Monthly Archives: September 2013

Unpaid Intern Or Middle Class Slave?

NB – written June 2012, reposted September 2013 when blog relaunched.

 

I’ve noticed there is this feeling that fills my being whenever there’s any talk of jobs at the moment. It’s a mixture of frustration, dread, despair and fear.  A heady combination! My understanding is this is how a lot of people feel right now. That actually isn’t comforting. “Don’t worry,” one person said earnestly. “Lots of people are unemployed for 6-8 months at a time.” Oh I’m sorry WAS THAT MEANT TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER?!  That is not reassuring. That fills me with panic. I’ve applied for more than 80 jobs in the last 3 weeks.  I have heard back positively for interviews from 3. None of those have come into fruition. The nodding  “mmm, yeah it is so hard at the moment” response from those slightly smug but sympathetic folk in jobs at the moment is also not helpful. Stop doing that. In fact, stop asking about it entirely. Thank you for your interest in my dire situation, but unless you’re going to GUARANTEE me a job, you don’t have any platitudes that will help me.

The majority of jobs in the creative world at the moment, however junior the position, seem to want three years’ experience.  Three years.  That is sometimes to earn a salary of £15 000 per annum for a London based job.  Three years’ experience.  To earn an unrealistic sum of money on which to survive in London.  But how does one get the experience to warrant such a pathetic annual income? How do I make myself worthy of pittance? Oh yes. Unpaid internships.

A slave labour culture has been created in which it has become acceptable for people to work for nothing.  I want to be able to work.  I want to have a job.  I want to get up in the morning with a purpose, go out to earn my living, even if my living is just the minimum wage.   I am not above starting at the bottom of an industry and working my way up. But I want to know that I will be working my way up.  I want to know that I will not have to start at the bottom four more times, spending a year or more working for nothing.

I have completed two unpaid internships.  One gave me a month’s wonderful experience as a junior production assistant in a professional theatre.  The second, with a film production company, taught me very little.  They kept me dangling with false promises of work at the end of it until eventually I saw through their delaying tactics and left.  They used me as a free secretary for five months, taking advantage of my trust and my desperation for work in a creative environment. I started a third unpaid internship, but left after day 2 because I was so miserable there I actually cried.  I do not cry easily.

One job description for a fashion writer intern stated that applicants should have a “great fashion PR contacts book”.  What intern has a great contacts book?   Why would a person with a “great fashion PR contacts book” still be applying for a job as an intern?  It is scandalous for a company to require that level of knowledge and networking experience from someone they’re not even willing to pay. How did we get to the point in the working world, where it is acceptable for employers to demand something for nothing? And often it’s not just something – they want a lot for nothing. Some companies cover your travel expenses. That’s meant to be seen as generous. Are you kidding me? Why should I spend my money to come and work for you for free? Travel expenses should be the minimum requirement!

Why has it become so acceptable for people to work without pay?  Why is there no legislation protecting people like me from being forced to start their working lives effectively in slave labour?  How has this become legitimate practice?

Maybe slave labour sounds dramatic and yes, I’ll admit it’s all taking place in very civilised conditions but actually that doesn’t change what it is – work without pay.

We have developed a selfish society in which it is every man or woman for themselves.  Jobs are thin on the ground for “the lost generation” – my generation, whose education did not include a high level of technology but who seek jobs that nevertheless demand it.  We have talents but they are wasting away in the face of corporate intransigence.

I am 25, I am a talented, capable writer. I have a variety of skills and I am a fast learner and a hard worker. I have two degrees – a 2:1 BA and a Masters – but in this job market I am worthless.  There are thousands of other highly-educated but technologically under-qualified graduates exactly like me, who are desperate to earn even an embarrassingly small sum of money.

It is not the easier road to take this selfish attitude towards employment.  Even if you do two unpaid internships, as I have, it is highly likely that afterwards you will continue scouring the internet only to end up right back where you started. Something has to change.

It is demoralising and humiliating for young people who could be tomorrow’s leaders to be treated in this degrading way. It is shameful that cynical employers exploit people like me.  I ask for – no, I demand a change in the country’s attitude.

