This summer I learned…

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What I was doing summer of 2014

I accept that I will not update regularly, but I will try. Writing from Japan, I will give a quick run down of what was an eventful and educational summer.

Educational being that I learned that some people are awful – whether they intend to be or not – and some people are funking amazing.

For the first time in maybe two years I got a job. It was one of the many “social/activity leader” roles that many English schools around the country and particularly Brighton recruit students for. It tends to be short term, intensive and fairly uncomplicated. Seeking young, inexperienced people with a fondness for kids and being enthusiastic. I like kids as much as I like people, I’ve got no special place in my heart for a bunch of random strangers but I was being paid what I thought was well for a month’s work. The “kids” were ranging from 10 to 17 years old, and all I had to do was take them to their activities after a morning brief, relying on a register and making sure they didn’t get knocked over by a car or didn’t go missing.

The whole programme was a rip off for their parents. Weekly bus passes were sold for 23 pounds when they could be getting the same deal for 14 pounds. I don’t even want to think about how much money their parents were spending on a week long stay.

Admittedly they did some fun things like Lazer Zone but there was also mandatory club nights which would only last an hour for those under 16. Worst of all was that the 10 year olds didn’t really want to be in a club – especially Shoosh.

When signing up for the job I believed I was going to be working 40 hours a week – bearable – but instead worked from 10am to 10:30/11:30pm, six days a week. They liked to say they would give certain people a day off but that would only mean that we would have to work on the Sunday.

Dividing the pay by the hours I lost to the job, I was getting something like a measly 4.40/hour. BULLSHIT. Not to mention that my life became overrun by this job. All I talked about was the job. I was a soulless, boring, depressed drone. I hated myself and on some days I hated the kids.

The company I worked for sold itself as some sort of big family but it was clear that a lack of communication and disregard for us at the lower end of the pay scale would prove it to be just another company all about the profit.

I was offered to work another week and sure it would mean a hundred pounds or more but it just wasn’t worth it. Luckily most of the people I worked with were interesting, caring and tolerant individuals who I enjoyed being around. Something that kept me there.

And then there was the dickface. Dickface is a narcissist that continues to prowl Brighton, grinding on unsuspecting women in clubs like Coalition, and steering every conversation back to himself. Dickface continues to touch women innappropriately and feel uncomfortable around gay men. I got dickface fired because dickface hit one of the kids and failed to see his wrongdoing. It was the last straw since dickface was incompetent. He would latch onto a small group of kids he considered cool and wouldn’t waste his time trying to learn others’ names. He couldn’t even take a register or cross the road properly. THAT WAS ALL WE HAD TO DO REALLY. But he hit a kid and later we came to find out that he had also been meeting up with some of the older girls for “dates”. He was a creep and an asshole and I think I hate him.

There were some other questionable individuals who would say homophobic or bigoted things now and then, but that was more a consequence of their ignorance, none of them went out of their way to act so inappropriately with the kids.

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Artwork for the event by Oly Darke

On a brighter note. Shortly after finishing my job on Brighton Pride of all nights! I had to organise an event. It was a fundraiser for Typical Girls magazine. A non-profit alternative women’s magazine – soon to be launched. In many ways it was a selfish desire to put on some of my talented friends and have a wee party. All the things went wrong within the week of its occurrence. Firstly I had to cut some acts and risk some friendships, hire some mic stands and a mixer, and hire and deliver a drum kit. There were moments when it seemed as though it wasn’t going to happen but luckily all was resolved.

The night came together perfectly with the assistance of EMPRSS (one of the bands) who ended up sorting out everyone’s sound although I forget to get a subwoofer for them. And the first band, Porridge Radio, blew one of the speakers during their set.

Yet it was a fantastic turn out in the tiny Goddamn Media on Lewes Road and filled with lovely people and performers. I want to thank DJ Rabz who unfortunately didn’t get to play her set due to time running out, but she turned up and was really understanding.

In fact I want to thank everyone who showed up, shared, liked, donated, performed, and the fantastic Pasha du Pont who let me put everything on for free in her fantastic venue. This little event made my summer much brighter and my departure to Japan a lot harder.

Here’s the setlist of the night and some honourable mentions to the people who unfortunately didn’t get to play:

Porridge Radio

Allison’s Gate

Grainne Gahan

Cheyenne Williams

Mad Kid Library Trap


Dj Rabz

Jack Dynasty


Tabby Dee


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