Kraken lovers, it would be easy to think, from my Facebook page, that I’m a deeply social creature. Even a sociable creature. I mean, there I am being all chatty and funny and inclusive and encouraging… Thing is, all of this is hiding a secret. You see, after working alone in my shed for 12 years (first as a freelance journalist, then as Kraken Kreations) I have become about as sociable as a starving shark in a dirty abattoir. What I mean is that after more than a decade of not having to work with another living soul, if you were to now actually put me in a room with actual colleagues for eight actual hours a day carnage would ensue. Actual carnage. Here’s why:
I have holes in the gussets of my work trousers. ALL of my work trousers, all of which are so old that they have rings around the legs, much like the Bowthorpe Oak. I’d be about as palatable to an office environment as a shitting elephant.
I make loud bodily noises with such gay abandon that I sometimes wonder if I’m sharing my shed with a post-midnight, wet gremlin. And no, this wouldn’t be a welcome addition to conference calls.
I sing. Loudly. In fact given the right disco track I’ll turn up the radio until my sewing machine is inaudible and the tin roof of the sewing shed is bouncing straight its corrugated ridges.
I’m intolerant, not just over social/ political/ moral idiocy but of everything from… well, let’s just say everything, shall we? Including bad hair, stapler placement, cheap coffee, vocal intonations and beige. I’m as much of a team player as the Unabomber.
I dance and usually with scissors in my hand. Yet again, given the right disco track, I’ll imagine I’m Grace Jones in Studio 54a (the shed next door to Studio 54) and give it large within dangerous vicinity of a pin cushion. The health and safety officer would have a flying needle-based fit.
I have periods. Heavy periods. Two-blood-transfusions-in-two-years style periods. If I were to be anywhere else other than my shed (or close proximity to a permanently lit bonfire for burning my clothes) my crimson tide would wash away entire levels of management.
I am so incapable of taking orders that I make Pol Pot look like Peppa Pig. If anyone were to walk up to my cutting table with a terse demand for a cushion cover I’d have such a meltdown that I’d blow a hole in the crust of the Earth.
I swear. OK, so swearing isn’t exactly it. What I actually do is loudly vomit such horrific expletives that I could turn Malcolm Tucker pale with fear. And that’s just when I drop a stitch. You can imagine what happens when I screw up an entire seam. It’s a HR nightmare.
I wear bad bras. The type of bras that, when I put them on, I imagine telling the A&E nurses dealing with my broken body that the one I’m wearing is only grey and holed because I’ve been hit by a speeding sewing machine. Oh, and that my tits are only resting on my belly because they’ve been shocked out of position.
I talk to myself. Don’t go thinking this is because I work alone. It’s because I’m the only one who understands me.
I’ve lost my marbles. I might have largely recovered from my breakdown but my ability to stumble into a cupboard and bang my head against a shelf to clear my mind hasn’t even remotely left me.
I have flights of fancy, the kind where I leave sewing under the needle of my machine because I’ve suddenly become so gripped by an idea that I have to do it NOW. If I were forced to work in an office again you’d find me abandoning mahoosive deadlines just because I suddenly wanted to photocopy my arse.
I don’t have a crowd friendly sense of humour. In fact, I’d think nothing of interrupting a high-level meeting to crack a joke about bad shags. Think Amy Schumer at the G8 summit.
I am a swirling black hole of impatience.
I utterly and completely know that my ideas are the best ideas. Evah. You can brainstorm with me in a meeting room all you like but when I go back to my cutting table I’m doing things mah way.
I’m ruled by my emotions. If I feel like shit you’re gonna know about it, however much you bounce into the room full of happy salutations. Equally, if I’m in a great mood I’m gonna sit there cackling loudly to myself even after the boss has announced that her husband has died in a catastrophic chemical explosion.
See what I mean? So if I ever say to you, “Of course you can come visit me in my sewing shed! You can even come work with me if you like!” get into your car and drive in the opposite direction until you’ve run out of petrol. Then flee, on foot. Unless, that is, you enjoy greying bras and my Donna Summer impressions. In which case, welcome to my shed! That radio loud enough for you?