Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. Spare a thought for those still stuck at work over the holidays.
Now, of course, there are the standard professions that are required (ish) to work over Christmas – hospitals, emergency services, retail – and without them, the country would almost certainly fall apart. But what about those of us who are spending Christmas Eve, New Year’s, and the days in between, in an office. I mean, realistically, what work is happening in an office setting on Christmas Eve?
The phenomenon of “ragebaiting” has become increasingly
widespread throughout mainstream media. A cousin of clickbait, ragebaiting is
the trend of publishing misleading headlines and articles, in order to provoke
controversy and increase traffic and engagement. It is purely profit-driven,
and often plays up to the 5-second culture that social media has perpetuated –
that is, the culture of taking in snippets of information as quickly as
possible, regardless of how accurate this is.
You know those moments that just align perfectly? They feel almost cosmically written, like fate or destiny? I had one of those moments today…
A survey which “investigated the greatest source of frustration for consumers” found that for 42% it is being “compelled to navigate a compulsory sign-up process”
I honestly hope The Times can see the irony of writing an article about the discovery that consumers don’t particularly like to sell their data, only to hide it behind a pay-wall, asking consumers for their data…
“Mind the closing doors” is a phrase that commuters are sick to death of hearing. Its also a phrase that most people adhere to, save a few that we immediately roll our eyes and tut at. But that’s because they barge on for themselves, getting their arms or bags caught, just to save an extra few minutes waiting for the next tin can stuffed to the brim. But today, reader, I was that person. Or, rather, someone else was that person for me.
As I approached the platform, through the network of tunnels, I saw the tube waiting, with its doors open. I broke into a half-run, expecting to catch it, but alas, I heard the warning beeps of the closing doors, just as I reached the dreaded yellow line. But then, oh but then. A foot stuck itself out from where the doors slide out, and a kind stranger stopped the door, giving me time to board and promoting the message “please stand clear of the doors”.
Now, I wasn’t too bothered if I missed the train; the bakerloo line runs every couple of minutes so it made no real difference to me. But it was an act of kindness, from a man who owed me nothing, expected nothing in return, and that I would never see again. It’s prompted me to look again at my commute, at every aspect of my life, and think about how I could use small, random acts of kindness, just to keep the cycle of goodwill alive. Giving up my seat without hesitation (come on, you know we all think twice before offering it up); buying a round of coffee in the morning to help the day along for my teammates; smiling at strangers; all small acts that could really go a long way to improving someone’s day.
So, thank you, kind stranger, for keeping that door open for me. Please do mind the closing doors though. The delays can be a real inconvenience…
The sky is grey, the rain is threatening, but life is good. Why? Because today I saw a dog on the tube.
Dogs on the tube are the most precious of all dogs. They are well behaved, they are (usually) quite quiet, and all they want is to be friends with everyone. There, on a hot, stuffy tin can jostling through the tube network, was the sweetest creature who just wanted to be petted and loved, and who are we to deny them that?
Of course, not everyone is a dog-person but I’m sure everyone can appreciate how a sweet and fluffy creature can have a calming effect on the road-rage of public transport. The tube network is hot, it’s cramped, it’s loud and uncomfortable, but whenever someone brings a dog on board, I can’t help but smile.
So, an entirely selfish plea to all you dog-owners out there: please bring your dogs on the tube. Take them for walks throughout London’s parks and bring them home on our tube network. Bring a smile to someone’s dull commute.
Why do people care so much about what other people like? Why do we police people’s opinions so much?
Let me clarify – I do not mean that your rascist/homophobic/intolerant opinions are just guilty pleasures that you shouldn’t be ashamed of, because you should be. Feel ashamed. Shame.
What I really mean is who cares if you like Justin Bieber or trashy romcoms or, God forbid, Nickelback? More importantly, why? I can’t imagine anything less dull than telling people that thing they enjoy is terrible and they should be ashamed of it, but so many people seem to think their opinions matter more than everyone else’s.
As I type this, I’m on my way to see Pitch Perfect 3 – the epitome of a guilty pleasure. Singing, dancing, romance, it’s basically a Bollywood film written in English. And I love it. It speaks to me as a woman, as a singer, as a recent graduate. But so many of my colleagues and friends turn their noses up at it. Why? Maybe because it’s a “chick-flick”? Maybe because they all wish they had those angelic voices? Maybe because it’s just something fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously?
We all seem to make the mistake of taking ourselves too seriously and wanting to portray a certain image to the outside world, but really all that matters is how things make you feel. And if Pitch Perfect makes me feel happy on the inside and let’s me relive my university days, well I’m all ears. Because who’s going to remember how cool you were when you’re 80? No one. But you’ll be the one left with regrets of the things you tossed aside because they were too “cheesy”, “sad” or “dorky”.
Embrace your inner nerd. Embrace your loves. Embrace your self.