It's now October 5th. For those reading the printed zine, this will mean fuck all, itís kind of related to the Web version, but impacts on the paper one as well.
So on Thursday 30th September, I submitted my PhD thesis. Two hours left out of a four year deadline.
Pretty much the entire month of September has been spent working and stressing and panicing and worrying about it. I mean starting work at about 8.30am. Get home and work at home. Finish around 11.30pm or so. Seven days a week. I spotted some mistakes at midnight the day before it was due in. Start work correcting them at 8am the morning of submission. Print out with 6 hours to go. Bind with 4 hours left. Submit with 2. Stressed. I'm still physically pretty exhausted. Mentally I'm totally drained at the moment.
During this time we moved to new accomodation in work. Unfinished accomodation. For the last 3 weeks prior to submission I was working in the wrong room, as the room I should be in had no furniture and no network connection. The first few days there were spent working on packing crates. Part of my job also includes doing some system administration. So I had to spend some time doing that. A machine got hacked, which is not what I need. Some other people had to sort it out as I didn't have the time. Which makes me feel I'm not doing my job properly. While stressing about that impending submission deadline. Not a good combination.
So you could say the stress levels were rising. Some stress in life you can't avoid, relationships end, people die all that sort of thing - you can't really control it. This was kind of different, but I never want to go through a month like that again if I can help it.
Now, what I don't need at times like this are people. More accurately idiots. I don't know, I mean, maybe I am just a wanker. Maybe I'm intolerant. Maybe I'm tolerant but sometimes loose patience. Whatever. But for the last few months my patience has been sorely tried by some people with respect to the zine.
Polite requests get ignored or it seems cannot be read by people. I receive a fairly constant stream of enquiries or messages which shows that people can operate computers but it would appear cannot read. Time and time again I put a request on the web page. Time and again it gets ignored. So I get annoyed and express that annoyance, and people get annoyed back at me and it just goes on and on.
Couple of months ago I put together a CD to sell with the zine. Personally I paid for 500 copies. I'm selling it cheap. £3 - that's about 6 dollars to people in the States. I put up the money myself. Take out the freebie copies that need to be done, and if I sell them all, I will break even. No profit, simply break even. Still don't think £3 is an awful lot for a full CDs worth of music plus a 56 page zine. However, some people still owe me money for copies I gave them on trust. Some that said they would take copies to sell never did. Some people are upset that I'm charging all of 3 quid for the thing. I was thinking of doing another CD, but why the hell should I? So that I can get shafted by some people again? I did it partly because it was something I wanted to try and partly to try and help the bands and give them some exposure. What I didn't really bank on, was the sheer bloody mindedness and tight nature of some people. The fact that they'll try and fuck you over even on something like that. It tends to leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth when you get messages having a little bit of a whinge about it. Yeah, I whinge I know. But I'm not some hotshot record label ripping you off with over priced releases or re-issues.
And you know what, I was also told that some people even stole copies of the fucking CD from one of the bands selling them for me. Stole a CD costing you 3 quid. What kind of tightfisted little fuck face does that? I tell you, those people shouldn't even be allowed to go to the gig, cos they don't deserve to listen to music. I really can't believe some people. Tell you what though, next time you want something without paying for it, let me know. I'll stick my fist in your face for nothing. And if you want more than one copy, I'll be happy to oblige. Wankers.
During the month of September, remembering that I'm feeling more than a touch stressed due to that thesis looming over my head, I received various e-mails relating to all the above for a good two weeks or so. Requests or complaints. I'm getting people asking "where's the next issue, you haven't sent me it yet". Hey, work it out, you ain't got it, that's cos it ain't out yet. Or maybe I canít afford to send you another free copy. Really, the constant feeling of everyone else wanting you to do something for them, complaining if it's not all entirely to their satisfaction and not offering to do anything to help out became overwhelming. Will I travel the length of the country to see you play? Well yeah, if it was my job. As it isnít, and as I do a full days work, I donít really have the time and the money to do so. Some people seem to think that the world revolves around them, and that their request, complaint or whatever is the only one I receive. Itís not. If I had the time, I could probably spend a good few hours per day going through all the shit that I receive, especially e-mail. Rather than have to put up with any more of this kind of shit from people while I was writing the thesis, the zine closed down.
It was simple things. Things I should just have ignored. But with added pressure, I just snapped on it. And personally at the moment I don't give a flying fuck whether you think I was right or wrong, or whether I over reacted. I did what I needed to do. And I will not apologise for that.
If anyone takes offence, thinks they are included in the general aim of this, well fuck you. Maybe you are, maybe you arenít. I don't give a shit. This time I did what I had to do for me and for no-one else. But if you feel bothered by it then maybe it does tell you something. I pretty much gave up on e-mail and answering the phone as well. Apparently, someone in work reckoned that on Thursday after I submitted was about the first time I'd smiled in a month. I personally think it must've been a lot longer than that.
So now I've had a few days to think about things. Friday night was the first time I'd been out in about 3 weeks. Saturday I bought some CDs for the first time in a month. Life is begining to return to some semblence of normality. Though it's tempered by having to wait to see if I get my viva, and then if I do, hope that I get through it so that I have to do corrections before the final thesis is accepted.
And then of course my contract runs out at the end of the year, so I could be looking for a new job. My work at the moment is great in that itís pretty flexible, enjoyable and generally thereís not major pressure you get with cut throat business jobs. Which suits me. But maybe loosing that bothers me. The uncertainty of what Iíll be doing and where in just a few short months time. If it means finding a different job, well if the hours Iíve worked in the last few weeks are anything to go by, I suspect it would mean the end of the zine pretty much for definite. I really don't think I'd be able to do the extra couple of hours per day traveling to a job or whatever and then do the gigs in the evening and everything. Also of course, I have no idea where I'd end up.
I'm also extremely dissillusioned by the whole thing. Another reason that I stopped the zine, is that although I personally think issue 11 was the best one yet, I also feel the zine is becoming a bit of a parody of itself. Rants purely for the sake of it. At it's best it's an ok zine, at it's worst it's worse than the magazines that I so routinely and predictably criticise. Yet it's the way I write. I've just spent an entire year having to write a thesis in a very formal, structured, dry and boring manner. I can do it, but it's not the way I really like to write, but at the moment, the stuff in the zine is just regurgitating the same old shit all the time in terms of my opinions. Maybe it just means that I don't have real opinions on a wide range of topics. So as well as stress, and people over the last few months truly pissing me off, there's my reservations to contend with as well. On the one hand, there is the potential for some exciting things happening. But at pretty much the same time, Iím swinging towards realising that itís more trouble than itís worth, and you just leave yourself open to getting fucked over all the time by people. So at the moment I'm pretty much torn as to what to do.
For now it's carrying on. Just. I think. What I do know though at the moment, is that it could still go either way, and it really won't take much of people fucking me around for me to jack the whole thing in.