Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Note to self

Once upon a time, when I was a full-time employee, my computer screen wore a garland of Post-it notes. They recorded important dates and deadlines, phone numbers of people who could provide aid in moments of technological crisis, and reminders that there are no 'a's in 'independent'.

Other computer adornment, on the desks of my colleagues, carried a more nurturing message – incitements to take vitamins and eat fruit. And occasionally, but unusually in the hipster environs of fashion magazines, a bit of fridge-magnet motivation. The kind that puts me right off anything that might be in the fridge.

Falling into the category of personal pep talk, I think, is the customisation on this workstation, which I saw on a recent sunny morning in the SE4 area.

This postman's cart bears a simple, single imperative: 'Aggressive!'

I think it's an attempt to claw back some authority after a working life spent being run off the pavement by delinquent under 5s on scooters and older ladies propelling their shopping trolleys townwards for two-for-ones on teabags. And that is before we touch on dogs.

I could never touch on dogs – either physically or metaphorically – for the rest of my life and I'd be quite happy about that.

Imagine this broken postman, returning to the sorting office every day, shoulders slumped, thoroughly cowed by the sections of society who should be his physical inferior; flinching every time a colleague throws an empty Coke can in the rubbish bin because it carries the clanging echo of hostile letterboxes.

He didn't don the red shirt of the Royal Mail and learn how to whistle just for this.

So maybe he decided enough was enough. He would be braver. He would be stronger. He started bench-pressing incredibly heavy Amazon boxes, swapping his shifts so he had to run deliveries up and down ten-storey tower blocks where he knew the lift was always broken. And until the day when he could say the pavements were once again his, his cart would bear that message.

1 comment:

Alison Cross said...

I love it. I'm going to scratch something into the paintwork of my mini and hope that it similarly affects my ability to Take On The Day And Win.

Ali x

PS - looking forward to your Wembly Strickly post like mad!