Ruined for Work

Number of copies…. click click… beep beep.

Single sided to double sided… beep beep.

Push Copy button… commence loud life sucking noises.

Have you ever gone back to an old job you used to do and thought… did I ever work here?
That could happen for a number of reasons, not necessarily cause you didn’t like it, but maybe just because… mentally.. you’re past it.. you’re somewhere else.. you travelled forward in time or to another dimension, where somehow, you can barely picture yourself doing this job.

When I go back to Portugal I always go pickup BadHareDay at the Walford P Street school, where we used to both teach. I walk in there and I see a long list of unfamiliar faces. If I get a look its normally a “who are you, what do you want, are you lost?” kind of look. Eventually he comes down the stairs and it is as if, for a brief moment, the year is 2002 again; we go out for lunch. Later I see students I used to teach, I smile, they don’t notice me; I don’t work there anymore.

Lately I’ve been doing some office work for the american exchange program. Normally I’d stay away from the place where I was pretty much pushed out, but the people of that office have always been kind to me, and guiding the new fresh-off-the-plane american students is a wonderfully horrifying experience that I like to think keeps me grounded and lets me know what the kids these days, over there, are into.

But as I stand at that copy machine… click click.. beep beep.. oops.. staple remover.. load paper.. one thought goes through my head and I know everyone can see it, “I don’t work here anymore, and that is a great thing.”

Instead my mind is on my program, and my future guests like Josh flying in from Uganda in a few hours, or the Brazilian topics I’m working on, or the Bangladesh show next week. Then there’s my trip to the balkans this week, I cannot wait. And to top it all off, I see something extra exciting on the horizon… it looks like, yes I think it is… I see @ XOLO!