I want to break free from these targets…


I hope you read the title for this in the tune of “I want to break free.” If you didn’t, you should go back right now and start again and this time, hum it to yourself as you read! The reason I say this is that it was to this tune that my minor stroke of creative genius hit today. By stroke of creative genius, I mean I made a work related verse to the song for one of my colleagues. We complain we never hit targets because they are too high… I think the 40 minutes or so each day we spend laughing probably don’t help the matter.

I have been on placement now for just over a month and things just get more and more amusing. The job itself is repetitive and slightly soul destroying at points but the three other people in the team I am in are just some of the most amusing people I have met. I was saying earlier that without nice people to work with, I don’t know how I would drag myself out of bed on a Monday morning. My one motivator on particularly dreary days is knowing that sooner or later, without exception, JM will say something that causes the rest of us to spend the next 20 minutes trying to unsuccessfully stifle our laughter in an otherwise near silent office. I don’t think people around us like us very much. I don’t think JM intends to be quite as funny as he is. He just says things in such a matter of fact way, having not said anything for a good few hours that everything seems that much funnier. He always knows just what to say too. He finishes work an hour before the rest of us and on one particularly memorable day, he stood up and simply said ‘the end has come’ and left. I think he just teleports out of the office because he is always gone within 10 seconds of the clock hitting four.

I know a lot of people who have missed9am  lectures but normally you will find uni students are particularly adept at finding some excuse that, at least in their mind, justifies their absence. “The lecturer was awful.” “It was cold.” “My pet tortoise ate my shoe and they were the only shoes that went with my outfit.” That sort of thing. We were talking about lectures, and in particular 9am lectures, at work the other day and after a bit of a pause, JM just came out with: “Oh, I just didn’t go. I just crossed off 9am lectures on my timetable.” And that was it. Nothing else. If he did say anything else, we probably missed it because we spent the next 5 minutes trying to control ourselves. Today he came out with something similar.

JM: Someone at college paid me £15 to do his coursework.
Me: Did you do it?
JM: Yeah..
*Pause*
Funny thing was, I did his coursework but didn’t do any of my own.

We have someone in our team who joined a few weeks after me and he is consistent in not reaching targets (although, to be fair to him, none of us are hitting them but it has become a somewhat ridiculous week since he has hit the target for a day in the week). This did lead to another amazingly funny moment though, with our favourite JM behind the joke once again.

*Long moment of just the sound of pressing keys with ON having stated the number of files he had done so far in the day. Must have been about 2 hours before the end of the day*
JM: I have worked out, if he carries on at his current pace and stayed after work, working through the night, he would reach his target by 12:30… Tomorrow lunchtime. Of course, then he would be in trouble because he would have started on the next day’s target. It’s like being in an 18th century sewing factory.

Anyway, since I am sure most of this is much more amusing to me given I know the situations behind the jokes, I shall move on to the last thing: the meaning behind the title. I stupidly neglected to forward the string of emails onto myself to copy and paste and instead of logging back into the computers at work, I just grabbed the rough version of my verse of song for JM from my bin. Trampy? Maybe. Worth it? Probably not.

Right, think of the tune to ‘I want to break free’. Got it? If not, look it up on YouTube. Back? Right. It is not perfect but I am pretty happy with my song-writing skills in the space of 5 minutes. I should definitely pursue it instead of law… Maybe not. To give a little context to this moment, for some reason, ON was singing a parody of ‘I believe I can fly’ yesterday and today, JM wrote him his own two verse version about work. In response, I felt JM needed his own song, and here is how far I got:

I want to break free,
I want to break free,
I want to break free from these
reports and targets that
I cannot reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeach
They keep going up.

At four…
I’m just gonna break out that door.

Our targets went up this week despite JM not a week ago saying, “I have never hit a target.” Oh well. Maybe they will raise them again next week and start us up on our song-writing again. Only time will tell. And on that note, I shall wrap this up. It feels good to write again. I have been too in my head recently to write about things but I have so much to write that I don’t doubt I will think of another post soon. Whether it will ever come into existence is another matter entirely though.

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