Tuesday, June 02, 2009


The first day of my new job seemed to go quite well. Everyone turned up and that in itself was quite an achievement. It was a bit like the first day of high school though in that I forgot to take my lunch with me and I also had to sit on my own. That was actually deliberate on my part. There are seven of us in the team and there are sic desks together and I thought I should let all of them sit together. I am actually sitting right by them, but that’s not the point!

I just finished reading a book called Sputnik Sweetheart which is by Haruki Marukami, the chap who wrote The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. It was a good book and I would recommend it, although it is a bit sombre in places. There were a few quotes I liked in it:

“The upshot of all this is that when I was young I began to draw an invisible boundary between myself and other people. No matter who I was dealing with. I maintained a set distance, carefully monitoring the person’s attitude so that they wouldn’t get any closer. I didn’t easily swallow what other people told me. My passions were books and music. As you might guess, I had a lonely life.”

"And it came to me then. That we were wonderful travelling companions, but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal on their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happen to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing."

"Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the Earth put here just to nourish human loneliness? I turned face-up on the slab of stone, gazed at the sky, and thought about all the manmade satellites spinning around the Earth. The horizon was still etched in a faint glow, and stars began to blink on in the deep, wine-coloured sky. I gazed among them for the light of a satellite, but it was still too bright out to spot one with the naked eye. The sprinkling of stars looked nailed to the spot, unmoving. I closed my eyes and listened carefully for the descendants of Sputnik, even now circling the Earth, gravity their only tie to the planet. Lonely metal souls in the unimpeded darkness of space, they meet, pass each other, and part, never to meet again. No words passing between them. No promises to keep."


Kahless said...

You achieved a non-random act of kindness (and good management) with the seating.

Random Reflections said...

Kahless - I hadn't really thought about it as an act of kindness. Sometimes as a manager you just have to suck it up - although having said that I do quite like having my own space!

Kahless said...

Tell me about it. I have a team of 12 and sometimes I wish someone gave me as much thought as I give them! Sometimes they expect me to me superhuman and I am not. Saying that, thats what I guess we get paid for.

Its still an act of kindness as there are some selfish managers out there.

Random Reflections said...

Kahless - a team of twelve! It must be like herding cats.

My team are a good bunch of people. There are some very different personalities, which makes for an interesting mix, but they are all getting on with the task and starting to get some results already.

I think if I defied them in some way they would eat me for breakfast!

(no subject) said...

hey!!! sorry i've been so MIA, i've been in south africa for the last 5 months and the internet there was very sketchy. this was a most excellent post to com eback to though! i really liked the quotes and i think i'm going to try and read that book. i hope your new job works out well!

Random Reflections said...

No Subject - welcome back! I hope you had a great time in South Africa and are settling in ok now you are back.

I thought it was a good book and would recommend it.

The job is going well so far. Day three commences...