If we were having a coffee this week, I think we’d be watching everyone else in the coffee shop at the same time.
People watching or “people understanding” has been a bit of a theme for me over the last few weeks. At work, I feel like I’ve just been given a lot of work from other people who just “don’t have time”, and it was only in a meeting this week that someone who had been giving me that work didn’t understand that I had a dual role.
She did. I’d told her before, and so had someone else. However, I took the time to tell her that it wasn’t just the two pieces of work that I was doing, but the third and fourth parts of my role that I had been given – much to surprise – over the last week too.
As well as people not knowing what I’m up to, it’s interesting when jobs are taken away from roles to think what other pressures people have been feeling. Not least because one of the jobs consists of sending maybe 5 e-mails a day and not much more. For someone not to have time to send 5 e-mails…
And so I was on the train today, sat at a table on my own. I always feel a little guilty taking a table seat in case there are people that actually need the surface for things like laptops. The reason I pick table seats, though, is the room under them rather than on top of them. I can actually stretch my legs!
A guy got on the train and sat in the seats opposite me. While he was fairly difficult to age, I think I’d put him late 40’s. He threw his bag opposite me, sat down so hard I would have broken my own coccyx if I’d have done similar and threw his phone on the table. He proceeded to get his earphones out his bag like it was the bag who had done him a massive injustice.
He slammed down both arm rests just as the conductor came to ask him for his ticket. He slammed one arm rest back up, pulled out a pass and held it for the conductor to see like it was a massive inconvenience. Not once did he actually look at her.
As I say, he was hard to age, but he was wearing the clothes of a 15 year old. He sported a bright yellow GStar hoodie, baggie jeans with printed slogans and white Adidas hi-top basketball shoes. It didn’t really work against his balding head and old style glasses, especially with the fact that it felt cobbled together in a manner that suggests it was probably his only outfit.
I started thinking about his story. By day, I think he’s Graham who works in accounts processing people’s expenses. He’s one of these people that you don’t really notice until he’s not there and you have more work to do. He doesn’t have lunch with the rest of his team but instead has soup out a flask at his desk while looking at the traffic pass his window.
He arrives every morning at 5 minutes to 9 having got off the bus just outside the office. He wears a plain suit, the same one he has put on every day for the last three years. He makes it last by putting patches on the elbows. He wears a grey shirt with blue tie, although he does have an ironic Christmas tie that he wears for a week every December. With those 5 minutes in the morning before he starts the clock, he makes a cup of tea.
He leaves at 5 o’clock on the dot and gets back on the bus to go home. This is where his life changes.
He is no longer Graham From Expenses. He morphs in to G-Shizzle. He gets changed and goes to hang out with his homies. They lay down some beatz by hitting the back of the bus shelter while Graham spits some sick rhymes before going back home with his bee-atches to smoke weed sold to him by Geoff from the Post Room.
(Did I really just type that?!)
Anyway… The thing about Graham (as I’ll continue to call him) was that once he plugged in his ear phones and turned on his phone, he wasn’t listening to R&B or heavy house, he was watching anime. I’m not sure whether that improves or ruins my story? Either way, I just thought it was interesting that his physical appearance, clothes and anime are three things that shouldn’t belong to the same person yet here they were.
Not only is it fun to make up stories from people watching, it’s actually a pretty decent reminder that we don’t always know what’s going on in other people’s lives and that it’s worth digging a little deeper rather than making assumptions about people.
This week feels like it has been a long one when I think back to the fact that I was at a concert on Monday evening. I’m sure I did something else interesting during the week too, but I can’t remember what that was now.
So, I think last week I said I’d booked in doing something that would take me outside my comfort zone. Today it happened, and I got my first tattoo.
Ages ago I wrote Tattoo… You about how I would have a firework inspired by the Jimmy Eat World song Just Watch The Fireworks. The reason I like that song is the first line, “Here, you can be anything”. I decided to get the lyric put on there too. Some people might think it looks a mess but it’s in a particular person’s handwriting which was also important. I asked the artist doing it to draw the firework as if it was a quick doodle.
It was a brand new experience for me. It runs down my ribs and it was only when I was lying on the chair that they told me that ribs are the most painful place to tattoo! They said I should go to the shop and buy a chocolate bar and bottle of Lucozade for during the process because it would “take it out of [me]”. That made me a bit nervous!
A few bits pinched a bit but it wasn’t too bad. The strangest thing was being able to feel the curves and shapes being drawn. I know that sounds obvious and I don’t really know what I was expecting.
The important part is the message anyway. Here, you can be anything. Me, you, and Graham From Accounts Who Turns In To G-Shizzle At Night.
Because a coffee share wouldn’t be a coffee share without showing you my new Pokémon, here are this week’s.
I was made up with the Ditto. Then I caught eight more. I’d been waiting to get enough candies for the Sandslash. Abra’s are rare round me so I just evolved the best one I had. The Weezing isn’t great either, but the double XP this week meant it was worthwhile and I have enough candies still for a good one. And the Aerodactyl was the only decent thing I got from five 10km eggs.
Hope your week was a belter. See you next time.