24 Feb 2010

Duke Fandango: Better When Pressured.

There are times when the pressure becomes almost too much. When my life seems to become a dizzying leap from one terrifying moment of 'must act or fail' to another. When everything else becomes a facsimile of importance. Things like a social life, or a girlfriend, or remembering to phone your mum on her birthday. Things that actually matter and will cause untold damage to your standing as person.

The terrible thing is, I live for those moments.

At the time I hate it. I moan lots. I swear more. I contemplate getting an office job. I have been known to flick idly through the jobs pages of the paper looking the the pay an office lackey gets and saying "£25,000 for looking at Facebook?! Score!" but something always holds me back.

I've decided that it is my intolerance of humanity, coupled with my mild ADHD that would prevent me from ever getting an office job. Can you imagine it:

Them: Hey, Duke - we need the report on the projected Austin account by twelve - you FYI'd on that?

Me: What the fuck is 'FYI'd' and why do I give a shit about the Austin account?

Them: Look, Dukey - mind if I call you Dukey?

Me: Say it again and I will hold a candle of hatred for you until the day I die.

Them: Great. Well Dukey, we need the Austin account to balance the TPF stock orders and without them we're back to the Tobin Spectrum of estimated recall. And that, Dukey, would be awful!

Me: I'm going strangle you with my mouse

Them: Dude, It's wireless.

Me: I know...

I need the absolute challenge of actually making choices that will have a genuine social effect. That will make the young people in my charge better individuals with better life chances so they can have the opportunity to actually do what they want to with their lives.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm making life or death decisions. I'm not a doctor or a nurse. I'm rarely found rushing with the ol' blues and twos to arrest a serial killer. If I'm honest I'd be rubbish at fighting fires because I spend far too much time pissing about with the hose:

Me: Hey, Frank!

Frank: Yeah?


Frank: Muummphhh!!!

Me: Heh heh heh.

But what I do is to tell a group of young people that they are better, much better, than they ever thought they could be. I can teach them to respect others. To not judge. To be someone who stands up against the accepted wisdom and say 'this is wrong'. To have faith, both in themselves and in others around them. To be happy.

But to make them do these things I need to do my bit. To be pressured. To get the billion and one bits of paperwork completed. To basically, give a fuck.

And if I don't, I don't lose a faceless corporation money. I don't lose the respect of the general public. Hell, I probably won't lose my job.

I'd just lose the life chances of a group of teenagers for them.

And I'd never be able to live with that.


  1. I was laughing at my head off at the fireman scenario when I came across your next paragraph and sobered up quickly!
    It made me think of a class I have at the moment - a small group of year 11 kids who are predicted Es at GCSE. Ds, maybe, but probably not. All through school teachers and pupils alike have told them they're stupid and worthless and yet I've never known *anyone* work as hard as they do. Every single one of them pours everything they've got into every one of our lessons. It's taking a long time but I hope they are starting to believe me when I tell them I think they're fantastic.

  2. pissing about with a hose... don't you already do plenty of that?
    teachers, architects, and writers. my favorite professions. pat yourself on the back, you're already going to heaven, rage and all.

  3. It's dreadful, the invention of the cordless mouse. And the cordless telephone. However will we strangle our inane, banal, socially retarded supervisors?