Football fans: Which team are you on?

Football fans by Tom NashEnglish football fans are an interesting bunch. Don’t believe me? Go to any ground in the country on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll see the cream of British society. It’s beautiful… Well, maybe not beautiful, but it certainly is a sight!

Having held a season ticket for Crystal Palace for the last fifteen seasons, during which time I have witnessed various promotions, relegations and two periods in administration, I feel I have a decent understanding of what makes a good supporter. Here’s what I reckon:
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Facebook: More familiar behaviour

Facebook by Tom Nash

The fun doesn’t stop with status updates! Here are a few more traits you may find recognisable:

The ‘fun’ nickname instead of real name
If you are in your twenties or older and still either refer to yourself on Facebook by the ‘cute’ nickname you conjured up for yourself or by your forename and middle name, excluding all existence of your surname- GROW UP!
The comment box lurker
You’ve just posted something. Within a minute someone’s commented. This is the person who thinks that the updates on their newsfeed are directed to them personally and therefore must be responded to personally. Every one of them. Do not engage them, it’ll only encourage the behaviour. They’ll soon learn.


The fuck-ton of photos uploader
Wow, so during all the fun and lack of sleep you managed to reel off shit-loads of photos? That’s right, nothing says ‘we enjoyed ourselves’ like photographic evidence! Call me a cynic but surely, if THAT much fun was going on, you’d forget you had the camera/camera on your phone… wouldn’t you?

This person can also double up as:


The rubbish photo uploader
Most people select the choice few shots to upload from whatever activity they were documenting. Not this person. Shit blurry picture at wonky angle? That’ll do! Everyone got evil looking red eyes? Fuck it- ain’t got time to click the ‘remove red-eye’ button on the picture viewer. Half the lens covered by a finger? It matters not. If they took the photo, it’s being shared. How else will the rest of us tell how fun the evening was?

The ridiculous abbreviator
Ths prsn is so bsy tht only essntial vwls r inclded in thr wllpsts nd cmmnts to sav tme. Or worse than that they only drop one letter from a solitary randm word.

The incessant ‘liker’
This person ‘likes’ EVERYTHING: local businesses, websites, bands, actors, sayings (what. the. fuck?), reactionary tabloid fear-mongering… An example I’ve seen recently is someone ‘liking’ the English Defence League and ‘cuddles with the one you love’ in the same evening (Yeah- conflicted much?!).

The overly sentimental couple
We all have at least one in our friend list. If you’re thinking ‘I don’t!’ and you’re in a relationship; it’s you. One of them tells the other they love them. The other replies the same. Then they do it again. And again. And again… See, these folk tend to forget that the unfortunate souls that happen to be friends with both of them see the ‘cute’ exchanges appear in their newsfeeds. Scientists have actually found a direct correlation between overly sentimental wall posts and the increase in diabetes cases throughout the world*. So please, on behalf of everyone’s blood-sugar levels; next time you feel the burning desire to declare your love to your better half, just send them a text, eh?
*not necessarily true.

The birthday message
‘Hi Babes, Happy Birthday! lol 😉 xx’ which can be translated as: ‘I just logged on, noticed on my homepage that it’s your birthday and thought I would send you a banal, generic birthday greeting… lol 😉 xx

However, worse than this is the loser that replies to each and every birthday message they receive. You people know who you are!

The excessive LOLer

Find something your mate’s posted mildly amusing? Let them know with a LOL! Something mildly (or not at all- doesn’t matter) amusing happen to you? Make your friends aware with a LOL at the beginning/end of every sentence!
LOL should never ever be used. By anyone. Ever. No three letters can identify a moron quicker. It is the Comic Sans of statements. Why is it never used in response to anything genuinely funny?
Don’t get me started on ROFL. At least PMSL could potentially happen… Biologically… Although it should be PML, seeing as myself is one word… lol

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Smokers: Different types

New Smoker by Tom NashNon-smokers may be unaware of this fact (it is hard to see what us lowly addicts are doing from up on those pedestals) but there are actually different types of smokers, just like there are different brands that we prefer to shorten our lives with.

Here are a few:

The newbie
Easy to spot as they hold their cigarettes like a robot and look like they’re performing oral sex when they take a pull.

The ponce
You get two different levels of ponce:
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Education: The class system of an FE college

OK, that last college piece got a bit ranty, so here’s a genuine observation:

Education establishments have their own class system

So this is pretty much how it goes: lowest in the rankings are the Cleaners. Most tutors, managers and senior management do not even acknowledge them. They float around the building like tabard wearing spectres. When I worked there full time, my department had a brilliant cleaner, a little old Irish lady called Mary who would fill our kettle and wash our mugs each morning for a tenner a week. She was wicked!


Next are the Caretakers. Want a heavy thing moved? Get one of these fellas. They’re engaged with on a human level about as regularly as the cleaners.

Then it’s the Security team. The ID cards are handled by Security so technically this is the department I’m working in. A few of them are a bit bouncer-ish, which doesn’t help sometimes but over all they’re a really cheery bunch- always good for a laugh but handy if there’s trouble. They command more respect than the previous two groups but are just considered as muscle by the majority of those high up the chain.

IT Technicians– by definition an odd bunch. Why should here be any different? It got so bureaucratic when I was a full-timer that we had to call them to change ink cartridges, we weren’t allowed to- health and safety risks, you know…
The higher-ups are a bit nicer to this lot because they can fix your internets! But only if they fix it NOW!!!

Admin staff- there’s two types of these: the manager’s bitch or the department organiser. The people that do the things the tutors and managers don’t want to do. High up enough to deny the cleaners exist, call IT for help and get heavy things moved.

Tutors come in three types:
>The veteran- a dead-eyed shell that drifts from the office to the classroom/workshop and back. They work their contracted hours and their contracted hours ONLY.
>The new-fish- young, keen, not yet beaten into submission by the system. ‘I get time off in lieu? Sure! I’ll work Saturday’s open day!’
>The middle-grounder- still enthusiastic but at times shows the unmistakable look and air of resignation ‘the veteran’ has. ‘The open day? Isn’t that on a Saturday? Do I have to?’

‘The veteran’ acknowledges only who they have to, ‘the middle-grounder’ knows who to keep sweet, ‘the new-fish’ wants to be everyone’s friend.

Aspiring Managers– can be spotted by wearing suits in roles where suits are not really warranted. Female aspirers are noted by their dynamic trouser-suits. They only acknowledge tutors and their own admin staff while constantly seeking approval and trying to impress senior management.

You can spot Managers by their fast, determined walk- these are important people who have to get to places quickly so they can do important things. They will speak only to other managers, their personal bitch and senior management.

Senior Management– you can spot this lot by the rays of light that emanate from their trousers and the angelic choir that announces their presence in a room. Seriously- watch these people, they’ve shat on many to get where they are. The lower you are the less you matter to this lot. Admin staff, bar their own PA probably just appear as those squiggly things you get in your peripheral vision. Anyone lower than that… Nothing. Remember Mount Olympus in Clash of the Titans? Zeus and them with their clay figures? Yeah- that’s the principal’s office.

So there you have it. In total I’ve served eight years in this institution and these are my findings from this time.

Till next time x

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