One of the biggest motivations to write is to chase away the boredom I get when I stare out at an empty shop.
When I write something, anything, it helps remove the fatigue from my feet and clears my mind of an ennui fog that clouds everything I feel and do.
Time moves a bit quicker. Not much faster, but the minutes do tick a bit quicker. My mind is engaged again and I can feel some type of purpose grabbing the seconds my life seem to waste away.
I can be more open with my feelings and actually feel like I am doing something useful, instead of watching drips and drabs enter my tiny store, do slow laps of my store and then aimlessly amble out the door again.
In a lot of ways, being a retail worker during a pandemic is a lot like being a security guard …. you’re just wasting time, watching people, protecting inanimate objects and occasionally being called into action.
But instead of being able to patrol a wide space and get my legs moving, I’m just doing laps in a tiny 10 by 30 metre space that offers nothing I have not seen for the past year.
Staring out the shop front window, is a strange transitory experience. I see so many people walking past, with no attention paid to me and enjoying their freedom beyond my own paid borders.
I say, paid borders, because that is exactly what it is …. I am earning money to stay within the boundaries of this shop.
Nothing quite rustles and disturb my restless spirit when I am bored within the four walls of my own making.
I just want to walk out and breathe something other than stale shopping centre air.
I think one of the strangest things about shopping centres is how static everything is here.
People come and go so quickly, faces blur into each other. The air is always a comfortable temperature, as is the water and the staff. The conversations you have with customers are brief, fleeting and polite, with nothing of substance being said. I am always unerringly polite, distant and faux-friendly.
Hi, how are you?
Good. How about you?
Good. That’ll be 11.99. Do you need a bag?
No worries. Just tap on the screen for me, and here is a free hand sanitizer.
Thank you! Catch you next time.
(The same 40 seconds conversation happens over and over … and over. Every customer is the same, every interaction the )
It is the sameness that drives my bored feelings to the forefront and really takes over everything I do.
I find myself slouching. Unable to focus on anything. Yawning more frequently. My feet drag along the floor instead of stepping confidently. My coordination is yanked all over the place.
I hate it.
Which is why I need to write. I write to chase away these bad physiological reactions to a poor mental state.
Well, I suppose, it’s either writing or reading.
I really should delve more into why I’ve always said that I’m a bookworm first before anything else.
That post will come soon. Expect it to be brief and poignant because I’m not one to wax lyrical about the things I love.
But these poor reactions to boredom, I like to blame on breaking good mental techniques and habits.
I normally eat my lunch around 2pm. Not because I’m a big into intermittent fasting or whatever stupid buzz words people use to justify their dieting and low-key starvation, but simply because it’s a convenient time to eat.
I’ve always skipped breakfast. It’s too heavy a meal in the morning for me to enjoy and I prefer my primary school days of having a “recess” with a basic muesli bar to having an enormous bacon, egg, tomatoes and toast meal.
So it’s a habit I’ve grown up with since I was 12 years old.
2pm lunches are convenient because the food court normally clears out by then and I don’t have to wait in line to order a meal. It is also a wonderful mental reset because by the time I come back from my lunch break, I only got around 2 to 3 hours left on the clock before I can get the hell out of my paid prison.
That is the key to making the day bearable and perhaps a true glimpse into the nature of me, as a person.
Do the hard stuff first, whilst you got the energy, before tackling the easy tasks.
This axiom has been a defining characteristic of my life for as long as I can remember. If I need to move 100 chairs, I’ll do the one furthest away from the destination first and thus make my life easier later, when I’m tired, to move the ones at the front the least distance away.
It’s the same in retail, I want to know that the worst of the work day is behind me, that I’ve finished the delivery, the fixing up and the majority of the customers.
Lunch breaks are crucial to me, in the sense that I need to make sure that my mental state after the break is OK. I don’t want to come back to work, feeling like there is still a mountain of stuff to do.
Especially when dealing with post-lunch tiredness and laziness.
So, recently, I have noticed that I’ve been having lunch earlier and not using my break to go outside and get some sun.
It’s been affecting my mood and I’ve realised now that how important it was to me, that I get at least half hour of sun especially when I’ve been sucking 7.5 hours with stale air.
I need to feel some kind of breeze, taste some uncertainty and experience something natural.
COVID has made shopping centres an empty hollow, it’s important that I don’t end up doing the same to my spirit.
Your environment, whether you realise it or not, shapes a lot of your mood.
When you are surrounded by boredom, fatigue, and apathy, it’s hard to not succumb to those feelings.
It’s why I have to write during my work shifts. Writing is my creative outlet, the light that keeps me interesting, the spark that lets me feel dance, hear music and enjoy life.
Thank God for a stable internet connection and a PC here.
Where would I be without the written word?
Probably 90% less interesting.
Wouldn’t that be some kind of special hell, you don’t know you’re in?
Being boring is the brimstone that keeps hell hot.