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Friday, May 7, 2010

Thirty Days of Music- Part XVI

I've only ever had one job before*. When I had just turned sixteen years old my mommy, in a vain attempt to teach me the value of money, stipulated I would have to seek employment if I wanted any semblance of a social life. Living in Conlig, a small village affectionately referred to by some as the arsehole of Bangor and Newtownards, is potentially highly detrimental to culturing friendships, particularly if the majority of those friends live in Belfast aka the "Big Smoke"**, aka civilisation. So with immense fear and trepidation I filled in an application form and secured an interview with Marks and Spencer.

It's important to note that when I was sixteen, I was a husk of the well-rounded individual I am today***; if I was out shopping I'd have to give money to whoever I was with at the time so they could purchase my items for me so I didn't have to interact with the shop assistant. If my house phone rang, and nobody else was there to answer it I would let it ring out rather than having to talk to somebody I potentially didn't know. And, of course, ordering food in restaurants was simply not an option.

Remembering that job interview makes my internal organs clench with mortifcation. I was so terrified I had to try to force words out in between my fits of hyperventilation. My first day on the job I was shaking so much when I gave my first customer their change I dropped it all over the counter.

Fuck knows how I got that job, but having to talk to a stream of veritable unknowns for eight hours a day every day caused my confidence to burgeon. Yet apart from the fact it enabled me to become a fully-functioning member of society and I got to make up games involving trying to scan items through the till as quickly as possible, I hated working there so much. I hated the employees, supercilious old women who acted as if they were my superior even though we were earning the same wage and took delight in telling me how dry my bleached hair looked in between asking if I was a goth. I hated how hardly anybody frequented my department and hours seemed like aeons. I hated how little pay I got and how they expected me to work forty-eight hour weeks the whole summer. I hated the fact that they fired my sister because she took three days off work with swine flu. And I hated the music they piped into the shop.

Shop music is infinitely worse than elevator music, I know this to be a fact. Generally speaking, you only have to stay in an elevator for approximately one-two minutes, so whatever watery, repetitive song that's being streamed into what soon becomes the irritatingly confined space is easily and quickly escapable. Marks and Spencer played the same CD every day for four months. I know this, because I was there for nearly every day of those four months. It was a curious blend of Christian Rock, Sarah Bareilles, the Boomtown Rats and a song that I used to absolutely adore that has, as a direct consequence of management's inability to burn another fucking CD, been completely ruined for me.

Day sixteen is a song you used to love but now hate.

It really upsets me that I hate this song. Prefab Sprout are clearly one of Newcastle's greatest musical exports, second only to Cheryl Cole.

Boasting synths that try to emulate the sounds of a bull frog, a compellingly nonsensical chorus and a musical video featuring a frog waiter and humans dressed as hot dogs, all they wanted to do was change the world with music

* though if anybody asks, my curriculum vitae tells a different story.

** if you're from Derry

*** he he

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