Ruth's Diary


The game I'm playing right now is L.A. Noire. My original plan was to write my views on it but I'm now replaying it for the trophies and discovering yet more along the way, so the review will come later. Right now I just wanted to report the moments it paralleled my working life.

When I first started playing, I was still unemployed. This made me feel uneasy because the entire point of the game is that the chief protagonist Cole Phelps gets promoted. Frequently. And you start playing from the time he was still a patrolman. When he uttered the lines: "Just because you're a streetcop, doesn't mean you can't use some initiative" (or something along those lines) I could swear he was talking to me. And then 2 weeks ago I just got a job. I hope I made it sound sudden, 'cos it kinda was. Getting it felt way too easy and working there doesn't feel stable (unlike my job in Canberra *sniff*). If you're wondering what I'm doing, I'm a (German Speaking) Market Researcher, who is right now doing a project in which I call Managers and CEOs and politely ask them to waste time on a survey. Of course, that's if you even get to talk to them. Most of the time is spent playing 'dodge the secretary', sometimes even 'dodge the switchboard operator' (that particular game is very demoralising). And so, during my first week there, I play on L.A. Noire a case in which I have to interview the President of a construction company. The front desk secretary was friendly and helpful (like many switchboard operators), while the personal secretary was the meanest and most arrogant one possible, mirroring many that my co-workers and I have to deal with on a daily basis.

Of course, in this particular instance, I was playing in a fantasy in which I'm an LAPD detective, so I was able to gloat when the characters could talk back to the secretary with no qualms. And when said CEO came out, happy to talk to us...I mean the detectives. Also I must state that not all secretaries and PAs are mean, in fact one strange discovery was finding out that male equivalents are far more friendly and helpful.

You will have already noticed that I haven't given any details about my workplace really. I have my reasons. Regulations mean no one can talk about who they've contacted and any project details outside the workplace, so just to cover my back I won't reveal my employer's name either. I will say though, that I'm intrigued by the various commuter habits I've developed.

While travelling to work, I pick up a Metro every morning at the train station and read through it before arriving at the workplace, where I promptly dump it and it's claimed by somebody else during the morning. At least I don't dump my Metro on a train seat or platform seat like some people. One time, I got off at Holborn and noticed one platform seat adorned by a pile of discarded Metros. Oh yeah and I tend to read while walking along platforms and stations. What? I'm not weird! I just find the entire experience of walking in a crowd moving in the same direction so monotonous. Reading is far more interesting. Besides, I've developed the ability to read while walking along and watching ahead of me over the paper.

Speaking of commuting crowds, I've noticed that everyday, somewhere along the route, there is always someone with a suitcase. You can tell a Londoner apart from a tourist by how well (or badly) they prevent crowd blocking. There are also habits I've gotten into for which I'm glad I have an iPhone. During my afternoon 'tea break' I check my emails, while on the way home I'll listen to a podcast if I have one available. I've gotten into listening to a fan-made audio play, based off the Fruits Basket manga. ( I recommend everyone listen to it, it's so professionally done and the story is very entertaining and intriguing. Unfortunately, once I'm done listening to the podcast/play I end up listening to the dance music I have on my phone. I should stop doing that so frequently, it's bad enough that the crappy headsets at work sometimes blast noise in my ear whenever I've dialled a number, but worse when afterwards I turn up the volume on my earphones so I can listen to my awesome music.

My poor ears, how ye suffer!

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