Friday 29 January 2010

Candidate: One Shop Girl

When I have children I’ll tell them to be plumbers.

I’ll hide their notebooks and give them plastic tools to play with.

I’ll tell them to get their hands dirty, do something practical.

‘But Mummy, I want to write stories like you!’

‘Don’t be silly, look how poor Mummy is!’

And I’ll thrust a spanner into my son's hand.

‘You can be anything you want my darling. Be a mechanic! Be a pilot! Be a lawyer if you must.’

But there’ll be no writing and certainly no poetry.

Oh don’t worry about me.

I’m not going to stop scribbling. I’m just a little disheartened by the work to money relationship there is in the creative world.

Writing at home this week has been a luxury, interrupted by moments of panic which led me to Google temping agencies.

I registered with one and up popped the dreaded SKILLS form.

I simply had to tick the box beside each skill I had.

I ran down the list and felt a growing sense of unease.

For instance: Audio Typing.

Yes I’ve done it once before.

It’s just typing what someone says, right?

But how skillful am I supposed to be at it?

For instance, what if the person speaking has a strong Jamaican accent?

Or a thick Irish accent for that matter.

We have lovely clients in Ireland but after they’ve said, ‘top of the morning to you’ the rest is guess work.

In a pub on Wednesday I stared at this man for five minutes, trying to work out what language he was speaking.

He was talking non-stop and it was strange because his friends seemed to understand him perfectly but were replying to him in English.

And then I caught him say ‘wee’ a few times and it hit me. He was Scottish!

Well, if I’d been asked to type what he was saying I would’ve ended up with nothing more than a blank page covered with wee...wee...wee....

So no, I decided not to tick beside audio-typing.

Next Skill...Touch typing

Well, here we go again.

It depends, how skillful? How fast do you need me to be?

I don’t look at my keyboard when I write but that’s because my trusty laptop knows me and I know her.

On other people’s computer however, like Macs, my fingers become clumsy and it takes three goes to spell my own name.

To cut the story short, my skills form didn’t fill up too well.

Come on, I thought. I have other skills. I could probably describe a tomato pretty well.


No, son, put the pen down. Writing will turn you into an emotionally unstable nutcase.

‘Like you Mummy?’


‘So why are you doing it?’

It’s like a crazy love affair. All passion and not much sense.

I couldn’t stop if I tried.

If only I’d wanted to be a plumber!


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shop Girl said...

why did you delete your comment? I thought it was fantastic! xx

Unknown said...

Words of Albert Einstein:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Unknown said...

Fine fine... coming back on.. As I didn't manage to finish up translating my thoughts to words, I felt it was incomplete..

Now my comments: Knowledge is a tool to transform ones' imagination and desires to a realization. Tools get old and you might lose them. Newer tools come out to replace the older ones. If you don't find anyone who uses the tools you know. Get to know some new ones and who knows, they might even help you with your primary objective directly. A person with many tools and no ideas is not going to build much alone. Now, person with many ideas and no tools either makes their own or acquires them. So figure out what you need and expand you collection of tools.

Bob said...

Would you rather be fat and happy, making paella every weekend for all your friends? Or would you rather be immortal?

One night someone will tuck their kid in bed... "Which of your Grandmother's blogs would you like to hear tonight? How about this one about becoming a plumber?"

Just be thankful your writing doesn't involve singing, so you don't have to make a fool of yourself on TV like Taylor Swift did this week. I mean... 20 years old, the height of your career and Stevie Nicks makes you sound like an alley cat with raging hormones. No, Emily, you are very fortunate to have grown up with the internet, not a recording studio, or spanner.

As we say in Nashville, "Hopefully you'll be able to quit your day job soon."

ShopGirl said...

Haha, thanks Bob. Immortality, mmm lovely. You are right! I can always train as a plumber later on .

Rachel said...

This reminded me of when I used to audio type for a Kiwi who whispered. Oh happy guesswork days...

Hello btw - followed you here from Twitter :)