Ooh doesn’t time fly? I have roundly neglected this blog since last October, funnily enough coinciding with my stint back doing bar work. Bar work provided me with ample fodder to write about, but unfortunately, I was always too exhausted to do so! Bar work’s HARD. So, I’ll summarise my experiences briefly for you now in this list of “Things I learnt from bar work”:
1) Grown men have no place in novelty knitwear
2) Don’t trust a man who brings his own cucumber garnish into a bar
3) Gammon and eggs is not a suitable takeaway meal (as demonstrated by the flauntingly crazy “Gammon in a Bag” man)
4) The little-known TV actor Oliver Chris is the most potently unpleasant person I’ve ever met
5) Upper Street has a thriving community of dentally-maverick hawkers; as demonstrated by the man with one tooth who came peddling “wrought iron Victoriana” at ten to eleven on a Monday night and came over all Laurence Llewllyn Bowen when he declared that it was just what the pub needed (hmm no, I think probably some people nearby need their railings back); and the man with a gold grill who asked my shoe size then offered to sell me some boots from his his backpack. Although this is usually my preferred method of buying footwear, I had to demur due to lack of funds
6) If someone comes into a bar and starts playing his own music, he is commonly known as “the DJ” (I don’t want to big myself up, but I knew that already) but tell that to the outraged woman who surged up to the bar hissing “there’s a man here playing his own music” as though he’d just flopped his todger out into her pint, only to be illuminated that that was in fact his job – a fairly well-known profession
7) People are a lot weirder than you think
And so my short spell back pouring pints has come to a self-imposed screeching halt and I am back on a “job hunt”, otherwise known as the “take my time and kick me in the self-esteem carousel.”
I’ve only been at it since yesterday and already I’m filled with weariness. Usually recruitment agencies have very serious, formal sounding names with lots of initials and so and so associates going on to add gravitas but I encountered one yesterday named “Give-A-Grad-A-Go”. That’s got to be the worst name ever- it makes handling people’s dreams and careers sound like a fairground game, like “Grab-A-Grad!” Or, instead of “Whack-A-Mole”, “Whack-A-Grad-With-Grands-Of-Debt-Then-Into-Menial-Work-Or-Interminable-Internships-And-See-How-Long-Before-He’s-On-The-Xanax”. Not as catchy as “Whack-A-Mole” admittedly, but I feel more with the zeitgeist of the times.
I had a first interview today for a telephone charity fundraising job, which did not fill me with professional joy. Though the group set-up did provide me with a laugh in an “The Office” sort of cringey way. The name of the company was “Listen” which drove one woman to enquire of the recruitment consultant running the assessment is that “Liss Ten?” as though pronouncing an exotic double barreled name. “Noo” she replied patiently “listen, the word?” You know, the verb we all use that entirely makes sense with what the company does? Yeah, I’m running with the creme de la creme now.
PS. The building the agency was in had a crazy lift that took me to the ground floor, teasingly juddered open the doors just enough for me to see people waiting in the lobby but not get out then slammed them shut again and zoomed me to the 6th floor to incredulous noises from both sides of the door. I’m not going to lie, I’m not great with lifts anyway and I had a moment of pure terror where I thought “I’m stuck in a berserk lift! I’m gonna die.” The women waiting at the 6th floor were a bit like er what are you doing here as the floor obviously housed a small company and they didn’t recognise me, but I was too flustered to explain and just yelled as I burst out and scuttled to the fire stairs “I don’t trust that, I’m taking the thingy” (meaning the fire stairs. Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed at the “Liss Ten” woman after all).
PPS. I’m writing this to the sound of accordion music playing outside my window, which makes a lovely change to the usual ballad of Archway: sirens, rasping arguments, hacking coughs, incessant car honking and the click of extra-length lager opening. Someone bawled at him to shut up. The usual chorus of the dispossessed raises not a peep from anyone, but good music? “Shaaaaat it”. Ooh Archway, you are spoiling me wiz your Parisienne soundtrack. Oh, he’s stopped. Boo.