head feels calmer and there’s generally a bit more space to breathe in deliciously fresh air and see the world in a clearer less Dan-addled way. And I’ve started to see men again – as in see them as prospective potentials in their own right rather than as poor substitutions to the Dan myth.

M xxx

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Girl Problems

yeah. Bitchy.

yeah. Bitchy.

Happy Monday all you great burly invisible lot – I know there are some of you  – my shiny word press bar chart tells me so. I’m going to ignore the likelihood that you are in fact in an html devouring spammerator that is deploying clever tactics to get me to visit suspect websites;  instead I’m imagining you as a fresh faced friendly thing sitting in front of your computer screen with a steaming hot mug of coffee and for some reason interested in the mind meanderings of a bordering on insane London single girl.

So hello you lovely caffeine influenced thing – welcome to my Monday – I hope you’re enjoying yours.

Positive Maggie is here to stay for a wee while it seems.

Had a great weekend free of work and not bogged down by the guilty conscience of being lacking in work. Saw my Best Friend Love on Saturday. I’m going to have to give me a name, Best Friend Love sounds too damn sappy and BFL looks like some kind of builders workmate – how about Dan, Dan the man.

Dan’s been seeing a new girl for the past few weeks – someone he met doing a play a few months ago (sound familiar?!) He held a strongly lit torch for her right from the get go. I’ve endured hours of hearing about how beautiful and clever and funny and talented she is which, inevitably, made me want to dive screaming into the nearest steaming crevice instead of donning the obligatory ‘go get ’em’ smile that I wear whenever Dan tells me about his latest crush. So eventually – around a month ago – she returns all of his advances out of the blue and bish bash bosh they’re an item. I’d have been happy for the love sick puppy if I wasn’t so eaten up and regurgitated inside with righteous jealousy.

I’ve only met her – Zara – a few times – once at Dan’s play and once a fortnight ago at a friend’s party where they spent the evening digesting each others faces. Now I know I’m hugely biased and not the best judge of character in this scenario, and I did try and like her, I promise I tried – but inevitably I came away thinking she was a bit of a bitch. She is VERY pretty – in every way I’m not. Teeny tiny delicate which instantly made me very uncomfortable – being a strapping tall thing myself (5’11”) small people tend to scare me a little. Scare is probably too strong – they just make me feel like a big gallumphing elephant creature with inhumanly large feet and hands and no elegance whatsoever, not a shred. So there she is in all her annoying petiteness with glistening luxurious thick brown hair which makes my blonde frizz look like an accident at a candy floss stall, and piercing green eyes that look straight through me and tell me I don’t deserve to even register on her radar. But it wasn’t just me she looked at like an odious swamp thing, every human in that room not in possession of a penis got shot down by either a look of total disinterest or a scathing shot of disdain. I won a smile from her when Dan introduced me. When I arrived they were straddled on the sofa lips already locked in for the long haul, I busied my self by drinking a lot of wine very quickly and pretending to be totally engaged in a deadening conversation with some bloke about his jobdesperately trying not to look at the PDA flagrantly taking place on the sofa whilst, much like a car wreck, my disobediant eyes kept finding their way back there. Bad eyes. When Dan came up for air and caught sight of me ‘not looking’ at him he jumped up with his gorgeous huge grin on his face and bounded over to me

‘Maggie – you’re here! You’ve got to meet Zara’ and he put his arm around me and bundled me towards her leaving the stock broker looking a little confused. I steadied myself repeating the words ‘Be nice, be nice, be nice’ over and over in my head when Dan leant over and whispered in my ear’

‘Isn’t she gorgeous!’

‘mmmmmmmm’ I assented, though it really wasn’t a question.

So there we stood Dan’s lovely long arm around my shoulders, me frozenly smiling down at this pixen beauty still draped on the sofa whilst trying not to appear to be too obviously breathing in the heavy and familiar smell of the man I’d spent the last five years deeply in love with.

‘Zara – this is Maggie – one of the best women I’ve ever met’ he said – grinning at me with a best friend’s complicity.

I went for it: ‘Hi Zara – I saw you in Titus a little while back – you were really great’

She wasn’t.

She has one of those mouths whose place of rest is a permanent scowl, as her cold green eyes met mine at that moment I saw nothing – no spark of interest – no good natured desire to be genuinely interested in the best friend of the bloke she’d been chewing on.  The corners of her mouth curled into a stiff and impoverished smile,

‘Hi Maddy’

She replied in a flattened voice that essentially told me

I’m not interested in you human with breasticles, do not try and engage me in conversation, do not talk to my boyfriend, do not ask me to remember your name, and do not pass go.

