Friday, November 19, 2004

November 19 (Friday): My Parents. This morning I wake up at 6AM exhausted. I briefly MSN with Haslett (Sara) prior to heading out. I fall out the flat zombie-esqe but with everything in tow (everything I need). When I check outside, judging by my car, it looks like it snowed again last night.

When I get to North Station, I get the BEST parking space; hopefully this is a signifier of a change in fortune. To balance things out though, the fucking ticket machine refuses to take my two pound coin meaning I have to run around like a fool, asking people for change. Wow, people sure don’t like giving out change, is it something to do with being embarrassed about the contents of their pockets or them just not wanting to life a finger?

I get the 7.07 train only to be freaked out when I see someone else I used to go to school with (Lee Patrick) commuting to work. If he can get a city job then why the fuck can’t I? I guess I should read these blogs for the answer to that one.

Once more I reach King’s Cross well ahead of time, almost to the point I am buying a McDonalds breakfast. I refrain though, monetary reasoning as opposed to health reasoning.

As I walk to the college I look in a phone booth and see a prostitute card for a “pre-op”. I wonder just what the hell is the point of having a pre-operation prostitute. Surely it’s the worst of both worlds, just a glorified tranny. Oh man, King’s Cross fucking sucks.

I think this card is playing on my mind when I catch myself looking at one of the oriental students in the class and find myself wondering “what sex is that person?”. Bloody hell, I think we have a ladyboy.

Today the course gets a bit better but still this subject is such a struggle and I really don’t think the tutor is very good, more just letting us get on with it with questions rather than actually teaching us anything. And under these circumstances, I really am not up to performance.

At lunchtime it occurs to me that I haven’t actually had anything hot/cooked to eat since Saturday night. I go to the McDonalds down the road and say “super size me!”. It appears that I am on a smackhead’s diet, of course except for the ice cream but voila on the coldest day of the year so far, I find myself drinking the largest thickshake that McDonalds produce. Hey, I’m eating McDonalds, so where is my movie?

We reach the mid point of the course and I discover that I am worrying about every possible conceivable thing, mainly work and my employment future along with the financial implications and just how the fucking hell am I going to pay my mortgage and car loan etc next month? It is at this point that Office Angels from Chelmsford call my mobile. Is there some light? Don’t be fucking silly, when I call their office at lunchtime, it is just a courtesy call. Way to waste my time lady.

When I return to the classroom for the remainder of the lunch hour, Andy Kaufman has turned up after not being present for the morning session. And sitting next to him, on his desk, is a huge Evian bottle half filled with some piss coloured liquid. Maybe it really is Andy Kaufman after all, such juxtaposition is fitting.

I go to pieces during the afternoon, I can’t decide if it’s fatigue or worry or some kind of combination. Tonight after work I am supposed to go back into work and clear my desk and I anticipate that as being as much fun as drinking paint and also to be quite a humiliating experience lying ahead of me this evening.

Once more, during breaktime, I look out over the Kings Cross skyline and the roof garden in the middle of all Kings Cross, my idea of heaven: a place to lie in the middle of a screaming metropolis/gotham but several lifetimes lifted high above the scum on the streets”.

The final session in the afternoon begins with the tutor lady telling us (the class) “that question was set to depress you and remind you of how much basic (tax) paper stuff that you still need to know”. Is this woman for real? By the end of the afternoon, Friday afternoon blues have kicked in and are hitting me hard.

I ride the Friday evening train home, eavesdropping on a couple of construction executives whilst pretending to read my Hunter S. Thompson book. I guess this may be the work marketplace I will find myself back in on Monday.

I turn up to office just past 6PM and thankfully it is all next to deserted. Heddle comes trotting out complete with the comment “and almost on time” which by now is pretty much par for the course and more or less the sort of stuff that has caused/created this situation, the rod. I tear into my desk and to their word, it has not been touched, save for the obvious, the jobs that I had been working on have now been passed on. I have so much shit in desk at work and, as feared, I pull out about twenty utility and credit card bills/statements. Heddle comments “I hope you have paid all them”. Smart. I ask nicely if I can get my templates (ETB and tax) off the computer and he shockingly says that that will be OK. I really hit a break with this compliance and dumb naivety. In effect, such allowance opened the door for me to delete entire sections/portions of work and drop a virus or I could remove the boss’s kiddie porn for him (joking). Now was that a wise management decision? Anyways, regardless, I’m a good guy and I just take what I need, really grateful for the opportunity which now means that I do not have to start from scratch on templates when I move on into new employment (if). Insanely, clearing my desk takes 45 minutes to do. Along with the bills and statements, I also come across all kinds of treasures in my desk like old issues of Viz, Millwall stories from newspapers, deodorant and a packet of Durex condoms amongst other things. I return Stevo’s Atkins Diet book and I do however throw out the endless abundance of plastic cutlery and napkins I appear to have liberated from Marks And Spencer’s at lunchbreaks. As I clear my desk, Heddle keeps receiving phonecalls asking him why he is late returning home, which only prompts/causes me to take my time (I’m a twat like that).

