Adult learner

The Guardian - Weekend - - Front Tim & Coco - Coco Khan

Les­son 42: be­ing or­gan­ised

I lose things. I’m a chronic mis­placer; the part of my mind that logs cru­cial in­for­ma­tion, such as where I put my keys, is ab­sent. If they make my last words my epi­taph, it will sim­ply read: “Has any­one seen my phone?”

To or­gan­ised peo­ple, the keep­ers of things, I’m an aber­ra­tion. I think the keep­ers look at peo­ple like me, the losers, and think we must be liv­ing in a 24-hour mu­sic video and sim­ply can­not be both­ered, amid our cock­tails and cas­cade of well-oiled butts, to or­gan­ise things. They think it’s a mat­ter of dis­re­spect, that we as­sume some­one else will pick up the pieces.

Far from it. I’ve de­vel­oped strate­gies to cope. I buy mul­ti­ples (I have four phone-charg­ers: home, of­fice, hand­bag, spare). I don’t own any­thing ex­pen­sive. But the sys­tem is not fool­proof and things go awry. My pun­ish­ment? Death by job­sworth.

At my gym, if you lose your pass you have to per­son­ally ask the man­ager for a re­place­ment. The third time, he gave me stick, tut­ting and sigh­ing. The fourth time, I of­fered to pay. “Silly girl,” he said. The fifth, I can­celled my mem­ber­ship. I thought it a bet­ter op­tion than go­ing postal in the gym, ap­ply­ing pro­tein pow­der to my face like warpaint and lob­bing Swiss balls at him.

Job­sworths are my kryp­tonite, a pow­er­ful neme­sis. They make me de­feat my­self. They push, push, push – a snark here, a pa­tro­n­is­ing com­ment there – un­til the rage­ful de­mon that lives within me takes con­trol. Black eels shoot out of my eyes, thun­der from my fin­ger­tips. At that point, I’ve lost.

And real adults know there is no sense in ar­gu­ing. Short of a brain trans­plant mak­ing me bet­ter or­gan­ised, I must learn to take my pun­ish­ment; to eat hum­ble pie. Ah, the bit­ter taste of peace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.