work

Best Prenz Forever

In Prenzlauer Berg, graffiti artists simply tag buildings with helpful signs and directions. When I used to work in Oxford, I sat all day in a cardboard cubicle lined with school-blue artificial felt, pounding at an old Dell keyboard that appeared to contain several primordial stages of life developing between the keys. At lunchtime I would shove my tupperware into my bag and march outside as quickly as I could possibly move, simply to get out and away from that stuffy little enclosure.  Sadly, there wasn’t much to escape to outside the office. A grey, long and dull walk alongside...

Amsterdam: come for the sex and drugs, stay for the hamburger vending machines

“Ooh seeds, how nice, I’ve been meaning to get some more nasturtiums OH.”  I am a ‘do stuff’ assistant rather than a ‘look pretty and take notes, doll’ assistant, and as the ‘do stuff’ assistant for a tourism company, this is going to involve a lot of business trips. The phrase ‘business trips’ alone conjures up elegant, luxurious images of people in fine tailored suits, sipping champagne in a quiet plane cabin, soaking in a broad sea of extra legroom. Unfortunately, as the economy is dying and midday champagne is the first step towards alcoholism, ‘business trips’ more often involve...

Nobody move…don’t…even…breathe…this could collapse…at….any…time…

And just to add the cherry to the cake, on my way home I find a glorious example of German product naming. Just be sure to wear these when trimming your bush. Wow, you guys. Like boy HOWDY. These last few days have honestly been an emotional rollercoaster (hand gesture). I’ll be honest: my time in Edinburgh, as the first three days of my new job, couldn’t have been more doom-laden. I put on a happy face in my airport blog post, but frankly I was deeply morose, and it wasn’t just because my Kindle has finally bitten into the...

Not dead yet (well, perhaps brain dead…)

Beautiful when it’s on a flower. Hell when it’s soaking into your trousers. I am the sole editor working on a digital publication which is due to go live in June next year. The amount of work that needs to be done between now and then is the work originally destined to be done by two people, one with far more experience than myself. One of the jobs is to sort and edit a list of vocabulary, adding in individual feedback options for specific correct and incorrect answers, totalling roughly 3,000 words. I work in an office, and I have...

‘Nother day, ‘nother dollar…

Thank god they put up this sign; Cornmarket used to be crawling with people walking five or more dogs. So, I’m now doing an official 9 to 5. Well, an 8.30 to 4.30, but that’s less catchy. I’ve told you about the 6 till 8.30 and 4.30 till 6 part, but what about the big long gap in the middle? What do you do, anonymous blogger? Make the tea? Do the photocopying? Sit at a desk idly making mobius strips out of bits of printer paper for seven hours?In a way, sometimes, I wish. I thought that was what I...

Click ‘OK’ to restart your commuter

There is a sign on the vending machine on the left which says: “THE CHOCOLATE HAS MELTED. YOU ARE ADVISED NOT TO BUY.” Working in Berlin, I became a dynamite commuter. I worked in at least two different schools or Kinderg√§rten per day, and they were perfectly geographically arranged to be at least an hour if not two away from each other. I learnt – after many long, hard days of getting it wrong – how to get the right trains and buses at the right time and in the right directions, which stretches were actually quicker on foot, which...

What to expect when you’re not expecting anything whatsoever

“Hmm…the cards seem to be suggesting an internship with KPMG…” Look, I know what you’re thinking. “Has she really just graduated, or has she been a crazy old craft-obsessed hermit this whole time and the student thing was just an elaborate front?” I know you’re expecting blog entries about the graduate job scene, about applications and interviews and the looming sense of dread, but what would be the point? Between newspapers wailing about the dearth of graduate employment, job sites publishing lists of the top ten positions new graduates aren’t qualified for or skills new graduates are expected to have...

Chapter 4: The Dark Ages

Thank you The Guardian, for once again representing students in a fair and accepting light. Apologies for the brief hiatus, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for your patience. Where have I been, you may well ask. But the question that might be more pertinent is: where have I not been? The answer: university. It’s over, people. I am no longer a student. The discounts stop here, no more trips to the library or arbitrary essays or poncy formal dinners from now on. From now on, we are adults, now doomed with nothing to looked forward to but the ever...

Congratulations! Your life now no longer has meaning!

Hey dude, sup. Just chilling. Word. So, I did it. I sat a full degree’s worth of final exams and they are now completely behind me, never again to be touched until the examiners get their mitts on them. I revised for about 11 weeks, got through three books of lined paper, developed a variety of stress-related illnesses and wrote a blog entry about cheese graters. It was like wading through a swimming pool of congealing cold porridge, desperately trying to reach the sympathetic-looking lifeguard beckoning from the other side of the pool; and when you finally do get to...

I wonder if revision is detrimental to the kidneys…

Cup of tea no. 134. Of this day. Writing a blog entry after an exam? Wow, now that’s a professional. That’s a real writer. That’s a blogger we want to employ for our television and soup making business, they’ll say. Or maybe not. Either which way, if you deciphered the slightly cryptic previous post, the reason for my absence was the down to my exams FINALLY starting. Thanks to the preposterous system this university insists on keeping going from the early middle ages, my (and most other people’s) final year exams make up the entirety of their degree grade for...