I Get Knocked Down. But I Get Up Again.

This is my last week of work. Because I work part time, these are my last three days of work. Today is done, and now there will be two more.

This morning I was not especially excited to go to work. I mean, even less than usual. You see, last week it was very slow in the office. There was barely enough work for one person and guess what, there were two of us.

Maybe it makes sense they lay me off, I thought for several long, dreary hours last week. The only thing worse than having too much to do and not enough skills/confidence/time to do it is having nothing to do and an airless tomb of an office enclosing you with a silent, cranky co-worker at your back, while you try to look busy for SEVEN HOURS.

It tested me for two days last week and I was not looking forward to three more days of photocopying random pieces of paper in order to look like I had a task to complete.

But it was a nice morning; overcast and not too hot. I made good time to work. I had to stab at the radio a lot to find songs I didn’t hate, but that’s how it goes with the radio sometimes. Just as I pulled into the right lane that turns into a left turn that turns into the parking lot that is where I go to work, Tubthumping by Chumbawamba came on the radio.

Tubthumping is not a favourite song of mine. It was annoying, back in the day, and time has added a sheer gloss of nostalgia but under that sheer gloss is still some dry, cracked lips. If you follow. However, I was making a right then a left then a left so I couldn’t stab at the radio and all you can do if you can’t stab at the radio is sing along.

Right? Right.


(yeah you remember Tubthumping. And if not, it goes like that for about five more minutes)

It was an apt song to hear on the third to last day of work at a job where I was knocked down every single day and came back every single time. Like the MARY ELLEN CARTER. (“She went down last October in a pouring, driving rain”) Like one of those inflatable clowns. Like a dog that just fucking loves you even though you’re allergic. Like a child who doesn’t care that you’re angry. Like someone determined.

I have made it to the end of this story and I am so proud of myself.

I got out of my car with a smile on, and saw my boss/manager person, having a smoke outside the office. She was very glad to see me. It turns out my co-worker has been off all week with a family emergency and there was a two-day backlog of work that ONLY I could shuffle around until it more resembled an hour-long backlog of work.

So, not only was it my third to last day, ever, but I got to work alone, without the bad juju. I had lots to keep me busy so I wasn’t watching the clock tick all day. I get to leave a smiling impression of goodness and dedication. And any mistakes I make in the next three days? I will NEVER HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT. At 4:30 pm on Friday I will vanish into a vacuum of my own making and someday I will tell you all about it over a beer. A lager-drink, perhaps. Or a whisky-drink. Or a vodka-drink.*

*bad Chumbawamba joke. As if there is any other kind.

2 thoughts on “I Get Knocked Down. But I Get Up Again.

  1. Arwen

    Boo-yay? Yah-boo? Hurr-umph?
    I’m not sure whether congratulations or condolences are in order!

  2. L.

    OH, hooray. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

    Though I do think it’s possible co-worker is out because she doesn’t want to have to say good-bye.

    And also, I can tell you this because we are Music Friends: “Tubthumping” was a song I would use to push through particularly bad sections of writing. It would be the middle of the night, I would have to line up some logic that was not making sense, I would be hating myself and the world, and then…the absolute ridiculousness of Chumbawamba would pull me through. Because they took (still take?) their anarchist collective so seriously, not unlike a grad student collective, and because the song is stupid and awful and yet you get sucked into their thumpy vortex, and you kind of like it.

    And now you know about my long and storied relationship with Tubthumping, the end.

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