Patterny Hills 90210

September 3, 2008

Monday, 1st September, 1.30pm – Platform 15, Euston Station.


Good afternoon folks! (Or good evening or good morning, depending on when you read this)


I have an ever-so-small confession to make. About 15 minutes ago, sitting cross-legged in the middle of Euston Station with laptop actually on my lap – well, that is the point of the name, right? – I wrote an alternative beginning to this blog, which I shall quickly relay to you now.


For the entire day, I have been going through a pattern, and, at the time of writing, I was going through another. First up, and one I have been feeling since last night, is ‘I want to go home’, an innate desire to return to my comfort zone – in this case, my office – and not my staff conference up in sunny, happy, old Manchester. (No offence intended and certainly nothing to do with Cheshire, which is lovely, Jackie)


The second, and this was what I was blogging away about, was a sudden urge to appear special. In Euston station, I spotted a number of my work colleagues, and while I felt absolutely no desire to join them, I managed to make enough of a spectacle of myself to draw enough attention to myself that they spotted me. Job done, pattern-boy.


How did I do this? Well, I started by sitting crossed legged in the middle of the floor, listening to my iPod. Please bear in mind that I was in the middle of one of London’s busiest stations at the time. Then, as eye contact was made, and I actually realised I was going through a pattern, and wanted to stop acting like a prat, I pulled out my Laptop, and starting blogging, on my lap, right there and then.


That sneaky fucker. Just as I thought I was winning, actually I was just driving myself that little bit further down.


And so, my blog was this silly little diatribe about how I was going through some patterns, what I had realised I was doing, and that I had just recently finished a banana and fudge cookie, which was every bit as tasty as it sounds.


So I deleted all that, and now I am here, on the train, which, if it wasn’t for the smell of piss, crap refreshments – and I use that term VERY loosely, screaming children, and the couple sitting opposite me who haven’t even as much as looked at each other in the 30 minutes I have been sitting here, would be a rather lovely mode of transport.


Until next time, later, or whenever something pisses me off enough,

Closed Box.


Wednesday, 3rd September – 1.30pm, just after leaving Manchester Piccadilly Station


Please bear with me for the second half of this blog, friends. I am operating on little sleep, and even less coherence.


Bearing this in mind, I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t recap every little moment of what has happened over the last three days. Rather, I’d like to discuss three things, which have confused me, disappointed me, and disgusted me in equal measure. That last one – the disgust – is going to be good fun, so stick around, and I’ll put it at the end of the blog.


Confusion, Inc.

I think – THINK – I have worked something out. How exciting for me.


Generally, all my girlfriends or otherwise have been ‘damaged’ in some way. If you are reading this, and we’re a former item, I urge you to not take that personally – I’m mainly talking about the more long-termers, and there’s only a few of them.


I always thought that there might be a reason for that, and, Monday night – in a (slightly) drunken state, standing in the middle of a Manchester club, exchanging glances between the occasionally nice looking lady walking past me, and the sight of Sky Sports News on transfer deadline day – I think I got it.


I have an issue with women, and with power.


I grew up with a terrible fear of my step-father, who, at 8 years old, became a very loud voice in what was otherwise a particularly quiet house hold. As a child, my mother never really imparted any specific ‘discipline’ on me. I most certainly was never smacked or slapped, and certainly never shouted at. At least I don’t remember it being so.


The revelation came to me on Monday night, because it suddenly dawned on me that these women, who were totally unimpressed with my ‘London-isms’, and were a million miles away from the a-typical insecure lunatic you do tend to find in a London club. It was that I had no idea how to relate to these people, who I had viewed as a lot ‘stronger’ and a lot more secure than their female counterparts I had encountered previously.


I have, on many occasions, spoken of how, historically, I had a sub-conscious pattern of manipulating women for my own end. (Insert ‘end away’ joke here) Obviously, well at least to me, this is based on how I view women, and I have come to perhaps think that it might be because I view them as weak.


In the spirit of Hoffman, and before you read this, and think ‘you chauvinistic, misogynistic bastard,’ I want to remind you that (a) this is only a theory, (b) right now, I am being unwaveringly honest, and (c) this is not my fault.


Here’s the theory I am working on:


As a child, mother/woman is the provider, but with no positive male influence around, I try to look at her as a source of discipline and/or as a rule maker, and get very little in response. Enter father, who immediately puts his foot down, which further weakens the female (mother) in my eyes. Hence, the child’s minds eye views women as weak, and men as the ‘clearer uppers’.


Just a brief outline. But what do you think?




How ironic that after recently listening to a quite involved debate amongst my Hoffman peers about booze and social situations, that I should find myself in exactly that place.


I can’t remember if I wrote about this on Monday, and, right now, I can’t really be bothered to look, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of going away with a rather large group of people I didn’t really know, and wasn’t entirely sure I even liked.


