Home life Working life

My day (in even more excruciating detail than last time)

5:something. I’m awake. Why am I awake? It’s way too early to be awake. Go back to sleep.

7:15. Alarm goes off. I wake again with a start. Damn morning. Shuddup alarm clock. Hit snooze. 9 minutes more.

7:24. Alarm goes off again. Argh. Do I really have to go to work? Eventually. Snooze again.

7:31. Awake now. Better get up. Reach over and turn on mobile phone. Its light shines out in the darkened room. It feels nice and warm here in bed. I bet it’s cold and dark outside. I don’t really want to get up, but I have to. Turn off alarm clock, get up, slippers and dressing gown on.

7:33. Outside getting the newspaper off the driveway. Nobody bothered to bring the recycling bin in, so I grab that too. It’s not as cold or dark as I thought, though car headlights are still on. The neighbours have some very strange sounding music blaring from their radio. I mean, I’m sure it has its place, but at this time of the morning?

7:37. Get some breakfast. Use a less-than-optimal bowl because my favourite blue cereal bowls are both in the sink, unwashed. Along with a lot of other dishes I’ve neglected over the last couple of days. Will do them tonight.

7:39. Read overnight e-mails as I munch on Weeties and sultanas and milk.

7:50. Remember I should logon and check the system at work. It’s been a bit sick the last few weeks. Time and time again we’d deploy a change hoping it would magically solve everything. And time and time again it didn’t. But this week the hardware guys finally figured out it was an issue with the network configuration. Argh. Still, nice to have everything fixed and stable. Which it still is. Touch wood.

7:57. Wander into the bathroom for a shave. At this rate I’ll never get the 8:21 express. Ah well, doesn’t matter, what’s the rush? Find the CDs I need to give to Phil today; put them and the newspaper into my bag.

8:05. SMS on my phone from Ian, this week in Greece. Lucky travelling Euro-bastard. Find towel, have shower, get dressed.

8:19. Brush teeth. I wonder what the dentist will think of my efforts when I visit in a couple of weeks. Really should floss more.

8:22. Fiddling with tie. Damn cheap polyester ties. I really need to complete my tie infrastructure upgrade program and replace them all with woven silk. Much nicer, and not too expensive these days. Then I need to learn to do a Windsor knot. There was something about it in the paper last week. And I saw a guy on the train doing one. It looked complicated as hell, but the tie looked much better when completed.

8:26. Still fiddling with tie. Give up on running for the 8:35 train. The 8:51 will do. What’s the rush? Do I want to switch to another tie? No, this will be okay. Lunch today with the gang, and it’ll probably be Asian food, and me and chopsticks and a nice silk tie is a recipe for disaster. Stick with the cheapie. After I’ve learnt the Windsor knot, maybe I should get lessons in chopstick management?

8:30. Third re-tying. It looks okay now.

8:38. Walk to the station. Quite windy, but not too cold. I think my hair is blowing around a bit. Could be time for a haircut this weekend. I usually consider it time for a haircut when my hair starts to get wavy at the back. Which it is.

8:46. Get to the station. Fumble for ticket and put it into the validator. Get the paper out to read. Someone else has pressed the "green button" so I listen to it. I’m not sure I trust it anymore – twice earlier in the week it claimed trains were running late, but then they turned up on time.

8:51. Train arrives, easily find a seat, as is usual in the post-peak-hour quiet patch. Especially on the 8:51 – it’s only come from five stops away before I get on it. Keep reading paper.

8:53. A man sitting two seats away is coughing his guts up while trying to read the Herald Sun. He swallows a Soother, which does no good whatsoever. This continues all the way into the city. Glad the train’s not so crowded that he’s in anyone’s face. They must really need him at the office today – if I were in that state I’d go home and spend the day in bed. Hang the deadlines. I exchange glances with another bloke sitting nearby. Yeah, we’re both thinking the same thing.

9:05. We’ve reached South Yarra. He’s still coughing, and takes another Soother. I wonder if I should see if I’ve got a Strepsil I should give him, but I don’t. Yes, it would have made this diary entry more interesting, but I don’t do everything I do just to make my diary more interesting. SARS must be on the decline, both in its spread and in public perception. It’s only hours later that it even crosses my mind.

9:07. Richmond Station. I peer over my newspaper, looking south. Way up on high the clock on the silo doesn’t say eleven degrees.

9:10. Get off train. The old train door is stiff, and I have to give it a good shove to get it open. I suspect the train company neglects these old trains deliberately, so nobody questions why they should be scrapped as the new ones replace them. Shame, the city could do with more trains. They might not be air-conditioned, but that doesn’t matter most of the time.

Turns out a few trams still wear red noses for Red Nose Day. (Picture courtesy of Mal Rowe)

9:12. Outside the fare gates are people selling Red Nose Day SIDS merchandise. Oh, is it Red Nose Day? Why don’t they sell all the nose gear anymore? They’ve diversified into badges and cuddly toys, but I what I really want is a new car red nose. Last year I couldn’t even find a car nose, and the trams don’t wear them anymore. (I heard later that some still do).

9:17. In the foyer are two security guards. Usually there’s only one, checking people’s passes as we go in. One is the slightly scary guy who recently shaved off all his hair – I’m convinced it’s to make him look more intimidating – and one is a semi-undercover security guy in a suit. They’re talking about something security-related. Probably some article in the latest Security Guard Monthly magazine or something.

9:18. Get into the office. Sit down and get to work. There’s test processes to check, e-mails to send.