Then she grabbed out for Dan’s hand and said in a syrupy sweet girly voice

‘Hey Danny boy, will you take me to the kitchen to get another drink sweetie….’

And so they disappeared. I watched her with fascination for the rest of the party prowling round the room, when not whacking out tonsil hockey with my best friend, being giggly and flirty and strokey with every man in the room, and totally dismissive and cool to every woman. After enough wine, I stopped watching her and fell into inappropriate behaviour with a regrettable man in a bathroom, but you already know all about that now don’t you.

I hate this breed of girl, the kind that chooses to ignore a good 50% of the world’s population because they don’t offer the adulation and sexual return that so obviously is the sole basis of her self esteem. Any one who writes off another person on the strength of their particular collection of sexual organs is just downright shallow surely.

So I was left a little conflicted  – the poorer part of me took some snide glee from the fact that Dan’s new girlfriend was a bit of a bitch, it would have been too much to bear if she’d been a real magnanimous gorgeous thing on top of being so beautiful. But the bigger, person who loves Dan unreservedly, part of me was a little concerned. Someone so involved with themselves and so uninterested in getting to know his friends that they rock up to a party where she’s surrounded by them and flirts with everyones boyfriend and disregards every girl – surely can’t be a good long term promise for my friend.

And she wasn’t. I met Dan on Saturday to soothe a battered ego and a bruised heart. She’d texted him the night before to say that she’d been seeing another bloke (from the same play believe or not), and she’d decided that he was more bankable than our Dan so she wouldn’t need to see him anymore thank you very much.

Cow.
Dan was sad but philosophical about it all and after a few beers he seemed more like his old self and we had a good, funny, sozzled evening.
At the end of the night he walked me to my bus stop and waited with me till it arrived. It was freezing so he had his arm around me and his hand was tucked into the pocket of my coat. I awkwardly rested my head on his shoulder, awkward as he’s only an inch or so taller than me so in persuing the picture of model intamacy I got a nasty crick in the neck.
“Oh Maggie. We’re bloody crap at this aren’t we?”
“What?”
“The whole love thing.”
I felt myself stiffen and resisted the urge to say the obvious.
“Maybe we’re just not meant to be in relationships”
“Maybe”
“I’ve always got you!”, He said with a playful elbow dig to my ribs, “What on this stupid blue earth would I do without you?”, and with that he destroyed the lovers photo opportunity by releasing his hand from my pocket and tousling my hair like I was a golden retriever rather than a woman standing there with her heart dissolving. Just call me Rex.
“Hey you know what we should do?”
Forget everything and everyone else, passionaltely kiss till dawn then elope to a seculded life on a Hebridean isalnd??!
“We should make a pact – if we’re not with anyone by 35 we should totally give up on the whole rat race and settle for each other.”
The word tore through me like Jaws did the smaller boat.
Settle.
So there it was – the best friends pact. As far as I’m concerned the totally passionless kiss of death.
Why – I hear you ask – isn’t this a good thing – you just have to spend seven years of waiting and gently sabotouring Dan’s relationships till you reach your love nirvana, to which I would recommend you go and watch a good compendium of romantic comedies and/ or stories of the emitionally unrequited. The pact girl NEVER gets the guy.
What I wanted was for Dan to hold me and whisper in my ear that all those girls he’s wasted time shagging don’t even begin to hold a candle against his blaze of passion for me, I wanted him to tell me he spends a good proportion of every waking hour thinking of me, I want him to tell me how he dreams of the day when we would finally with get it together and make good on all these years of waiting. You see, if I had a backbone or any shred of courage then those are exactly the words that I would say to him. I would not, under any circumstance, ever ever ever suggest one day when devoid of all other hope we might be forced to settle for each other.
I’m not totally insane. I’m fully aware that he doesn’t feel for me the ways do for him, but when we’re together and we laugh and we share and we finish each other sentences and sit squished next to each other taking comfort from the other ps presence, I kid myself that maybe, hidden under all those other women, he just might. That maybe, like me,  he’s just scared of fucking it all up.
His sad little proposition blew such hopeless thoughts out of the water.
I smiled weakly.
“Naaaaaah. I’m taken I’m afraid. I’m already promised to Paul”
“But he’s gay”
“So?”
“Well he wouldn’t want to have sex with you”
“Well neither would you”, I couldn’t help but let a bit of bitterness leak into my voice, but followed it up with a coy smile to disguise any real feelings that he might be able to decipher
“Maggie Adams, thats absolute rubbish. I would totally do you.”
And with that I felt a little better.
Plus I now have an exciting trip to look forward to. The new absence of Zara on the scene meant that he asked me to be his plus one at a wedding up in Scotland next month. He’d already booked a posh hotel, I suppose with the thinking that they’d be lots of highland sex on the menu. I’m not allowing myself to fantasise too much, but i’m imagining open fires, whiskeys and…. well you know.
In reality we’ll get lathered, he’ll try to pull a bridesmaid and I’ll find myself being inappropriate in the loos. It is my forte after all.
In other news. My audition is this Wednesday… Wish me luck. The initial joy has passed and been replaced with good old fashioned terror, but god darn it, I’m going to do everything I can to land this job.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Till then!
Positive Maggie xxx