My peers should not take the selfish attitude: “I had to do it – so should he/she.”  Think about this in the long term.  What projected effect is this having on the economy?  What is this teaching my generation about ethical employment? And what lessons will we pass on to those younger than us when we are in charge?  We should be shouting: “Let’s stand together to make change happen.”

 

The following measures should be introduced as soon as possible:

  • All internships should have travel expenses paid and a daily allowance for lunch of £7 – £10 as a given.
  • A cap of no more than three months for all expenses-only internships.  This is a reasonable time period for an intern to settle into a company and for an employer to decide if the intern is a good fit.
  • Guidelines for what internships should be – not just secretarial work but a minimum of two days per week shadowing or assisting a full time employee to ensure real experience in that industry is gained.
  • Mandatory meetings between interns and employers to monitor progress and to ensure the employer knows the intern – interns should not just become a replaceable face in the office.
  • The real possibility of a paying job at the end of the internship (subject to both intern and employer agreeing that the candidate is suitable).

 

These are reasonable expectations.  Employment rights for interns continue to be a grey area because according to the government website (www.gov.uk/employment-rights-for-interns) “the term ‘intern’ has no legal status”.  And that’s just the place to start – if the government gives us a legal status, it might force employers to stop patronising us and start treating us like human beings.

 

 

14 Ways To Be Poor But Classy.

I’m quite poor at the moment – ok, not so poor that I don’t have access to a computer and therefore can’t type this blog, but in Western/London/middle class/all the people I know and am friends with terms, I am not a rich human.

In a recent conversation with a friend I said (AS A JOKE)

“I’ve found a new way to save money.”

“Go on…” he replied.

*a long-ish pause*

“It is technically called stealing…”

The thing is, when you don’t have money immediately available, you start to panic. There is a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that could be hunger or could be fear, or perhaps an unhealthy mixture of the two – “I’m hungry but oh God, do I have enough money to buy any food?”  Chances are, the answer is “no, dufus, not really, that’s why you’re hungry and afraid.”  The fear comes from already knowing the answer.  And it’s not good.

Here’s the other thing – I like good shoes, food, clothes and accessories. I like good quality make-up. I like (to an extent anyway) going to a gym, exercising and feeling smug about it.  On a less snobby, privileged level I simply like going out with my friends.  The problem is, all of these things cost money.  Whether it’s topping up my oyster card so I can, y’know, go anywhere (I topped up £10 today and the man in the newsagents told me that should get me around for one day. One day?  Ten whole pounds will only cover your travel for a day!? The transport isn’t even that good here! Where is all that money going?!) or going out straight after work but not having brought dinner so having to buy some…it’s costly and stressful.  So I’ve put together 14 handy tips on how to be poor but not look it.

As my good friend Rachel says: Fake it ’til you make it babe.

1 – Make use of free gym passes.  You probably have a friend who goes to the gym.  They get a couple of free day passes. Some gyms do 3-day free trials.  Use them. If you can’t get one of those, go along with a friend, stand at the reception desk and be a bit annoying but friendly.  Basically just hang out there until they let you in.  Be a pain, but not a security threat.  It really helps to go with a friend who is actually a member.

2 – Charity shops.  It sounds obvious, but seriously you can get some actual gems in these places. Choose your areas well and you’ll be wearing designer things you couldn’t afford if you had a solid income. Plus then you’re giving to charity so you get to shop guilt-free.

3 – Be really nice to people on make-up stands – they control the free samples.  Benefit are great for that sort of thing.  Also MAC do free makeovers on the understanding that you’re going to buy the products after.  I have it on good authority that “I’m just going to get my mum/friend as she has my purse” is a line that works a treat. Handy hint: that’s your cue to run away.

4 – This one might be questionable on the classy front but I’ve been lucky a few times here – those self service machines that we all hate?  Yeah, sometimes they mess up and you get free food. That’s what big corporations get for replacing humans with machines. Saving grace of this one? You’re (kind of) sticking it to the man!

5- Walk to as many places as possible.  This one is handy because it saves you money on transport (previously established to be extortionate) and is especially good for when you need to exercise but you’ve run out of free gym passes!  It also often doesn’t take you nearly as long as you think it will – you can walk suprisingly far in an hour.

