Tuesday, November 16, 2004

November 16 (Tuesday): The War On Drugs. Almost back in the real world, once more I find myself at the hands of a 7AM alarm clock call. I awaken to the news in Iraq that an American soldier has shot an Iraqi soldier. God forbid, somebody gets killed in a war? We live in a stupid world (which I’m learning more by the day).

Suited and booted, I tear out of the blocks, heading towards Ipswich. Like a puss, I indeed avoid driving past the office for fear and loathing of being spotted by my “bosses”. I eventually hop the A12, rush hour traffic taking me thirty minutes to get out of Colchester. I listen to Moyles as Will Young is on there hawking the new Band Aid record. I know all intentions are good and the personnel involved are great but everyone has to admit that the record will be fucking shit (so says King Faux Pas).

I reach London Road Ipswich in OK time but I find myself cutting it close. In front of me is the arsehole that cut me up and now to make life crappier, he is firing out cigar smoke from his car window right into my AC and into my lungs/throat. As I near Gotham, I have to concede and I phone up the agency (Reed) to explain that I am going to be a little bit late. Whatever happened to my time keeping? For years I was the first person anyway, not only on time but generally very early. Where did I change/go wrong? Wha’ happened?

Ipswich remains Ipswich, a semi exciting/interesting place. I park at the Civic car park which used to be the car park where I would suffer from claustrophia (honest). These days however, it’s a doddle.

I head over to Reed Personnel and interview with a lady called Nicola. By this time, the day has turned out really nice and for a personnel interview, not only am I overdressed, I am also overheated in the process. The interview goes pretty well but I really have no idea just how I come over in it, either awesome or insane I suspect, no middle ground/standing. I paint a pretty picture of my current circumstances telling her that “come Wednesday I will probably be unemployed and I am really worried about being out of work for Christmas. Yes, it’s the Christmas Carol all over”. Regardless though, the outcome of the interview is pretty positive and there appears to be lots of jobs and opportunities about thankfully. I shy away from taking a couple of exams (tax and audit) due to “time” pressures and I attempt a kick word with the temp representative but unfortunately she is busy. I leave agency feeling the most positive I have since this whole nasty situation kicked off.

This is actually the first time I have been to Ipswich for a very long time (so long that I cannot remember the last time) so I make the most and have a look around. I pop into HMV and discover the movie “Suburbia” on DVD (the original Penelope Spheeris movie not the Bogosian/Linklater film of the same name) for £6. I snap it up whilst also witnessing some aggressive skinhead in the queue in front of me purchase his wares with attitude and a fifty pound note. Where the fuck is someone like that going to come across a fifty pound note (I have never possessed one in my entire life and I know people of standing who wrap their wad in one with view to looking wealthy). Welcome to Ipswich, that note has drug money written all over it.

As I walk back to my car, I pass a group of Ipswich Town winos drinking their huge bottles of Blue Lightning (?) cider. These people are a grade above Colchester winos and when I say “grade” I mean intimidating.

I hurtle out of Ipswich as fast as my Focus will carry me, stopping at the out of town Tesco to grab some quick dinner/lunch before flying to Chelmsford. Dry as a bone, I buy some kind of iced coffee drink and the new Dylan Moran DVD (nice lunch). I sit in my car for a while, listening to the radio feeling like David Brent in travelling salesman mode on a rest break. On the radio, Edith Bowman interviews U2 as if it has any importance. Between dates between towns, I feel like Willy Loman.

I pull out of Tesco and head towards my date/appointment in Chelmsford. And, as can/should be expected, the A12 is utter murder. The journey takes at least a quarter longer than it ought to and I will have to know/remember that I will be expecting hold ups when I come up to Chelmsford for my exams next month.

Regardless I arrive in Chelmsford and get parked up with relative ease. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with Chelmsford; there really is something about the place that makes me feel uneasy. I never used to feel this way when I regularly came up here for college but something since must have triggered my senses. I find the Office Angels office pretty easily; it is dead centre of the town, up a few floors. The office however is very pink and very female. Immediately I am under the impression that this place is primarily an admin personnel agency, not strictly/necessarily an accountancy agency. I meet the lady and do the obligatory form filling exercise, four of the fuckers this time. Then after that I get asked to take some tests on the computer. I always find these so insulting and today I have three of them on the PC: maths, spelling and Excel. I tear through the fuckers with ease, half completing/performing them with contempt. One thing I don’t understand: I am allowed to use a calculator on the maths test, which kind of defeats the purpose. And then when I get around to the Excel, the questions are clear as mud. The spelling test, that one is nasty, really cheeky. I do the tests in about ten minutes and then speak to the lady about the position they have open. It sounds pretty good, a change and the lady shows empathy to my plight and is encouraging about my prospects for the role. This interview goes really well but ends weirdly when she takes a Polaroid of me. This makes me laugh and then the woman goes and asks me what I am laughing at. Her strange procedures maybe?

I leave the office of pink, feeling fluffy and in dire need of meet. I head straight to McDonalds and Big Mac it up. I check my email on MSN and Ross (my man from Unison) lends me some advice with regards to tomorrow’s hearing. It gives me some heart/hope. Sadly however he cannot accompany along but then again I knew I was clutching at straws by asking him.

I fly home down the A12, hoping to get back in time to watch Farewell My Lovely on TV this afternoon (me for some reason thinking it is Kiss Me Deadly they are showing). When I near Colchester, I take a detour and stop off at Sainsburys where I buy their Classic Cola (so good) and water. I am dry.

Arriving back in Hollytree Court, I get accosted by the groundskeeper (Willy) who asks me how things are going. I was really hoping to avoid him, avoid this, a waste of time conversation. I tell him that it isn’t looking good and where I have been today. As he goes on, Dad turns up in his car, what the fuck is he doing turning up here?

Dad has filled up his car with shit from home (admittedly my shit) and has decided to choose today, of all fucking days, to come up to Colchester and dump it all in my flat, in my lap. To me this beggars belief, I was really looking forward towards a chilled afternoon, pulling myself together for tomorrows barrage of flack. I can’t really comprehend his thinking or mentality of dropping all this on/at me at this time. And I explain this to him, after having a relatively successful day, this just makes things go pear shaped. And when I dare point this point (“I kind of have a lot on my mind with tomorrow, I could lose my flat and car”), he fucking goes off on one at me, telling me how he “can’t fucking please you or your mother” and suddenly everything falls. The old man goes into one of his tempers/moods/strops and I cannot deal with him, he switches off and becomes intimidating.

When he dumps the boxes in the flat and chucks them in the loft and leaves (in a strop) I am really relieved. I do however sit on my toilet and break down. Wow, I really feel supported now going into tomorrow. Such is my life.

Disheartened, I curl up and put on the Dylan Moran DVD hoping for yuks. No dice, it doesn’t work for me today. I can’t decide if the DVD just isn’t very good or whether it is my circumstances. Whatever.

Early evening, Acton hits me on MSN. I tell him about my day and the Dylan Moran DVD and he’s “no way”. The evening slides by and once more, during Teachers, I find myself again on MSN, again with Acton and now with Sara who attempts to rationalise/sanitise my parents.

Late night, I put on The Cooler to fall asleep to. It works.

np: Nine Inch Nails - Piggy


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