Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wednesday 25 March 2009

No dreams. Instead I get up early in anticipation of a heavy day ahead.

In spite of having no dreams today when driving to park up I still find myself privy to the absurd sight of a Corsa swinging all over the road (Layer and Butt). Upon closer inspection I see that it is the stupid fucking woman brushing her hair while driving. Hope she wraps herself around a lamppost.

I hate the way that women claim that they can multitask; it always ends in spilled milk and broken tears. When they tell you they are multitasking it actually means that they are doing two things badly.

Getting on the train this morning a woman reminds me of one of my new fetishes – women with faces shaped like Disney cartoon characters. Now hear me out. In other words these are ladies with round faces and round features that serve to enhance their looks who also frequently smile with exaggerated gestures that somehow come over as wholesome due to possessing some degree of resemblance to cartoons for our youths. This would also probably explain my American friend.

At Kelvedon the bike man gets on the train and decides to sit next to me again today – the cunt.

Later on during the journey some grumpy old bastard gets on the train at Shenfield and takes apparent exception at the volume of my iPod as I listen to a Collings and Herrin podcast of all things. It is probably not assisted that he unfortunately pays attention and eavesdrops at a particularly excitable moment in the podcast of Andrew Collins’ Mr Bean voice screeching. I watch the grumpy chubster shake his head as I comply and turn the volume down noticing a scar on the side of his head probably received the last time he complained about somebody else’s iPod on the train.

This is something however I have never been able to work out, how is it that the volume of my iPod can occasionally annoy and infuriate other commuters so much when at the same time the actual sound I am listening to through headphones is getting drowned out by the sound of the train hurtling to town. Am I going deaf?

All in all though the man’s glare/stare comes at a bad time as I find myself struggling with my iPhone and it’s screen freezing. It is a good thing I was not looking at pornography on it at the time. As great as this iPhone is turning out it is still prone to such deficiencies.

Today is my one year anniversary of starting here in the restaurant and things are VERY different. For starters I am working with (heading) an entirely different team. Also with all the administration drama of last summer I am dealing with a different amount of sites that I was originally. The job has not got any easier, if anything it is more hectic, but I would like to think we have (almost) shed the deadwood.

I am slow in getting going today but once I do it is with gusto.

In the afternoon the day takes a strange turn when as the girl is having the weekly trading reports explained to her by the restaurant manager the IT guy comes in and quickly/soon gets involved in the explanation gradually ranting and raving over how nobody produces the reports correctly and how operations and accounts do not speak to each other enough to get a full understanding of the system. At this time as the girl speaks to the manager it would appear/occur to me that is just what she is doing in order to find out why there are discrepancies. However for some reason the IT guy takes it upon himself to really get involved in the discussion focusing more on the ineptitude of the system rather than remedying the differences in the figures.

Now this is not the first time he has gone off on one of these rants and at this time it is not really welcomed as the rant is coming in at the eleventh hour criticising the origins of the error/situation when the solution is what is required as soon as possible. Still he rants on about the system.

As the rant is going on I begin to notice/feel some of the spitting is aimed towards my direction and with enough already on my plate today (and strict deadlines) I really do not want to get involved but then the direction of the rant suddenly appears aimed solely at myself as a lot of finger pointing is put towards to me coupled with “its down to YOU to get YOUR department, ignore me again if you want to but you are always going to have these problems if you don’t sort them out.” As the rant gets right in my face I lay shocked, gawping like a rabbit caught in the headlights. When the fuck did I get involved in this bullshit? Also when did it become MY department? I haven’t cashed any large cheques or received a payrise.

While the rant proceeds to gain in volume one of the directors comes into the room asking what is up and in the midst of his strop the IT guy goes “nothing, its nothing” before being led into the directors office where the rant continues.

With our office now quiet (somewhat stunned) we begin to wonder what was that about? The lady sat opposite me asks “its nothing to do with you is it?” and I shake my already ruffled head.

The girl and the manager finish off their discussion/explanation of the reports before the manager churlishly jokes when leaving “you’re in trouble.” What the fuck did I do? Or what the fuck did I not do?

Eventually the IT guy heads home. We make joke about how in that temper he is likely to go home and smash his gaff up. Still though there is a weird atmosphere to the room now raising a lot of questions and doubt in my mind. And whats more, my performance has now been brought into question with manager to a severe degree when I don’t really think it is warranted.

There is a genuine insecurity to this knock. After the disastrous way in which Baker Street ended, after having a ridiculously obsessive hypercritical manager more focused/concerned on error rather than correction and progression, I have a potential question/doubt in my mind. Luckily this does not appear to be echoed by my current bosses who are happy with my efforts even though the accounts are messy from my inheritance of an acquisition incorrectly accounted for and a financial controller (supervisor) that lied about his qualifications (apparently) and lacked ability (actually).

In many ways I am and will always be my own worst critic. I get angry when people point out my flaws because usually I have already acknowledged them and castigated myself over them. So in this example to be criticised for my work on this job in one context would be justified considering there is still a lot of work to be done but moving forward the work being produced now does not warrant such criticism. As you can see the gesture does nothing but ties my head up in knots. Then again it is just the IT guy criticising the work and department, which is far enough down the food chain not to worry about.