6 – Visit your mum. She probably has make-up she doesn’t want. And jewellery. Vintage pieces.  Same rules for the grandma (if you’re lucky enough to still have one around) apply. Also they love you and want you to have the nice things you, at this rate, will never be able to afford.

7 – Buy magazines. They often have sample products. and are cheaper than actual products. £2.99 for a rubbish magazine and a free mascara/nail polish/lip gloss/moisturiser worth £10-£15? Don’t mind if I do!

8 – Ebay ebay ebay ebay – sell the things you don’t want.  WARNING: you may also end up spending money. Ebay is dangerous for that sort of thing.

9 –  Run a clothes swap and invite richer friends (so…anyone).

10 – London is full of free events. Go to them.  If the weather is decent you can even walk to them.  There are a lot of art galleries and museums that have free entry.  Culture is classy.  Go absorb it.

11 – Need a hair cut? Been 6 – 9 months or longer?  Go to a model night at a hairdresser. It’ll take a bit more time but it’ll be much cheaper to have your hair done.  Worth it.

12 – This one is a slightly sore subject for me as I once missed out on this by literally 2 minutes.  At midday, Pret a Manger give away any leftover porridge because they stop selling it at 12.  Either that or they throw it away. Go at midday. Pick up the porridge. Or ask for something you know they don’t have and then ask if they’re still selling the porridge.  Either way, get free porridge.  This is good because it’ll keep you going for hours. Those pots are really big.

13 – I have it on good authority that the Yo Sushi Selfridges food counter reduces things to 50p before it closes.  This is also true of sushi in certain branches of Waitrose and M&S.  Do not be afraid of the posh food places – they do good reductions when the food is no longer good enough for the usual wealthy clientèle.

14 – Go on dates – this was suggested to me by a friend and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  It feels a little cheap to do it but equally, if you’re single, why shouldn’t you get a free drink/meal in exchange for your company. Oh wait. Did I just make you sound like an escort? Hmmm. Maybe the freebies of dating should be the happy bonus of being single and having the right motivation to go out with other humans. Either way, there’s a debate to be had about the ethics of this one – I’ll go into it another time.

2010 – 2011

These are my facebook status updates from when I first started documenting the insane things my mother comes out with.  This has spread to encompass other members of my family as well – they will also be documented under the ” My Mother Says” category – think of them as pleasant, entertaining surprises!!

 

 

09/10/2010

 

Has a mother who literally spoke these words “if you go travelling you’ll get AIDS.” Mummy Symons strikes again.

 

 

19/10/2010

 

Has a mother who said “when you’re funny, you’re really funny”. The unspoken implied second half of that sentence being “but when you’re not, you’re shit”. Brilliant. My mother strikes again.

 

 

 

20/10/2010

 

went to kiss her mother’s cheek. Her mother turned away. Abi waited to see if she’d turn back. She didn’t. When it was pointed out to her mother that she just missed out on a small gesture of affection from her oldest daughter, the response was “But I was looking at the clock. I wanted to see the time.” with an accompanying expression of “surely you see how that’s more important?”

 

“I love you”

“That’s nice”
Thanks mum.

 

 

29/10/2010

 

Loves her grandparents so very much. The conversation while my grandpa tried to park:
“Cecil? Cecil. You’re not doing this very well.
(pause)
You’re making hard work of this.
(pause)
Cecil? Can you hear me? CECIL?”

“Betty! Don’t talk to me when I’m manoeuvring!”

(Silence)

“I knew you could hear me.”

 

 

30/10/2010

 

latest exchange between grandparents:
Grandpa walks into the living room in a dressing gown.

“Cecil do make sure you’ve covered the family jewels”

“Betty, honestly. What do you think of me?”

“Well, I don’t want you to become known as ‘Flasher Burman'”

Brilliant.

 

 

31/10/2010

 

showed her mother someone on facebook:
“look Mum it’s your friend’s son”
“oh yes! Isn’t he the one who makes noises?”
“What?”
“Yes you know, he makes those funny beeping sounds”
“What?!”
“You do know – those funny bleeping noises. The beeping sounds!!”
(Pause…realisation)
“Do you mean beat-boxing Mum?”
“YES!! Beatboxing!!”
“No that’s not him.”

