Website - 5 January 2006
The closest thing my workplace gets to politics is when old women ask for “fruit not made by Frenchies” or when the mere presence of an asian person generates a sort of visceral racism amongst the till women. Most of the time, people are engaged in one-dimensional conversations about their own lives; what they do today, tomorrow, last week – no one talks about Sharon’s plan for Gaza or Iraq … politics is completely off the verbal menu. I still remember the time when an assistant manager dismissed my letter about how we could help the victims of the tsunami as “unworkable” – and I haven’t forgiven her since. It’s quite surreal to jump from the politically vibrant common room (we once managed to rid our venders of the Coca Cola-made water ‘Dasani’ – purely by flyposting socialist rhetoric on the noticeboard) – to the depoliticised closets of workplaces, where people are more likely to be talking about Pepsi v Cola than Blair v Cameron. I’m getting the cultural bends, but it’s interesting.