Sunshine on a rainy day

sunshine

Today is a good day.

Reasons why:

– I am in work – and have been for a full English week.

– It is a Friday which in this particular sunny basement land means pay day.

– I have been remarkably efficient in my mind numbing work this week. This means I have completed my set task a full week before I needed too. This is not as remarkable as it sounds – when you’re paid a certain amount (i.e. not a lot) employees tend to think your hourly rate equates to your intellect. I am in no hurry to undeceive them of this particular assumption as I would then be out of said work and said pay  (we’re hired on a ‘by task’ basis here) – which would be a whole raining down of bad days. What this does in fact mean is I have a week to sit and write and not worry about  how every second ticking by unemployed adds to my bottomless debt…

– I have an audition next week. Oh yes.

– I nearly destroyed my oh so precious – and already seriously on its last legs iPhone today but because the Gods of charm and good luck were smiling down on me from on high it bounced where it should have smashed and all is well in phone screen land.

– It is a Friday, which means tomorrow is Saturday, which means a day in the white December sunshine with beer, all paid for by said pay day.

– Just got a call from lovely housemate who told me that bastard dickless Dick (you remember him – hawk nosed mammoth eg0-ed poncy thing who wasn’t ‘feeling it’) didn’t get that part that he was so convinced he was a sure thing for at the National Theatre. I know it’s small and nasty and makes me a lesser person but this news makes me very happy.

I’m a bad person. I’m never getting near to heaven. Not remotely. St Peter won’t even bother to glance up from his ledger.

Very excited about my audition. Was making a coffee this morning in our pokey little kitchen down here when the phone rang. My agent hasn’t contacted me in such a long time I barely recognised her name as it flashed up and merrily vibrated the phone across the cracked linoleum of the worktop. A split second later my brain defogged and my heart leapt out of my chest with excitement (it doesn’t take much) as I let out an involuntary high pitched yelp. I launched myself for my phone with such force and enthusiasm that I entirely neglected to make my fingers work – which meant I effectively punched the sad purring handset and sent it flying in a devastating arc. Everything slowed as I saw my poor trusty companion on a sure-fire collision course with the hard concrete floor (it’s a very glam office – can you tell?!)

But as previously marvelled on – there is a god somewhere who likes me  (maybe he pities me for my unavoidable encroaching damnation) – and Mr iPhone lives to see another day.

So – the audition… Its quite big news – for a part I’ve always wanted to play in a theatre I’ve always wanted to work in. Had written several fervent letters to the director insisting that – dear god – I was perfect for the part. Only stopped in the torrent of epistolar abuse as my flatmate pointed out it was starting to verge on stalking.

But yay! Yay Yay Yay. I’m doing a little sedentary bum dance on my chair as I write this. It’s moments like this that can seem to make the hell of living the insubstantial life of an actor worthwhile. Right now, here in this particular transitory moment of happiness anything seems possible. I wanted that audition and I got it (despite the fact my CV is woefully inadequate) – if I got the part life would be a whole series of new experiences and adventures for the next six months.

But even as I write this I know I can’t enjoy the small victory of getting an audition (and believe me in this industry, with my agent that is a victory) for too long, or indulge my daydreams of what might be… I can’t bloody want it too much or the desolation of not getting it would send this new positive Maggie on a spiralling descent back into mopey whiney Maggie. And no one wants that now do they.

So I going to be philosophical and totally cool about it.

Ice cool.

Frosty Maggie.