 

 

03/11/2010

 

my grandma is brilliant:
“Can I go on your facebook Abi?”
“Ummm..no.”
“Meanie. Can I be your friend on facebook?”
“Sure grandma. Do you have facebook?”
“No.”
“Then you can’t be my friend.”

 

 

*** blog topic – has a way of dealing with children.
Child: I don’t like you!
Me: That’s fine I don’t like you either.
(later)
Me: I’m going to bake a chocolate cake. If only I had someone to help me.
Child: I WANT TO HELP YOU!!
Me: But you don’t like me!?
Child: I DO I DO I DO LIKE YOU!
Me: Yes. I thought so. ****

 

 

08/11/2010

 

It runs in the family…
Me: Grandma, don’t be alarmed, but our flyering campaign is in our underwear.
Grandma: Oh I bet it’s very successful, given certain assets.
Me: Um. Yes. I’m just warning you in case you ever see photos, that’s all.
Grandma: There are photos? When can I see?! Oh can I take some?

 

 

10/11/2010

 

said (looking behind me): Mum keep up! You have to learn to move through the crowds!

She replied (yelling from 5 people behind me): Well I would but there are just so many people in my way!

In all seriousness.

 

 

13/11/2010

 

“Mum have you seen my purple dress? I’m giving it to Gabi.”
“Which dress?”
“You washed it, the purple one.”
“The blue one?”
“THE PURPLE ONE!!”
“I’ve never seen a purple dress.”
One day my mother will give me an aneurysm in everyday conversation.

 

 

15/11/2010

 

While choosing a photo for my twitter account I found a photo I liked…
Mum: Do you want that one?
Me: Yes. Why? Don’t you like it?
(Pause)
Mum: NO. PICK ANOTHER ONE!
Me: Ok.
(We go to my profile pictures)
Mum: (pointing) I like that one!
Me: That’s Davina McCall, Mum.

 

 

18/11/2010

 

A typical conversation in my house.

Mum: Gabi I want to tell you something.
Gabi: No, I want to tell you something in the car.
Mum: No but I want to tell you something.
Gabi: OK but I want to tell you something in the car!
Mum: I could tell you in the car.
Abi: I WANT TO TELL YOU BOTH SOMETHING!
Mum: Really? Are you coming in the car too?
Abi: No. I just felt left out.

 

 

 

 

** FOR separate blog – Conversation I had with a COMPLETE STRANGER at a party:
Him: I was just talking about you.
Me: Me?
Him: Yeah I think I have someone for you.
Me: Me??
Him: Yeah he’s a lovely guy.
Me: You can’t set me up with someone.
Him: Why not?
Me: You don’t even know my name.
Him: So?

Seriously. SERIOUSLY??  **

 

 

07/12/2010

 

phone call today:
Mum: I went to a party on Saturday night and asked Gabi how I looked. She made a face, I realised I looked frumpy, so I went into your room and took your Ted Baker dress.
Me: YOU DID WHAT?!!??
Mum: It looked really good on me, everyone said so.
Me: MUM! You can’t just take things from my cupboard without asking!
Mum: Well I washed it! It’s clean now.
Me: I think you may have missed the point here.

 

 

08/12/2010

 

In late night conversation with my mother:

Mum: Can you go to the post office for me tomorrow?
Me: Yes. Do I have to go before 12?
Mum: No it’s open until 8 on a Wednesday. That’s what’s so good about Wednesdays.
Me: Really? That’s it? That’s the only thing that’s good about Wednesdays?
(pause)
Mum: Yes. That’s it.

 

 

 

15/12/2010

 

was in the room while my mother was trying to convince my sister she is well enough to go to school:

Mum: Ok, how about I drive you in tomorrow, and it’ll be Thursday?

Me: You are aware it’ll be Thursday tomorrow whether you drive her in or not?

Mum: I never drive her in on a Thursday. That makes it different.

Me: Oh of course. That changes everything.

 

 

16/12/2010

 

has another piece of incredibly special logic from her mother:

Mum: I need to go to the osteopath.
Me: Why, is your back bad?
Mum: No, I’ve run out of pens.
Me: Seriously?
Mum: I like the pens they give away!

