September 25th, 2003


Thought for the day

The folk I love

I do hate the folk I love---
They hurt so:
Their least word and act may be
Cause of woe.

'Won't you come to tea with me?'
'Not to-day;
I'm so tired, I've been to church.'
Such folk say.

All the dreary afternoon
I must clutch
At the strength to love like them---
Not too much.

-- Lesbia Harford (1891-1927)
  • Current Mood

To beer, or not to beer

I'm probably not going to be at the pub tonight, or if I do make it at all I'm going to be very late (i.e. in time for last orders) -- I really should stay at home and do job applications, much though I hate it.

Feeling sick already at the thought of having to do them. This does not bode well. :-(
  • Current Mood

Wasting time

The Jobs in Charities job fair yesterday was pretty much useless -- by the time we got there at about 4pm pretty much everybody had packed up already. Very frustrating -- if an event is advertised as running from 10am to 6:30pm then it should damn well do that. I'd never been to a job fair before & didn't really know what to expect, but as far as I could tell it offered absolutely nothing that I couldn't already get from the web.

Being in London was a good excuse to visit nou, though. Admired some very impressive shiny knitting and miles of pretty yarn, acquired a viola and a pair of shoes, and chatted for a bit before going to find some food.

Very tired this morning, after getting back fairly late from London on the slow train. Now feeling dazed and useless and completely incapable of concentrating on all the job applications stuff I'm supposed to be doing, and getting progressively more stressed about the inability to concentrate, which of course is making it harder to concentrate, and... repeat ad nauseam. Quite literally, since I'm feeling really quite queasy, though not sure if it's the stress or general stomach-ickiness or what.

I know I used to be able to settle down and get work done; I used to find it quite easy. This feeling that I've somehow got worse at everything is the main thing that made me interested in that Reciprocality project article which nearly everybody else has objected to quite violently. I can't wholeheartedly subscribe to any attempt to divide the world into two types of people ("those who believe the world can be divided into two types of people, and those who don't"), but some of the things he suggests ring true with me at a more emotional level:

It seemed to me more likely that everyone was born a mapper, but somehow most people got "flipped" into the weaker packer mindset through social pressure. It seemed that packers were distressed by any reference - even implicit - to the mapper worldview. Yet this was a denied, neurotic kind of distress rather than an explicit disagreement about ideology.

This actually describes fairly well how I feel. I've gone from being able to think creatively to being trapped in routines; I've got to the point where the suggestion that I can think creatively just makes me feel distressed, makes me immediately say "No, I can't, I'm useless, I can't do anything".

I propose that humans have an ability to raise the level of the neuroinhibitor dopamine in their brains to reduce awareness if environmental novelty drops below a certain level.

I feel that this reduction in awareness is what's happened to me since I started working at ProQuest. I have no idea about neuroinhibitors and dopamine and so on; I'm not claiming that he's right. All I know is that the effect he's describing is exactly what I feel -- I feel like I've switched off, or at least turned down, a lot of my ability to think and work and learn. And what I'm left with is a combination of contempt for the pointless routine tasks that I am doing and can do, and (what feels like) a complete inability to do anything more. Which increases self-loathing in two different directions -- I hate myself for being unable to do anything, and for being conceited enough to despise the things I can do, conceited enough to think I could achieve anything better.

... None of this, of course, is getting my job applications written.
  • Current Music
    Eliza Carthy: Rice

Equal Opportunities

A lot of the jobs I'm going for at the moment include in their person specification something along the lines of "a commitment to and understanding of Equal Opportunities". Obviously this is A Good Thing (though I can't imagine a job where it wouldn't be A Good Thing, so I'm not sure why they need to state it).

The problem is, I have no idea what I can say to prove that I meet this criterion. I've never done any jobs which really demonstrate it, and invoking my social life seems tantamount to saying "some of my best friends are black Jewish lesbians, you know". I'm not even sure whether by "understanding of Equal Opportunities" they mean a general understanding of what it means, or an understanding of Equal Opportunities laws as they apply to employers and organisations, or ... or what.

The best I can think of for something to say is just making a statement along the lines of "I am firmly committed to Equal Opportunities in all situations, and believe that it is fundamentally unacceptable to discriminate against individuals on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other irrelevant criteria".

Does that sound sane? Is there any point in saying it? It feels like such a basic thing to have to say that I can't really believe it serves any purpose; also, it doesn't prove anything -- anybody could write that and not necessarily mean it. I feel like there's a magic word that I need to say to convince them, and I just don't know it.
  • Current Music
    Grateful Dead: "Mexicali Blues"