I count the seconds. It’s not a hard task, or indeed, a particularly enlightening one. It’s not glamorous or entertaining; it’s counting up to sixty and starting all over again; a monkey with a stopwatch could do it. Do I get job satisfaction? Not really. Still, the location is great and I don’t have to commute.
But, I’m getting old now. My joints aren’t as supple as they used to be and I let off an audible creak at quarter past six. Maybe they’ll replace me with a newer model soon. I hope so. I’m getting tired.
Besides, I’ve seen all I need to. You’ve got nothing left to show me.
Initially, watching you was an exercise in curiosity, although as the months turned into years, I took a more analytical view; tried to discover patterns, spot trends. Find out what, and do excuse the pun, makes you all tick.
I’ve witnessed couples reunite, break up and repeat the process with completely new people. I’ve seen miserable commuters run for their buses and groups drunkenly fall into taxis. And I’ve remembered every single moment.
To me, these instances – the student opening her exam results, the man buying an engagement ring – they’re just minute occurrences. Single moments which I’ve recorded in my long and illustrious career.
A long time ago, I came to the realisation that, to some of you, these instances must seem like momentous occasions; a turning point in your life. A moment which you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Good for you. Good for all of you.
But they’re not. Sorry about that. The proposal, the divorce, the ‘Sir, we’ve got some bad news’ phone call. These are all just single instances in an infinitely bigger tapestry. Yes, these things may echo into the next second, or the next day, but they’re just moments. They should be viewed with no more – or less – importance than the previous one.
Every single one.
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