 

 

18/12/2010

 

At Friday night family dinner:

Theo (12 yr old brother): I learnt a new word the other day.
(pause)
Necrophilia.
Me: What?! (nearly chokes)
Dad: (totally unphased) How did you learn that?
Me: Why would you ask that?! You don’t want to know that!
(pause)
Theo: Is it legal?
Dad and me: NO!!
(pause)
Theo: I also got chlamydia from “The Inbetweeners”
Me: I hope you didn’t get chlamydia from anyone!

 

 

19/12/2010

 

My mother on form again:

Mum: Ooh now your dad’s gone out I can take my top off.
Me: So what you’re saying is you’ve been married to Dad for 25 years, had 3 children with him, shared a bed with him, but he’s not allowed to see you in your bra?
Mum: Yes.
Me: Right.
Mum: And also, I told him he’s not allowed to walk around in his underwear so he can’t see me walking around in mine.
Me: You only changed a top Mum.

 

 

20/12/2010

 

While it’s snowing outside:

Dad: look Linda it’s snowing!
Mum: where?
Dad: inside. Where do you think??

 

 

21/12/2010

 

While looking through my bookshelf:

Mum: What are those books?
Abi: They’re some old fantasy books. About werewolves.
Gabi: Oooh can I read them?
Abi: No, they’re too old for you.
Mum: She won the English Achievement Award at school Abigail. Nothing is too old for her.
Abi: It’s got a lot of sex in it.
Mum: It’s too old for her. Definitely too old for her! She’s not reading those books!

 

 

26/12/2011

Madness doesn’t run in my family, it gallops…

My Aunt: I know how to work it, I know exactly what I’m doing! I’m not a moron!

Gabi: You’re holding the camera the wrong way around. It’s meant to be facing us.

 

 

29/12/2010

 

The following conversation took place in whispers:

Me: Mum wake up.
Mum: I’m listening.
Me: We’re in the theatre. You’re supposed to watch!
Mum: But the lights are off and it’s dark in here.
Me: That’s because there’s a show on!
Mum: Oh I thought it was so I could sleep better.

 

She wasn’t being sarcastic.

 

 

04/01/2011

 

Just a normal day at home…
Mum: Abi can you give me my phone please?
Me: Where is it?
Mum: I don’t know.
Me: Is it in your pocket?
Mum: Don’t be stupid, I’d know if it was in my pocket.
Me: Fine I’ll call it.
(The phone rings. Mum pulls it out her pocket)
Mum: Why didn’t you tell me it was there?!

 

 

09/01/2011

 

Just your average day at home…
Mum: I have new boots. Look at them.
Me: They’re very nice Mum.
Mum: So you like them?
Me: For you, yes.
Mum: Now smell them.
Me: What?
Mum: SMELL THEM!
Me: OK fine I’ll smell them!
Mum: What do they smell of?
Me: New boots?
Mum: Leather Abi. They smell of leather.

(My home is a badly disguised mental asylum)

 

 

10/01/2011

 

Dinner time with my 15 year old sister…

Me: Gabi, why do you have a “pocket guide to STIs”?
(pause)
Gabi: I’m not pregnant.
Me: I don’t think a baby counts as an STI.
Gabi: Oh. I got it from school. It’s the closest we’ve come to learning how to use a condom.
Me: Wow if they’re not teaching you that, you’re going to need that guide! Good that they’re giving you a contingency plan.

 

 

12/01/2011

 

found something unexpected in the freezer…

Me: Mum. Why is there a homework diary in the freezer?
Mum: It’s Gabi’s.
Me: That doesn’t explain it.
Mum: It smelled funny.
Me: Still not getting it.
Mum: I told her to put it there to freeze out the smell.
Me: I’m not going to continue this line of questioning.

 

 

16/01/2011

Typical conversation with the mother…

Mum: Abigail I have to tell you something.
Me: Mum, I’m on the phone.
Mum: That doesn’t matter. I’m talking now.
Me: But…I’m on the phone!
Mum: I’m more important. Listen to me now. They can wait.
Me: But-
Mum: Stop talking.

