Thursday, November 22, 2012

Light Entertainment

So this week I'm stuck back 'up North' as I'm business sitting for one last week in my old job. It's a lonely business at this time of year because the weather is, frankly, miserable- I've just had to text everybody working tomorrow to remind them to leave time for weather interference and plan for flooding. Joy. I spend the day in a subterranean level office, I leave home in the dark, and return in the dark. I work in the office alone, we do not take visitors, and I have the flat to myself too. Naturally, I've spent a lot of down time watching television and reading, it's what I do when I'm alone, and not working.

I like the X Factor. I also read all 3 of the 50 Shades trilogy in fairly rapid succession, I watch the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, and I'm a fan of Grey's Anatomy  and Made in Chelsea too. I don't usually pay too much attention to the usual rounds of 'I don't wtch/read that rubbish' type tweets etc that go around on a weekend or whenever aforementioned items are merely mentioned in passing. To each their own, and all that, and lots of people don't enjoy those kinds of things- fair play. But over the weekend, one comment, openly stating that people who do like a certain trilogy by a certain E.L. James, must be stupid, really, really set the red mist descending. Add insult to injury, the person making this comment is the owner of a small business, and they were using an instagram account under the name of their business.

After resisting the urge to point this person in the direction of the lovely Sarah from Temp:Sec, to show them how you can be personable and friendly and generally wonderful, whilst remaining professional, I got REALLY cross. Not just because this person openly admitted they were only reading the books because they'd spent so long stating how awful they were without having read them, that they really ought to see for themselves (I'm staying well clear of the WTF moment this causes me), but well, I think they were wrong, and unbelievably insulting.

Here's my issue. I don't think I'm stupid. I have a triple major BA Hons and speak 3 foreign languages. I have a qualifying law degree. I just accepted the job of my dreams, which was offered to me, despite the role not usually being open to graduates. I am writing this at a time when I have (not by any stretch for the first time) been entrusted to manage a business, on my own, and I have a minor addiction to Scrabble and Sudoku puzzles. And I am more than competent in the art of laundry, food shopping and booking my own dental appointments.

A regular sight just 6 months ago- I received a mark of 76% for this essay.

All of those things I've mentioned liking? I read or watch or enjoy them because they're entertaining. The don't require me to exercise my brain to heavily, which is great when I'm reading at almost midnight in an attempt to switch off from the business calls I was still taking at 2330, or watching something on a Sunday afternoon whilst ironing and listing things I need to prep for the coming working week- no seriously, outfit planning has become a stressful military style operation. For me, they are mindless, easy, and they are comfortable. I do not always want to do something that requires me to concentrate 100%. There is nothing wrong with this, it does not lower my intelligence, it does not make me stupid.

My message is this- firstly, small business owners who use social media- think before you type, and maybe consider a personal account separate from your business? Particularly if you like to debate divisive issues. Secondly, to each their own. I am well aware that the XFactor really isn't some people's idea of entertainment, that's cool, I don't mind that- I can imagine nothing worse than all the Twilight movies back to back or a Lord of the Rings marathon, but I don't think it makes you a better or worse person with higher or lower intellect than me if that's your weekend sorted. But don't expect me to roll over if you insult me on the back of my simple Saturday night in (so long as there's an open bottle of wine to accompany it *ahem*). Think that 50 Shades is a misinformed binding of utter bollocks masquerading as soft porn? Well, you know what, I probably wouldn't disagree, but if I wanted to read something to have an intellectual debate about, well, I have a bookshelf full of classics, most of which I could give you an intelligent opinion on, and most of which I did not elect to read solely for entertainment value.

My best 'I'm intelligent, give me a job please' face- it worked. 

So, nameless online business owner, yes I have unfollowed you, yes I challenge you to look further than your own misinformed opinions before putting them out there under the name of your business, which unsurprisingly I would now avoid on principle, and if you're reading this shaking your head, thinking that I really am thick as 2 short ones, I'm very seriously interested to hear your perspective, this is a topic I find fascinating.

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