Sunday, 6 September 2009

Feministic Tendencies

I've a line that I would like to draw, blur it, then throw it away. That would be the one between being a strong-willed woman with fighting spirit, and being a bitch.

I witnessed an incident in an old job (that shall remain nameless) whereby a junior member of staff was pulled up on a few minor mistakes, and during this exchange, the female superior asked if there were any personal reasons that she should know about that might be affecting the junior's performance.

Speaking with the girl later, she remarked "How DARE she ask that, what a bitch!". At the time I agreed. But in hindsight, I believe that this was probably quite a diplomatic way of approaching a member of staff that had made numerous mistakes, no matter how small. There are several occasions where I have wished for such an approach from authority. But then, would I also take the standpoint my former colleague had?

In essence, this really is just another rant about how hard women have to fight in the world to be taken seriously, but then this fight must be reigned in at the right moments, lest we be labelled bitches. I for one can't stand having to be pigeon-holed - but it happens. And I work hard to try and make sure that I achieve a balance of polite, shrewd and ambitious, but friendly, approachable and intelligent, but not arrogant. It's hard. But there's something I have learned in the past year or so... I can't keep working THAT hard.

Who am I kidding. I'll slap a whimsical but hardened smile on, pull on some smart (but not arrogantly priced) shoes.

Ain't life fucking grand when you have tits.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Riding High

Finally got myself a horse to ride out the recession - a job. It's only part time, and it's not my career choice, but it's something I have done before, and something I am passionate about. I now work a the flagship HMV store in London's Oxford Circus. It's always crazy busy, and there's a lot of people that work there. Not to mention the sheer size of the store. But I'll get there. I've got a far stronger mind than my body could ever be.

It did make me think about the recession, and just how bleak it is behind closed doors. My favourite shop on Oxford St was always Borders. I could genuinely lose a couple hours in there, perusing the shelves, reading chapters as a taster, having a coffee, learning things from random reference books. Now it's gone. Apparently it's been in trouble for some time, suffering the undercurrent of the supermarket chains, undercutting them on prices. Which I think is so desperately sad. Supermarkets meet their supply demands from external suppliers that I don't think are affiliated with publishing houses, now, I'm not sure how accurate that is, but if it is, then publishers are losing money. Or at least not making as much as they used to.

I don't know what I'd do if publishers started going out of business.

I know that the futureheads of the world might start moaning that I should get with the times... it's all about ebooks. Reading stuff online. Hm. I can't get on board with that I'm afraid. Of course, bringing reading to a new audience is never going to be a bad thing. But I just cannot deny myself the pure pleasure of finding a book I've been itching to read, buying it, getting home, and turning those all-important first few pages. That feeling of having the labour of the author there, in front of you - in physical form.

I just hope that like some industries, the publishing industry can come out the other side of this dull time with something to smile about. Sure, it looks really shitty at the moment. But I am confident that I am not alone in wanting it to survive more than most industries.