 

 

19/01/2011

 

had this conversation upon arriving home and announcing I needed the toilet…

Gabi: Do not wee in Theo’s bedroom.
Abi: Why would I ever do that??
Gabi: I was talking to the dog. But it applies to you too. Abi, do not wee in theo’s bedroom!
Abi: But he’s in the bathroom…

 

 

24/01/2011

 

was just warned by my mother…

Mum: Gabrielle, don’t let the dogs upstairs please.
Me: I’m not Gabrielle, I’m Abigail!
Mum: I don’t care who you are, don’t let the dogs upstairs!

I then had to climb over the stair gate in tight, restrictive jeans. Yes, that is as hard as it sounds.

 

 

30/01/2011

‎11:20pm:

Mum: (answering the phone) Uh?
Me: Hi Mum.
Mum: I’ve made a new house rule. No one is allowed to talk to me after 11pm unless I talk to them first. I’ll let you off this time because you weren’t here so didn’t know.
Me: Er thanks? Can I speak to Dad?
Mum: I suppose. I’ll have to wave the phone at him or something. Hold on.
(She coughs loudly & presumably waves the phone at him until he takes it)
Dad: Hello?

 

 

31/01/2011

My mother asked the family, in all seriousness,

“But what I want to know is, where is the photographic evidence of Jesus Christ?”

When questioned on how she thought photographs could have been taken 1800 years before the invention of photography she came back with

“Well how else did all the painters know what he looked like? They can’t all have had the same impression of him. There must have been a photo.”

 

 

 

02/02/2011

I’m never letting my mother look at pictures of my friends again…

Mum: Is he Jewish?
Me: Yes.
Mum: He doesn’t look Jewish. He looks French.
Me: There are French Jews mum.
Mum: Well he doesn’t look like one of them. He just looks French.
Me: What defines someone as looking French? He’s not French!
Mum: Ask Gabi. She’ll agree with me. He’s quite clearly French.

Me:HE IS NOT FRENCH!

 

 

04/02/2011

 

I love it when my Mum mishears things…

Me: Theo can you stop beat-boxing please?
Mum: I can’t believe it! You mean those irritating noises he makes have a name?
(Theo begins to do it again)
Mum: Theo stop…hang on…Abi was it beat-boxing or beep-boxing?
Me: Beat-boxing Mum.
Mum: Well there’s an awful lot of beeping involved isn’t there? He beeps too much. Stop beeping Theo.

 

 

07/02/2011

My mother on stamps…

“I couldn’t find any first class stamps so I bought some second class stamps because that’s better than no stamps at all and anyway most people don’t deserve to have their post sent to them first class so really, it’s fitting.”

Does anyone want to enlighten me on what qualifies someone for first class post? Answers on a postcard (you may choose which class)

 

 

20/02/2011

 

has another gem from the matriarch…

Mum: I wish Theo would stop making those noises.
Me: The beat-boxing?
Mum: What-box?
Me: Beat-boxing!
Mum: I must remember it’s called that. Beat-boxing…like beetroot. Beat-box, beetroot.
Me: They’re not the same mum. That’s absurd.
Mum: Half the time it just sounds like he’s being sick anyway.

 

 

 

02/03/2011

Another loving conversation with my mother:

Mum: I bought juice today.
Me: Ooh did you buy the orange and mango juice I like?
Mum: No.
Me: Oh.
Mum: I don’t like it.
Me: I know.
Mum: I know you like it though.
Me: But you still didn’t buy it?
Mum: No, I didn’t see the point.

Thanks Mum.

 

 

11/03/2011

Late nights at home with my mother…

Mum: Have you got a nail file?
Me: Probably somewhere but not to hand.

(A few mins later)

Mum: Where’s the nail file you were getting for me then?
Me: I didn’t say I definitely had one.
Mum: You do. I know you do. Go and look for it.
Me: I’m not spending ages looking for a nail file now!
Mum: Well don’t talk to me then if you can’t give me what I want.