But it would be, perhaps, the most AMAZING thing ever.

Please universe – give me this one – I’ll owe you big time…

M xx

Charity begins at home

So some words on the streets of London – a fairly unfriendly and unforgiving terrain.

They can mess you about, and batter you down, break your heart and leave you black and blue and every now and then they turn you into a monster.

Today was not my finest hour.

I was late for work – a one off waitressing gig I had covering for a friend. I’d been stood on an overcrowded rush houred up northern line for the best part of an hour, and had finally emerged into the cold grey uncomfortably clammy and thinking one or two unpleasant thoughts about my fellow man. I scurried down (or should it be up) Upper Street in Islington when I was suddenly accosted by a bright eyed gangly young man with a huge smile and a inescapable look of terror in his eye

Ex………….cuse me

(impenetrably long pause – but his engaging gangliness was enough to get me to stop and listen despite already being late for work)

Could…………..

(longer pause)

Could I…………have a mo………….

(painfully effortful)

mo…..moment of your………… time

So there I was getting more and more frustrated by his terminal pace and suddenly full of irrational anger that this random bloke had dared to stop me when I was so obviously in a hurry to get to my shitty evening of handing out canapes that were each apiece worth more than my hourly wage … my rage unfurled:

Me: Look – I’m not sure what you want but can you be a bit quicker. I’m already late for work so if you want something from me then just spit it out

My tone was icy and spitting. I saw the poor gangly boy stiffen and turner a paler shade of white and take a deep breath

Thank….thank you…. I… I’m on a c……course to over…….over come my….. my…. my….. stammer

Cut to me turning a rather unfetching shade of puce.

The boy had been sent out to the unforgiving North London streets to approach fifty strangers and introduce himself in a fear overcoming exercise to beat his stammer. The poor bugger hadn’t anticipated running into clammy angry old me though I rather suspect I wasn’t the worst type of character he had to confront during his mission.

I remember when I first arrived in London seemingly umpteen years ago, I was shocked and appalled by the unfriendliness and downright aggression that radiated off these none so golden streets. There I was, dewey eyed and full of excitement and hope, getting more bumped and bruised by the day by angry elbows on the tube for being someone who had the audacity to walk a little too slow, or – heinously – who stopped on the left hand side of an escalator.

Now, seven years later – I afraid to admit that I’ve fully mutated into one of those fury fuelled pointy elbowed people who give Londoners a bad name. It happens without you realising it – a less muscly, less green, but no less foul tempered Hulk erupts out of my milder mannered self each time I step out of my front door.

It’s the rush, the overcrowding, the sheer bloody relentless noisy cacophony of it all. So I pity the poor soul who has to approach angry pavement hitting Londoners with any request – even if it be just a ‘hello’ in the case of my poor stammerer friend.

Which brings me on to the merry subject of the Chugger – or ‘Charity Mugger’ for those less au fait with their brilliantly apt nickname. You all know who I mean – those fearlessly young people in bright tabards on your high street, with painted on smiles and a insatiable appetite for bank account details. They have strict instructions to flirt, quirk and entrap before praying on every shred of guilty over privileged Westerner conscience to solicit a £5 direct debit from your bank monthly.

There you are walking innocently down the street, probably in a bad mood if you’re in London, and you make fleeting eye contact with a sparkly eyed man with a smile to die for. He has artfully toussled hair and a bounce in his step and, dear god, he’s heading straight for you

‘Hi – I love your dress – how are you today?’

Your giddy lonely heart misses a beat and you’re caught in a grin that stretches from ear to ear and you think suddenly today might not be so bad – and then you look down and see his bright green Save the Children tabard and you know that he’s only interested in one thing. The bastard.

Sometimes you see them coming – they tend to move in packs but steel yourself and you can make it through all of them relatively unscathed. If you’re anything like me you’ve finessed your avoidance tactics to an art form – here are just a few from my repertoire:

– the head down quick footed ‘I’m in a terrible hurry disturb me if you dare’ move

– the dreamy looking in to the distance with an ominous smile ‘I’m in my own world and very possibly on mind altering drugs so try and talk to me but I’ll just think you’re a floating man-sized banana’ move

– the glue your ear to the phone and pretend to be the midst of an important / life changing / world altering call move.

– the when inappropriately approached scream in their face and run up the street with all limbs flailing move

I’ve never actually tried the last one – but it’s tucked up my sleeve just in case it’s ever needed.

