Bradford Middleton, 8/8/2016

Current Occupation:  Low-grade sales assistant for big supermarket company.
Former Occupation: Student, Music PR, writer, admin serf.
Contact Information: Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on England's south coast.  When he isn't writing stories and poems he can often be found on the check-out at a local supermarket.  For more from him follow @beatnikbraduk on Twitter.

Read his pieces from 2014 and 2015.

 

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WORK (GROUNDHOG DAY FOREVER)

 

I’m just grinding out the hours

The hours until it is all over

But right now it feels like it will last forever

Work

 

George, from behind his podium

Keeps raising the age and now there is talk

That maybe I’ll have to work to seventy

Work

 

Every day is like Groundhog Day

As I say, every single bloody day,

To the same colleague at the same time as I arrive at

Work

 

A 3 hour shift is the normal for me

This means I must go in five days a week

Five days of the same old issues

Work

 

I’ve got to move on but where can I go?

What if the next place is worse than this one?

It ain’t beyond the realms of possibility

Work

 

I could get a job sweeping the streets

Getting cold, wet and permanently sick

And tired from a relentless schedule

Work

 

I did 3 years at journalism school

But the Argus will not employ me

When all I want to do is write

Work

 

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TRAPPED AT WORK

 

It’s been the longest seven years of my life working down the same shop

I’ve experienced working for two different companies and with hundreds of different colleagues all in this space to which I always seem to return

But yet here I remain unable to change, trapped in this bastion of the under-achiever

With some who will inevitably get out leaving me I wonder where?

Still here, along with all the other lifers, realising slowly the inevitable conclusion

Or on the outside, not knowing, but maybe finally living!

 

I got trapped where Mick Jones got lost seeking a guaranteed personality and all I wanted was some kind of existence

But I got confused about how I’d landed here down this supermarket aisle and now I’m unsure of if there’s any way out

And with the eternal thought in the back of my mind that somehow it will be even worse than this

Worried about how this will affect my already fragile grip on what is real

As my concept of reality shifts everyday and always further away

Taking me with it to be lost in this existence in a supermarket

 

#

ANOTHER JOB SEARCH BEGINS

 

I can’t find a job to pay my way and i can’t stand living skint all the damn time

Got to get something better but what if it ain’t in this town?  There ain’t many round these ways

Unless of course you fancy shop or bar work as, alas for me, the real money in this town

Lies in the simple bricks and mortar, whether owning, building or refurbishing

And the life of a part-time sales clerk and struggling writer isn’t replete with wealth

So I can’t afford any of that business, so…

Could i go back to a simple office job after so many years away or would that be a fate worse than death

Awash in a sea of new technologies and procedures that will doubtless boggle my poor mind

But can a full-time job in a shop actually mean it could be better

A nicer flat in a building that ain’t on the verge of collapse, a sense of space and a place where I can feel at home

 

How about i get a job in something i trained in, journalist, that’d be just fine

But in this town all the local rags are freebies and no one gets paid and the one who really should

Are now charging students to write stories for them

Well how about something in music; that would have been fine 20 years ago

When music meant something beyond selling gig tickets and hits on you-tube

All in a bid to just show how street and cool you wish you were

How about i teach, i’m not qualified but i do have a masters

American literature graduate, 2006 my CV reads, invariably terrifying possible employers

Into thinking i’d be wanting to run the place inside a year

But i just want a job that means I can earn enough to live a bit better

 

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