Odd Jobs


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Today’s needull talks about writer’s experience of working in London, mostly in menial jobs. Perspectives change over time. What seemed like a decent adventure in the past might seem like a waste of time later.

With the global options thus multiplying, the prospect of living in a tiny face-brick room on the fringe of a gray city, catching three modes of transport each day in order to work in admin, stopped sounding like the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it once had, and began sounding like the dullest life on earth. In some respects the whole year resembles a sublime exercise in irony: that my grand adventure should have been eating ready meals from Tesco and working nine to six, which is almost the quintessential version of an adventureless life that you would want to escape from. But within even the dullest life, and perhaps especially those, an abundance of lessons. “Anything can happen,” Houellebecq warns us in Whatever, “especially nothing.” And lo: the thing that happens most often is that you get some middling job and you do it, and you will yourself to fall in love here and there and nothing comes of it. It was in 2004 that I developed my love for bathos.

The complete article

Anna Hartford — The Threepenny Review

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