I know there’s a good argument for deploying this kind of fundraising – it’s now many charities’ largest source of income – though it’s become such an old trick I can hardly believe that it still continues to work.

My bugbear is the very simple fact that I don’t want to be confronted by a phoney cheery stranger who will employ every method of guilt induced persuasion open to them to get my account number and sort code. And the stranger is desperate to get a few quid a month from you – not through any philanthropic fervour of his own – but merely in order to up his hit rate and be in with a chance for getting that day’s bonus. Most chuggers in London are of course out of work actors, so they can turn up the charm and the sad eyed earnestness when telling you about how just £5 a month would let Poopie the spaniel live out his days in poppyfields rather than meet a cold end at the end of a veterinary needle. Of course this was just the script they learnt this particular morning and tomorrow they’ll be donning a differently coloured tabard and campaigning for Greenpeace. You can bet your tight arse that they’re not giving to the charities that they’re trying to guilt you out about .

It’s a wonder I’ve never chugged in my merry myriad of shitty jobs over the years. I’ve dressed up as a fluffy pink dinosaur in the height of summer, I’ve been chased with a broom for delivering junk mail and I’ve had old eggs thrown at me for having the audacity of handing out free cans of diet coke – so it’s not as if my standards are high… the necessity of having bovril to eat and a leaky roof over my head puts pay to any integrity. But I could never never somehow face standing on a street with a clipboard and a ‘please talk to me’ smile. I have… however done something nearly as bad (some would say worse) which is why I speak of the lack of honesty of the charity stalker with some small authority… More of that another day.

M xx

To write or not to write?

Isn’t it pretty!

It’s a peculiar sensation writing to an non-existent audience – not that I haven’t had plenty of experience of barren auditoriums on my illustrious acting career to date. I’m slightly suspicious of my motives in starting this blog and am wary of becoming another self involved, self indulgent, whining entity on the web (though again – plenty of experience of all three character traits.)

I kept a diary as a kid – my first pink leather day a page arrived under the christmas tree aged nine. I loved it dearly – mostly because of its cute golden lock and its implicit promise to keep any secret I bestowed upon it. Of course my nine year old self didn’t have any secrets that really warranted a lock and key. My twenty eight year old self on the other hand has a whole myriad of secrets of the heart and darknesses of the soul that would be best off shackled and bounded and buried deep in the crevices of the earth, but instead here I am publishing them to the universe on the internet.

What do I want or expect from this? Especially when (at the moment at least) no one appears to be reading my plaintive confessionals. Truth told – I’m not sure at the moment – any enlightenments on my own psychology form all you more experienced bloggers out there would be very welcome. But I’m enjoying it. It seems writing about the foibles of my existence somehow lets me handle them with a sense of humour rather than a crushing sense of doom. And no one likes a crushing sense of doom now do they?

M xxx

Busy doing nothing

Just another day at the office….

So I wasn’t entirely truthful labeling myself as one of the great unemployed – I have far too much of an odiously self-important social conscience for that. I do in fact normally forge an existence by undertaking numerous scrappy little jobs that come and go like Katie Price’s husbands – normally lingering just long enough to fill me with a quite delicious loathing of everything that they stand for. This week I am mostly unemployed… next week I’ll be sitting in a windowless basement in an joyless region of London’s east end with a earpiece screwed to my head cheerfully finding out how people rate their electricity provider on a scale of one to five.

Aaaah the joy of the call-centre. That merry respite of the actor. It doesn’t matter that the arts council has gone down the spout and that theatres are closing down nation-wide… who needs to tread the boards when we can spend all those years (and thousands of pounds) of training in faking a smile down a telephone line.

I’ve worked in countless call centres in London (there are a surprising number lurking down various dark alleys) and all of them are fully populated by frustrated out of work actors grimly hanging on to the remaining scraps of their self esteem. It fills me with joy to recount that my very first job – fresh faced and dewy eyed skipping away from my drama school graduation was in a factory like telephone market research complex on the wrong side of Old Street. There we all sat – quite literally hundreds of us – in our small chicken coups endless clucking away at the green print computer screens that time forgot trying to feign interest in to whether the person on the other end of the phone prefers Birdseye fishfingers or Sainsbury’s own.