So, the first night came up, and I began as I normally did – by not drinking, feeling quite comfortable, and just being myself.


But, as the night wore on, I certainly felt more of an urge to drink. It was rather confusing situation for me, because I am out with people all the time without drinking, and I couldn’t work out whether it was something within me, or if it was because I was feeling the pressure of being out with a group of people I barely knew, and didn’t want to do what I really wanted to do, which was stay in my hotel room and obsess over the transfer deadline day.


But I did drink. And to (relative) excess.


I suppose the difference was that I was self aware enough in my slightly hung-over/disappointed in myself state to realise why I had acted in that certain way, and that I didn’t beat myself up about it – which would have been a real danger post-process. In fact, that next night, (last night) faced with the same situation, I acted in a completely different way, and, if it took that one trip up – as some of you may remember happened recently with an ex-girlfriend – to become aware of a new or existing pattern, then so be it. I certainly am not worrying about it too much.


And finally… the anger

You may have read the above, and thought that perhaps I have brushed over some things – and you may very well be right. I want to talk about something that happened this morning which, I suspect, may have got me fired if I had not held myself back as much as I have done.


Some of you may know that though I work for one specific person, I am actually paid by a branch of government. This government agency gets dissolved into another next April, and as such, the staff of both are either being made redundant, being redeployed, or just working for this new, amalgamated, division.


I will just be leaving – being that I am on a fixed contract, which runs until 31st March 2009. No, I don’t know what I’ll be doing, and don’t start with me. One step at a time, please.


So, this morning, as part of the conference I have been attending, we were ushered into a meeting with Reed, an employment agency that have been paid an extortionate amount of money (and yes, I do know how much, but I could/would never say) to help facilitate the above process.


The meeting’s theme was all about, basically, how to succeed at interview, and how to create first impressions, and all the other business-speak bullshit that most people despise but have to, at some point, grasp a basic understanding of in order to get on in a corporate workplace.


First up was a speaker explaining his tools for ‘networking’. ‘Fine,’ thinks I.


All was going swimmingly, until he started talking about people being nervous, or insecure, or self conscious. Of course, I have just been on a self-help course of the highest order, and I am sat right on top of the highest of horses right now, so, when he made first mention of ‘well, you’ve just got to get over that’, the dynamite in my head went off with a giant bang.


I immediately raised my hand.


‘I have a question about what you’re saying. Wouldn’t it be better to actually suggest some ‘tools’ for people to use to overcome any insecurities they may have, rather than just telling them to get over it? What you’re talking about are fundamental emotional insecurities. It’s not just a case of ‘get over it’.’


I swear nearly the entire room looked at me at that point. The person giving the talk looked, frankly, beyond shocked.


He replied something about not just ‘telling people to get over it’, and carried on his speech, which was quite repugnant in its sentiment. He had now moved on to interview preparation and preparation.


So I asked another question, pissed off by now, and egged on by people who had leaned over to say ‘great question’.


‘Essentially, aren’t you teaching people to lie, and ultimately, disappoint? Lets say a fairly timid person follows what you’re saying to a ‘T’, and actually gets a job on the basis of them being a confident, outgoing person, and then very quickly gets found out? And another thing, you’re talking as though everyone in this room is going for a sales job, which is what you do. Most of the people in this room right now are in admin, or accounts, or I.T., and instructing them to act in a way totally inappropriate to the sort of character needed for that sort of role is ridiculous.’


I’m too tired to relay the rest, but if I’d have called him half the things I wanted to, I would have been shown the exit door quite quickly. But anyway, it was totally impersonal, and just ghastly.


And now, after ducking out of the conference early, missing lunch so I could get on the earlier train back to fine old London Euston, I am on the train back, rolling my way down merry old England until I get back home.


I know this entry has been a bit long and a bit short on the quality read I always try and deliver, but perhaps tomorrow or Friday, when I next write something for you, I can try and make it up.


Until tomorrow, I hope there are no fucking constantly screaming children in your immediate vicinity, as there are in mine.


Closed Box.


2 Responses to “Patterny Hills 90210”

  1. Dom Says:


    I particularly liked this one. I’m thinking parts of it over… I’ll get back to you


  2. posteret Says:

    I like your theory about how you relate to women. I firmly believe in the idea that your parents relationship helps govern how you will relate to the opposite sex. I come from a tradition of rather strong and feisty women (putting it politely!). In my family it tends to be very much the women calling the shots. I have married a very confident Alpha male who believes he should call the shots sometimes too, this makes for a fairly balanced household with occasional bursts of volatility. I have two children, a girl and a boy and I do wonder what effect their upbringing will have on them. I have far too much to say on this matter for your comments box though – I think you’ve helped me decide on my blog topic for the day….

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