Around 6.45, I am done and done. I have filled two black dustbin bags, one with rubbish and the other with rubbish, however rubbish I want to take home and keep as it is (may be) of use to me. I leave Heddle and the company on relatively good terms. Actually, returning to the office and clearing out my desk turns out to be a really surreal moment as we chat on a civil level, almost making jokes about things. Surely the situation should be filled with venom and animosity, surely one of us should at least be acting pissed off and angry. As I say, surreal. I make comment to Heddle “so if I see anyone in town now, do I need to duck?”. He responds “no” tells me that I “have to get qualified”. So true. And thus ends my career at GloboChem. I will not be returning there like some kind of David Brent character with delusions about my standing and popularity there.

From there, slightly weary, I head back to the train station to pick up my ticket for London tomorrow morning and the final day of the course. I stop by at Asda for some comfort food before heading over to PC World to purchase Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas because there was a token in The Guardian today and I am feeling sorry for myself. And then I finally indulge in the ultimate gesture of me feeling sorry for myself; I buy myself a bag of chips at the Shrub End chip shop. By the time I get in, it is 8PM.

When I get home, there is a letter there from GloboChem. It is my dismissal letter, P45, final payslip and final paycheque to go with it. I find it curious that this letter was not sent recorded whereas last week’s frilly letter was. The thinking behind this being? The letter reads:

“Dear Jason

I am writing to confirm the decision taken at the disciplinary hearing held today that you would be summarily dismissed without notice or payment in lieu of notice, in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure. Your last day of service was on 17th November 2004.

The reasons for your dismissal are that by maintaining and updating your personal website with content of an inappropriate nature, and reference to the Partnership’s employees, partners and clients such that would be severely prejudicial to the good name of the partnership. As you are aware we consider conduct prejudicial to the good name of the partnership as gross misconduct (as spelt out in the Contractual Terms of the Staff Handbook) and since it has been established that your website can be discovered through searches under some client names we have grave concerns that your comments are not private to you but have become public.

You have also breached the requirement that you should devote your whole time and attention during working hours to your duties; this in itself is serious misconduct, and compounded with your website has lead to a breach of the implied term of a contract of employment of mutual trust and confidence.

You have the right of appeal against the decision in writing to me within 5 days of receiving this notice of dismissal.

I also enclose your final payslip, cheque and P45.”

Beyond that I phone my parents and remark about how surreal clearing my desk had been and just how a long it took me to do. I report I have got my finals (letter, P45, cheque) and I begin to do mental arithmetic as to just how long this cheque will sustain me before I headed to box city to live.

I sail out the remainder of the evening watching bad Friday night TV and allowing it to send me to sleep without any battle.

np: Pete Rock And CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You

2 Comments:

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Jason,
It was nice to hear from you and thanks for your support. Also has an email from someone else who thinks she may have been the first person dooced in the UK. I think this proves why so many folk and the media are taking an interest now - more and more bloggers (its now in dictionaries in both sides of the Atlantic) and more of us inter-conneected and paranoid folks worried about what we say.

A cynical person may suspect that those in authority, corporate or government, worry about the fact that individuals have a voice which can be heard and can share with others.

Good luck with your job hunt too,

Best,

Joe :-)

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Templeton said...

Jason,

Followed the link from Joe to you and spent the afternoon reading this when I should be working.

I can't believe they could do this to either of you, it's just outragous! When I think of all the skathing things I said on my blog about my ex-employer!! *gulp*

Best of luck to you mate, hope it goes well for you. I have folks in the wilds of Essex so maybe I'll see you at the arts centre DJing away some day.
All the Best
Missy Templeton

 

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