I remember the small internal crumbling at the first fag break (a closely monitored fifteen minutes after two hours of being surgically attached to your terminal) when I made the discovery that far from being a exotic talent nestling among the ordinary folk to earn a wage – my two hundred fellow chicken coup co-habitors were in EXACTLY the same predicament. I learned to dread those snatched quarter hour breaks as much as the incessant ring tone of the headsets as it quickly became clear that they were an opportunity for the ego-obsessed luvvies to prove that they weren’t failing quite so badly as the next factory animal. If you were asked if you had anything coming up you could be sure it was because the chicken doing the asking was about to swept away by some mah-vellous opportunity that would send you back to your desk with your tail feathers very firmly between your legs and full of the overwhelming sense you were caught in some horrific groundhog day of perpetual failure.

“So where did you train?” I remember a particularly glassy voiced and startingly angular girl ask me one day,
“Erm.. Webber D – I’ve just left actually” I responded defensively.
“Oh really. RADA.” she proffered her school without any prompting, “I’ve always wondered why people bother going to the other drama schools. Everywhere else seemed like a waste of time to me.” I stifled the urge to rattle off a list of my own dear school’s glittering alumni knowing of course that she could always trump me and this wasn’t a battle of egos I could ever win.

The glorious Radanian – the spawn of that fine and infinitely pompous institution the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The Oxbridge of drama schools and the place that the lowly actors who did not walk its marbled corridors quickly learn to detest. Its graduates always seem to be slick with the sense of their own magnitude and are huge sufferers from a really rather severe sense of self importance that dwarfs anyone in their mighty step. They’ve always rather amused me really (when I’m not loathing them as yet another RADA-type beat me to the job I lusted after). As actors – we’re artists – of a sort – you certainly need the grit of a vocation-driven madman to persist in the industry – but also within the right job you genuinely do get an enormous sense of creative exhilaration and satisfaction. However we’re also selfish, self-obsessed and conceited buggers and never will we, through the might of our profession, save a life let alone the world. Try telling this to a Radanian. I’m sure they fully believe that they are among some chosen few that will revolutionise culture at a fundamental level. Their preciousness is at times hilarious and at times repugnant (depending normally on what side of the bed you’ve rolled out of that morning). They’re not all bad of course – occasionally you get the odd one that realises acting’s just a load of larking about – but that glassy voiced bitch puffing away on her fag outside the chicken factory in Old Street laid a prejudice deep in the heart of Maggie Adams that I silently and smugly enjoy.

Needless to say I didn’t last particularly long at that particular job. A few weeks in I’d taken to doing the Guardian Cryptic at the same time as listening to the eternal ring out of phones chirruping in empty homes the country over (the houses’ inhabitants blissfully unaware that I was desperate to question them in depth about fishfingers). One day I had a particularly greasy supervisor in charge of me and my oh so important call rate.
The supervisors were a wonderfully noxious race – actors too – but ones who had both been out of work so long and so lacked any type of spine that they had actually risen in the ranks of the factory to become the big fat cocks sitting at the end of each row. Now perhaps it was their inner self-loathing at the fact that they had allowed this to happen to themselves or perhaps it was a desperate grab at power over others to make up for how little they had over themselves – but these grotesquities were worse than the most dilligent and teacher worshipping prefect you’ve ever come across. They sharkily scoured the waters for anyone overstepping the fifteen minutes allotted for the break, miserly noting down every toilet break to make sure you weren’t pissing the calls away and pacing the aisles for anyone who might be making a tumble from total productivity. Of course my supervising cock hated me doing the crossword – and gave me warning after warning. I stubbornly persisted tartly replying every time that my calls were above average and it helped me to focus. On the third warning he snatched the crossword from my desk (and at this point I’d even gone to the bother of doing it impressively surreptitiously) screwed it up and told me they weren’t paying me to mess around. In all fairness, he probably had a point, but I was two clues off completion and my poor bruised sense of worth sternly asserted itself in a magnificent show of steely defense. I rose, slowly yet determinedly from my seat – a single towering head amongst the sea of busy poultry – and told my vainglorious critic that believe it or I was able to do two mindless activities at once and that if he had any sense of pride, or indeed survival he should take his bony overweening arse out of this godforsaken place and go and find a fucking life. I picked up my bag – snatched my crumpled crossword back and strode out with hundreds of chickens staring at me in disbelief. An exit I’d still be proud of if it wasn’t slightly tarnished by me pulling instead of pushing the heavy glass door causing my nose and forehead to crash into it with a dull thud.
The glory of this personal victory lasted a few days before I realised – shit I still have rent to pay – leading me to scour the notices for another call centre in need of silver voiced actors. And so the vicious cycle of my employment was born!

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