Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bad day at black rock, and everywhere else.

I shouldn't have got up this morning. I should have just stayed in bed. It would have been better for everyone. Mostly me.

I went to the studio to complete a piece of work I'm doing for free - the politics of my industry etc. I get a lot of that. I needed to go to Brighton at some point to talk through the work with the client, and - as it happened, another client was at Hastings to see someone else and driving back there after lunch so I tagged along for a lift. I say 'client', I used to work with them a lot but they took on a design manager who hates me and wanted to bring in their own people - so I stepped away - partly for the sake of retaining some dignity - and partly because we have been friends for years and I wanted to keep that intact.

The meeting in Brighton was OK - still have more to do - but hopefully it will lead to something paid. As I was leaving ( remember I still have to get the train home and it's essentially the same price as a return, so I've not saved any money by getting a lift) I picked up a voice mail from a very aggressive woman at the Inland Revenue - something I've been dreading for a while. I have to deal with it in the morning and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm a bit fucked there.

After that - I checked my emails on my phone, and received something that made me so angry and despondent that I nearly burst into tears in the street. Basically - I've been shafted by a client I've worked with for years - I don't think they even realise how shabbily they have treated me - so, that's 2 clients gone in one day - about 30 - 40% of my income. I sat on the train all the way back brooding, with two uniformed police officers opposite me and a bearded lady to my left (I'm not making this up).

When I got back to the studio I was told that another of my main clients has just lost most of their contract work. I literally have no fucking idea what I'm going to do next.

I tried to be practical and decided to walk home, buy a couple of cans of beer to relax, and watch a film - just to wind down - rather than literally make myself ill with worry. In the shop, I bought dog food, milk and 4 cans of cheap beer. Behind me in the queue was a man with a small child, I think he was her grandfather.  She was very talkative, and pointed at my basket and said 'look - that man's a drunk'.

I'm now at home, I've already had a couple of really depressing conversations with other designers in the same situation as me - it seems to be the theme for this year already. I'm watching a film about a zombie outbreak in India - it's just far enough away from reality to keep me sane.

Everything is worthless.

Last week I watched a film called 'Frank' based on a book by Jon Ronson about the musician, Frank Sidebottom. I enjoyed it so much I decided to buy the book - it had been serialised on the radio but I didn't catch very episode. I tried Waterstones' and another independent - happy to pay full price (it's only a year old) but with no luck, I tried the charity shops and book exchange - again, no luck. In the end I looked online - I loathe Amazon - but it was an easy place to start. The book was available for everything from £10.00 to 1p. That's the price for a new copy in hard back. 1p. How can a book seriously be worth just 1p. After 10 mins agonising about the ethics, I bought it - having realised that essentially - it's all I could afford.

So - that's a really good book by a well know writer, less than a year old, that was made into a major film, hardback - with a nice cover, brand new, delivered to my house, for 1p. Where is the logic in that? How does anyone earn a living in this world?

I had to listen to David Cameron on the radio earlier - smarming his way through a very sycophantic interview. The next 'big idea' is to cap benefits for the very small number of people that have more than 5 children - a bit like social engineering - possibly to encourage them to smother their children. He thinks the parents should get a job - which is going to be difficult with 5 kids. The savings are probably enough to keep Whitehall in toilet paper for a month.

This Indian Zombie film is actually pretty good.

ps. after the the depressing email and about an hour and a half of deep thought - I sent back an angry reply that will 100% guarantee that they never work with me again.


Steerforth said...

One of my neighbours at work sells penny books on Amazon. The deal is that he buys waste books by the tonne for about 8p per book, sells them for £2.81 (Amazon's £2.80 p&p plus the 1p price of the book) and negotiates a good price with a courier company for bulk shipping, leaving him with up to £1 profit per book.

Sadly, in reality the postage and occupational costs have risen and quiet a few of the books have to be bined. This has reduced him to a point where he's working his balls off to produce a few pence profit, so I don't think he'd recommend it to anyone.

Grey Area said...

It's just the fact that it's virtually worthless that depresses me.

Steerforth said...

You can imagine how I feel seeing many of these books end up in skips. It's enough to put anyone off writing.

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