 

20/03/2011

My mother doling out complexes on Friday night…

Mum: Theo turn to the side.
Theo: What?
Mum: Just do it I want to look at your nose.
(Theo turns to the side)
Theo: Why?
Mum: Oh no. Your nose has grown! I knew it. It’s bigger. You used to have such a nice nose.
(Theo spent the rest of the evening covering his nose with one hand)

 

28/03/2011

 

My mother has bought a box of biscuits for my sister and a box of biscuits for my brother. Not wanting to be petty, but where the hell are my biscuits? Upon questioning, it transpires my
Mother didn’t think to buy me any. I am officially the least loved child*.

*when love is measured in biscuits

 

 

31/03/2011

My mother tries to explain accents to me…

 

Me: He’s not from France mum he’s from Manchester.

Mum: No, Abi you’re confused. The Manchester accent sounds just like French.

 

Err….what?

 

 

31/03/2011

Has sympathy for her sister Gabi…

Gabi: Ugh I’m going swimming tomorrow with two really skinny people.
Me: You are a really skinny person!
Mum: You’re going swimming with skinny people? How does that make you feel? FAT!??
21/04/2011

Lost in generation…

 

Mum: You’re room is so messy, it’s disgusting!  You’re such a slut!

Me: How can you say I’m a slut based on the state of my room?  The two things are irrelevant.

Mum: No, being a slut is being untidy.

Me: Maybe it was once but now it means being…y’know..sexually promiscuous. A slut is someone who is easy.

Mum: I hope you’re not like that with your room in this state!

Me: I think somehow, you’ve missed the point.

 

 

21/04/2011

A brilliant conversation with my sister…

Me: Ok so Pesach is tomorrow. That’s so soon.
Gabi: Oooh yeah but that’s lots of family bondage time!
Me: What? NO! I think you mean family bonding time.
Gabi: Why? What’s bondage??

How do you tell your 15 year old sister what bondage is?

 

28/04/2011

My mother walked in to my room and this happened:

Mum: I’m so excited about the new nursery. I think we could be full by the end of the first year.
Abi: That’s great mum!
Mum: Jobs for the boys Abi. Jobs for the boys.
Abi: What?! What boys?
Mum: I don’t know. Just jobs. Jobs for everyone.
Abi: You do know that currently you only employ women!?

 

29/04/2011

My mother’s attitude to money is cool…

Mum: I’ve lost a load of money! Help me find it.
Me: Have you checked your pockets?
Mum: Yes. I’ve looked everywhere, twice. It’s in 2 envelopes.
(we search)
Mum: Ooh! I’m just going to check the freezer.
Me: What?!
Mum: Found it! It was in the freezer.
Me: Why?
Mum: Does it matter? At least I thought to look there, it could have been there days!

 

14/05/2011

My mother proving I am the least loved child…

Mum: I’m going upstairs now.
Gabi: OK, love you.
Abi: Love you.
Mum: Love you too Gabi.
Abi: Ahem??
Mum: Who was that?
Gabi: Abi said she loves you too.
Mum: Did she?
Abi: YES!
Mum: Oh. That’s nice.

My mother later claimed she didn’t hear me. But she heard Gabi just fine and she was sitting next to me on the sofa and I’m louder than she is.

 

23/05/2011

My mother being her usual sympathetic self…

Me: I feel really dizzy.
Mum: Shhh. Stop talking to me, I’m trying to think where we’re going.
Me: Oooh the world is spinning.
Mum: The world is always spinning Abigail.
Me: I don’t mean on an axis, I mean in my head!!
Mum: Now I don’t know which way we’re going. It’s your fault. I told you not to talk to me.

At least she was taking me to the doctor.

 

25/05/2011

My mother giving me directions in the passenger seat of my car…

Mum: Turn right.
Me: Ok.
(after I’ve turned)
Mum: Actually it might not be right.
Me: It’s a little late to tell me that now.
Mum: Go back a road. I want to do it again to make sure.

If anyone is wondering where I get my “sense of direction” from…

 

11/07/2011

My mother attempting to be cool…

Mum: Oh hello Rebecca! I’d forgotten you were coming round. In fact I’d almost forgotten who you were but I just remembered as I saw you. That was lucky wasn’t it?

Me: Her name is Sarah, mum.