It would appear I am not the only person in the office pissed off by the outburst as the girl whines about him also. Whereas in my mind I am trying to see where he is coming from and to justify the rant, she just thinks he’s a dick. She isn’t worried just angry.

As the dust settles I try to bring a conclusion to the room that he was already having a bad day and we had found ourselves caught up in the storm. Here is a man going through a divorce, which is something that is never going to raise sunshine on every day.

Unfortunately my lack of response to the vocals aimed in my direction do make me feel as if I wimped out and now in addition to worrying about my standard/quality of work and my bosses’ new opinions/verdict of said work from this exposure, I now feel as if I have lost face in the office, in MY “department.”

The afternoon sails out. When the other two directors return the three of them huddle into some kind of meeting and in our office we become paranoid that it is regarding/relating to the IT guy’s. Eventually we find out that the meeting is dealing with something much more important, a real issue – the bank.

The manager pops his head into the office to report that Kate Moss has been in the restaurant. While he reports this, our room is still reeling from IT guy’s rant so I just respond, “I hope she didn’t bump into IT guy on the way out.”

Thankfully the day ends. I hang back a little late half expecting words from the powers that be but they don’t come. Just before leaving two of the directors call me into their office. I fear it is regarding IT guy’s rant but instead they are just letting me know that the auditors will be in next week and it’s a general catch up as to where I am with the accounts (oh yeah, I forgot that I was busy doing monthlies to a strict deadline). The chat is laughs so thankfully ultimately all appears well with the world.

As I leave the restaurant I have a quick chat with the manager about the rant earlier and to him it appears to be water off a duck’s back. He does acknowledge it was a bit OTT but not to worry about it and let it fester, which is probably the best thing to do. I raise concerns about feeling as if I wimped out though and he acknowledges this also the swine. I guess I’ll have to do something then.

I leave the restaurant with my head throbbing and racing against the clock to catch my train. With only minutes to 6.20 I arrive at Liverpool Street with view to possibly catching the train I had long given up on. With this my iPod perfectly syncs with my life as “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys comes on as I have to run across Liverpool Street to board the train. I fucking make it too - *HIGH FIVE*

It always worries me when I decide to run across Liverpool Street to catch my train. Unfortunately on days like this it is a necessity but still I must look ridiculous bouncing around fellow travellers running the risk of having my trousers falling down comedy fashion/style. There is also the worry about spooking policemen but thankfully I think (THINK!) my skin is white enough not to be mistaken for a Brazilian illegal or Muslim terrorist.

By the time I am on the train home I have come to the conclusion that the “argument”, well rant, is the low rent equivalent of Alan Sugar tearing us new arseholes for no longer using his white analogue satellite dishes to pick up Sky on. Zing!

As I near home I am guarding the two free London newspapers to look at home but some Asian twat in the seat opposite just points at them and takes one. I look at him in disgust and react as if he just shat on my living room carpet. Doesn’t mean he returns it though. Fucker, there was a picture in one of them I was going to masturbate to.

Eventually my hell day is over as I return to Colchester. At the station there is a sign reporting (warning) of potential/possible RMT action on Monday. Oh yeah, that is deserved. Regularly late running trains, next to zero service at the weekends, yup that action has all my support.

When I finally pop my head into my parents place the young rich soft guy that dad “runs” their residents association with is there in some kind of discussion. I say “hello” not acknowledging the fact that when we see each other on the train occasionally we wilfully ignore each other. I don’t trust this guy, unfortunately he is on a different educational level to my father and as a result knows certain things about business and administration that dad doesn’t. Also the guy doesn’t like dogs, you cannot trust people that do not like dogs.

Soon I am home for the first episode of this year’s series of The Apprentice. As ever it is a strange collection of individuals that tend to be edited in to appear like imbeciles and backbiters before the people with the real talent for leadership (and little else) emerge. Alan Sugar hams it up more than ever as the contestants look younger than ever (I would be afraid to work out how many of them are now younger than myself). The contestants, although leaked announced a couple of weeks ago, are:

The first person we are shown is Kate Walsh. I suspect she is going to be the looker of the gang/group with her blonde Aryan hair but the look also comes uncomplimented by a wonky mouth PJ Harvey could take the piss out of. She is visibly rubbish on a mobile phone and when back in their penthouse at the end she eats the men’s leftovers suggesting she swallows.

With a very (very) slight resemblance to Tommy Carcetti from The Wire (and Queer As Folk) this unfortunately is not the Ben Clark from Pappy’s Fun Club that we all know and love (and some girls quite frankly fawn over). This one soon announces that he enjoys business more than sex which means he either has a really small cock and/or he doesn’t know how to shag properly or good. At the close of the show though he utters the either genius or completely wankerish quote “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.” I guess it is now down to him over the next couple of weeks to display, which this is.