9:21. Mr Speakerphone is in his office. I hear his phone dial, ring, then he shouts into it about picking up complimentary AFL tickets from somewhere. What comforts me is that it’s been confirmed that he’ll be going in the re-org. Next week I believe. One things for sure, when he and his minions have gone and been replaced by someone else, I will make it clear from the start if they try and use speakerphones with the door open that it’s frowned upon. By me, if nobody else.

9:40. Time for a cup of tea, I think.

11:18. Get the banana out of my bag to eat it. While I’m peeling it, it slips onto the floor. Dammit. It’s a bit bruised anyway, and I don’t trust the cleanliness of the carpet around here, so I bin it. Eat a yoghurt and muesli bar instead.

12:19. Walk down to Swanston Street to meet up with the gang for lunch at the Melbourne Noodle House. It’s raining, and my brolly is safely up at my desk. Ah well.

12:45. Chomping my way through lemon and chilli chicken with rice. Or something like that. Number 21 on the menu, anyway. The waiters here use PDAs. My Vietnamese colleague has refused to let me have chopsticks. Apparently it’s bad Asian restaurant etiquette for this meal. I don’t want to commit an Asian restaurant faux pas, so I don’t object too loudly.

13:28. Walk back to work in the drizzle. Lovely.

15:23. The afternoon is going surprisingly quickly, for a Friday. Maybe it’s time for another cup of tea.

16:09. In an unprecedented security boost at work, we all just got new security ID cards. They’re obviously much more secure as they use the corporate font and they’ve got a superimposed image of a giant fingerprint on them. I don’t think it’s my fingerprint though. One colleague had to leave early for the day and didn’t get hers. I wonder if she’ll find herself bailed up by security on Monday when she tries to come in to work.

16:15. I have a blood nose, for no apparent reason. I’ve had them occasionally for the last year or two. Must talk to the doctor again about it. As usual I could feel it starting, so I didn’t stain my crisp white shirt that I’m wearing, though come to think of it, it would hardly be noticed on the dark red tie.

16:29. Rang a real estate agent about a couple of rental properties they have listed. One is a house, and I cautiously asked what kind of condition it’s in. "Original" I was told. Ah. "And if you like wallpaper, you’d be ecstatic". Ah. I don’t know about wallpaper. She said she envisaged it being full of uni students. Hmmm. The other is a unit, fully renovated. Even has a dishwasher, which might spoil me. "It’s very nice". Hmm. I think I’ll take a look at them both tomorrow. Given that I’d be planning on renting for only about a year, I might be able to put up with wallpaper, and it would probably have a bigger garden for the kids to play in, which would be good. Yep, I’ll look at both.

16:54. Noted a trophy on a colleague’s desk. Hmm, I didn’t know Tony was a sporting bloke. Look closer at trophy. It’s for footy tipping.

16:57. The buildings nearby have that orange glow they often have at this time of day in winter. And to the west is a spectacular sunset. Might be time to go home soon. There’s too much to do at home to go out tonight.

17:20. Home time. Lonsdale Street is gridlocked, primarily due to a couple of people ignoring the clearway signs and parking. It’s a tow-away zone, but no sign of any tow trucks. Maybe they’re stuck in traffic.

17:33. Got a seat on the train, and I start to read MX. I always say thank you to the bloke who hands them out at the station. He looks remarkably cheerful for what must be a mind-numbingly boring job.

17:44. By Armadale I’m bored with MX, and get out the paper to read instead. Quietly internally guffaw at Jonathon Green’s expos? of McDonalds.

17:57. Home. Last Friday waiting for me in the mailbox were no less than four letters from the bank. A bit over the top. Today there’s a letter from Vodafone for someone who doesn’t live here, some junk mail and a revised guide to renting from the Consumer Affairs people. How timely.

18:03. Flick around the TV news bulletins. Channel 9 are drumming up a furore over Critical Mass’s Burnley Tunnel ride tonight. The Police Minister and the Opposition Leader are outraged. Yawn. Channel 9 had a live cross to the tunnel entrance, where a breathless reporter told us… nothing was happening. Presumably because it wasn’t due to start for another 27 minutes.

18:35. Shun A Current Affair and watch Monday’s Micallef on tape while I eat dinner (my classic lazy day spag bol re-heat). More guffawing ensues.

20:15. Update this whole diary entry, and wonder (a) if this is completely over the top, and (b) if I should turn off the computer and continue on my tidy up/clear out. I suspect the answer to both is: Yes.

21:20. Did the dishes. Okay, I see the appeal of a dishwasher, even though it seems like most of the work involved is in rinsing things off, arranging them just so in the dishwasher, and getting them out again. Spent time alternately tidying up, exchanging e-mails with my sister, searching the real estate sites for other prospective houses, and chatting online to friends.

23:30. Finally manage to get some serious junk-clearing out going, but get diverted onto sorting through my old uni notes. Ah well, there’s a fair bit here I can throw out. There comes a point when you realise that if you haven’t looked at your uni notes in the last ten years, the chances of it being useful at any time in the future are fairly low. However I did find one of my old jokes scribbled on a folder, which seems appropriate at the moment:

I hear houses on the moon are very cheap, but the whole neighbourhood lacks atmosphere.

00:05. Found a folder full of old letters. Letters from my relatives that bring back memories. Letters from my friends that make me chuckle. Letters from girls I used to have crushes on, that make my heart flutter just ever so slightly.

00:36. Far too sleepy. Bedtime.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.