 

06/08/2011

My mother late at night…

Mum: If you put that on facebook I’m not going to speak to you again.
Me: Can I put that you said that on facebook?
Mum: I have nothing more to say to you. Now be quiet you’re annoying me.
Me: What?! But this is ridiculous!
Mum: I’ve won, you’ve lost & there is nothing more to say. In fact, I’m going to change the subject because I have won this conversation.
Me: You can’t win a conversation.
Mum: Well, I have. The end.

She literally said all this.

 

07/08/2011

 

My mother just threatened to delete me on facebook.

Mum: I’m not going to recognise you on facebook. I’m going to find out how to delete you. I’m going to write to them and they won’t let you contact me ever again!

The best bit about this is of course that I live with her…

 

09/08/2011

My mother…

Mum: Is that a plane or a star?
Me: It’s not a plane, I saw it earlier.
Mum: It’s very bright. Are you sure it’s not a plane?
Me: Yes. I’m sure. Could be a planet though.
Mum: Ah! Yes! It is a planet! I knew it was.
Me: No you didn’t.
Mum: Well I do now anyway – I can see the rings around it.
Me: How can you possibly see rings?? It’s light years away! At best you can see a glow!
Mum: I can see the rings around it. Just like in all those pictures.

This is not normal…

 

01/09/2011

An actual conversation:

Mum: I’m going to get rid of the wasps’ nest. I’m not paying a professional to do it!
Me: You know wasps can be dangerous?
Mum: I’m not paying £60 when I can do it for £4.99
Me: Is that it? I’ll pay! Please don’t do it.
Mum: Don’t worry Abi. I have a plan.
Me: Oh God. Oh no. What?
Mum: I’m going to wear a balaclava & an anorak & spray them with a rent-a-kit. Then I’m going to run away really fast.
Me: Seriously? This is your worst idea ever. You don’t even own a balaclava!

 

08/09/11

In the office late at night with the mother and sister…the mother is unimpressed.

Abi: *burps*
Mum: GABI! That was gross!
Gabi: It wasn’t me!
Mum: Well who was it then?
Abi: *raises hand, looking pleased with self*
Mum: Was it you?!
Abi: *nods*
Mum: Then you’re disgusting.
Abi: *Pauses. Thinks. Nods again*

 

11/09/2011

The mother apparently cannot pay me for my time…

Mum: Are you sure you want me to pay you?
Me: Erm. Yes please.
Mum: Ah. (reading) “We are currently updating our system and online banking is not available.”
Me: How convenient.
Mum: (reading) “We are sorry for any inconvenience.”
Me: Brilliant.

 

15/10/2011

This appeared to be a joint parental effort…

Mum: That’s what Elisabeth said when you spoke to her last night, isn’t it?
Dad: What?
Mum: That she didn’t want him staying over.
Dad: Who?
Mum: Elisabeth.
Dad: What did she say?
Mum: That she didn’t want him staying.
Dad: When?
Mum: When you spoke to her last night!
Dad: What?
Mum: OH FOR GOD’S SAKE YOU SPOKE TO HER!!

 

31/10/2011

Trying to explain a fairly simple concept to the mother…

Me: It’s a call and response thing to find someone in a crowd.
Mum: But we’re not in a crowd.
Me: I know, but if we were I’d call “Marco” and you’d answer “Polo”. Like a code.
Mum: But why would I answer to “Marco”?
Me: Because it’s a code.
Mum: But how would I know?
Me: Because we’ve discussed it.
Mum: But why wouldn’t you just call me “Mum”?
Me: Because lots of people in a crowd are called “Mum”!
Mum: Oh. Well then what will you call me?
Me: MARCO!
Gabi: Polo!
Me: I know *you* understand it!!
(pause. The mother thinks)
Mum: But my name isn’t Marco!
Me: I think you’re missing the point

Hello…again.

Oh hi there!

Due to my technical incompetence, in a brave and valiant attempt to revamp this bad boy, I’ve totally deleted my entire blog! Luckily for me I kept copies of everything. Anyway what this means is that I’ll be posting some stuff you’ve read before along with ALL-NEW JOY!  That’s right. All. New. Joy.

Anyway stay tuned – stuff will happen. Bear with me while I work out how to make a website good.