Donald MacInnes: It takes patience to make a living, and a high pain threshold


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The Independent Online

Earning money is not always the easiest thing to do. From the bottom to the top of society. It can't be easy standing behind a till in Greggs all day, lobbing sausage rolls at insolent 15-year-olds called Jayden. Of course, at the comfier end of the spectrum, movie stars have to put up with paps papping them every time they sneeze and must tolerate sniggering chat show gonks like Graham Norton in order to convince us to watch their new film. So it's swings and roundabouts.

The point I'm making is that every workplace has its PITAs [that's Pain In The Arse]. There will always be something (someone) about where you earn your corn that makes you question whether or not it's worth the coin it pays. I'm fairly sure I have never worked in any office where there wasn't at least one person who made me more than happy to contemplate unemployment and the jail term which would be incurred by running amok with a flamethrower. And while I must have been an annoyance to several people over the years, they don't have access to national media with which to sully my name. And I do. So there you go.

Not that I intend to name names. Well, certainly not when describing any flies in the ointment that is my present place of work. In any case, life here on the HMS Independent is one joyous experience after another.

I recall things being different when I worked in a previous national newspaper. There was this woman who sat opposite me. "Loud" would not adequately describe this squawking PITA. Now, I say this with all due deference to a fellow Independent columnist, but this person made our own Janet Street-Porter sound like Penelope Keith sucking a Mint Imperial. She also had an egg and chips opinion on every subject under God's sky and got her grins by picking her nose AND EATING IT. [Pause for reader's gasp]. I know. Revolting, right? My dream death for her would be for her to be pushed screaming out of an airship which was floating above a pit filled with hormonally-irritated crocodiles.

Then there was the first London-based PITA I encountered when I moved down from the old country. This was a woman in possession of undoubtedly the most nasal speech patterns ever to sully human ears. She would spend hours talking about "last night's Corro" (I assume she was referring to the northern soap opera Coronation Street) and I would spend all day fantasising about ways to do her in with a spade and then utilise the self-same implement to hide her (probably STILL talking) corpse.

Then there was the maniacal desk-drummer. And the persistent orange-eater. And the coffee-slurper. And the leopard-print tooth sucker…

Blimey. Now that I write them down, it really is quite a list. If I get any more intolerant, I'll be forced to get a job on the Daily Mail…

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