I once used to go out with a couple of sisters called “Shah” (in some capacity) and wonder if this is the missing demon triplet. She declares that she is outstanding and that it is a given. She can also add to this that she is fucking ugly with it. She describes herself as the “complete package” – strong words. This complete package also includes the weirdest looking mouth on television when not pulling an expression similar to Pob. Every time she speaks she reminds me of my old manager at Baker Street (if I close my eyes it is her). Unfortunately when she winds up in the boardroom on the way to being first fired she makes new comment that she “did not want to be a strong individual.” No fear there love, did she really say that or was it clever editing? By the end of proceedings though you begin to wonder just how the fuck she got this far (and on the show) in the first place.

The first lady of The Apprentice that stands out this year is for having a horse face that would destroy The National. Over the coming weeks this woman will give babies nightmares. She says that she is a “winner” and is very smug with it, especially when she winds up in the boardroom at the end. You could accuse her of being two faced but then why would she pick that one? As a result of this however she is able to slay the other two ladies in the boardroom finale. You come away with the feeling that she is already preparing herself for some kind of show on UK Living and a guest spot on Loose Women.

If appearances are supposed to count (and they do), this guy with THAT beard is going to find it impossible to be a man taken seriously. Potential fireworks lay ahead as his apparent Islamic beliefs will hopefully clash with Sugar’s Jewish background/heritage and the boardroom at some point will hopefully resemble an office version of the Gaza Strip. He states he was “born to do great things” in between making various sexist comments.

Unfortunately this is not Annalise from Neighbours; instead this is the Yank with kitten features. Currently along with the rest of the right thinking world I have little time for Americans and their hypocrisies so this is something of a no-brainer. If she is so great as she announces it begs the question why is she on Alan Sugar’s Apprentice and not Donald Trump’s more luxurious version (original)? She’s from New York, as if that is supposed to impress us. That said with her amazing dark brown eyes and round Disney face features she is very attractive.

With a surname scarily close to quim this guy looks Eastern European and a real bruiser. It also makes him look thick coupled with his dim movements and comments made during the task. That said it makes him probably the most tasty of the bunch in the event of a fight.

Sadly not Phil “The Power” Taylor, this is the non-darts player version. In the movie version of this series Paddy Constantine or Martin Freeman will play him. He’s a Geordie so he has that likeable cheeky chappy element to his character. Unfortunately he is also an estate agent so is probably on the show because he no longer has a job (well, no commissions). He’s all right.

This man possesses the most punchable face of the bunch. He is also an oddly cocky character despite being a teacher and apparently having put no business acumen into action. Armchair Apprentice. This theory is backed up by the reality that he does fuck all during the episode.

Looking like Luke Skywalker and running pubs for a living should have made this guy the perfect team leader/project manager. In practise such credentials did not quite work but to his credit his team did win the washing/cleaning task. It would appear his biggest handicap is going to be looking like a teenager, slightly bug eyed and crater faced. He won though, the Force is (possibly) strong in this one and he might have the Jedi Mind Trick in his arsenal to unleash during an eventual boardroom facedown. Unfortunately the most lasting impression from this task/impression is that he is pretty adept at shining shoes.

Potentially the ugly offshoot and offspring of Lennox and Leona for some reason she really wanted to be project manager. Suspicion comes with her for a reason. Her accent is funny, South African? I hope so; I know how to swear in that language. At the close of proceedings my only impressions are that she is rubbish and a real flapper.

I once accidentally wound up seeing a brass called Yasmine. Her surname may easily have been Siadatan but it definitely wasn’t this lady. This one is weird looking, near mute it would appear with crappily framed hair like the woman from Cutting It. And that is it.

Is there really somebody in the UK called Rocky? Obviously the poor lad (21) has been brought in for working class comedy value, my gut instinct about Rocky Andrews is that he looks too much like ex-Millwall player Jody Morris. This connection brings to mind my favourite all time Apprentice contestant Ansell Henry, a big loveable lunk that (almost) lined up for Millwall before experiencing a career ending injury. This guy will not win.

Again somebody stealing her name from someone else, this is unfortunately not the Paula Jones that sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994 (thanks Wikipedia). This is this year’s ginger, a person that makes the suggestion of wanting to “clean people” in the task and then she is allowed to name the team! She looks like a bashed up version of Grace from Will And Grace but we have already had one of those in a previous season of The Apprentice. She is annoying early.

This is the last person to be identified. One word for Lorraine: glasses. She looks stupid and gormless. She acts and speaks like an Irish spinster and does nothing but fade into the background. Her clock is ticking.

After the show and Anita Shah’s sacking I watch The Apprentice You’re Fired and find myself beginning to warm to the useless cow that suddenly displays humour and humanity.

Tonight ITV shows its Brian Clough documentary timed to coincide with the release of The Damned United. I fall asleep mid way through, probably due to Clough’s widow being annoying and his son attempting (and failing) to use some of his father’s traits.

At 1.30 I awaken unable to sleep. Once again the incidents of the day, the ones with the IT guy bother me and it disturbs me. To help me get to sleep I put on the “Born Into This” documentary about Charles Bukowski and before I know it the time is 4AM and I am in line to get very little sleep tonight/today/tonight.

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