Have you ever worked at a task which is so boring and repetitive that you lose focus and thus mess up the task? It’s like an office Catch 22: you need concentration to do the task, but the task is so boring that you lose concentration, and mess up the task, so you have to start over again…
I guess even the most exciting, challenging and wonderful job has its repetitive moments, and in this particular job that I’ve landed, the ratio of boring to interesting stuff is about 99 to one. Not that I’m complaining- who am I to complain, the black-haired newcomer with an impossibly long and unpronounceable name, with the ink of her entry date stamped into her passport barely dry yet- I’m very pleased to have a job which does not entail service with a smile at a cash booth or coffee stall; I am merely decsribing my Canada experiences.
(Hey God- I’m NOT complaining! did you get that? I’m very pleased and grateful for the job! So don’t take it away from me, not just yet, ok?)
And, since everything is relative, amongst several boring tasks, one is bound to be more mind-numbing than others, and that one is: scanning documents.
In this age of paranoia over filing and documents, it is not enough that each document must have multiple copies filed in several locked places, the documents must also be scanned and saved in secure directories. So, I frequently find myself confronted with a document of over ten pages, needing scanning.
And as I lift and close the door of the scanner, clicking “new scan”, hear the scanner groaning and creaking , press “accept”, press “yes”, press “save to file”, I can feels bubbles forming in my brain. They slowly rise from the bottom to the top, big stretchy rosy bubbles of air which totally null concentration.
And suddenly, I realise I don’t know whether I’ve pressed “new scan”, whether I’ve accepted the scan for page four or not, whether I’ve scanned it twice…
The only time I can remember my brain being this bubbly was during the year which I was attempting to be a good Muflim and say my daily 17 rak’ats of prayer- the year God and the oncologists in UK saved my mum from cancer. I had promised God that if my Mum was cured, I would say my duty prayers. I kept it up for a year. But, oh God, it was difficult. Not the prayers themselves, which had been drummed into me from early childhood, but fighting the bubbles which formed during prayer. I forgot whether I was saying the second or the third rakat, I forgot whether I had said the ghonoout or not, eventually I was forgetting whether I had said the very first line when you raise your hands by your ears and mumble the type and number of rakats – I would just mumble something and hope God would be to busy to notice. Then I started feeling too stupid, and gave it up. I just couldn’t be a good Muflim. Sorry God. Thanx for saving my Mum though. And please don’t give any of us cancer again. Please.