Wednesday 3 June 2009
Today I wake up just after 4AM and the sun is rising. Also the menu screen of my 30 Rock DVD is playing out with the music probably surfing out of my window and into apartment courtyard giving my neighbours an early morning listen. As I scrap around for my TV remote control I am unable to find it. The DVD remote control still sits in its place so I switch off 30 Rock only to be confronted by some early morning noisy kids TV shit. I roll out of bed to switch the thing off at the mains. I am killing the planet and myself in the process.
The headache from last night is lingering. Its too early and too painful to even consider beginning the day yet. Outside the day appears to be a beautiful sea of calm, waking at dawn without any people around to ruin things, the world or existence.
Fortunately I am eventually able to roll back over to sleep but rest feels only temporary.
When the alarm clock buzzes it feels too early, too soon. It definitely is too early for my body clock and wellbeing. On cue I flip the TV on to a media calling for Gordon Brown’s head. Nothing new there then.
I feel rough and wind up spending the first ten minutes of my day on my throne. Annoyingly with it I have nothing to read, nothing to do but consider the future tone of my stool. Last night I genuinely missed not reading the Luke Haines book, especially in the light of now clicking with the “After Murder Park” album.
I leave the flat late/delayed this morning. As I pull away in my car I notice my bedroom window still wide open and I feel the need to shut it because it looks like the day could be rough/wet. More delay.
Despite this I get to the station just in time but very far behind on/in the platform queue. Today the train pulls in at 8.04. I can’t believe it is only Wednesday, this week feels filled already.
At Liverpool Street on the tube platform a guy in a yellow turban keeps repeatedly bumping into me. What is his problem?
Later on the tube a crazy man that looks like Ken Dodd with straight teeth keeps changing/moving seats. I snap him a glare to gesture “keep away” and he does.
I’m first into the restaurant this morning which means I get to do alarm duties and even better play with the restaurant. Mainly this entails practising on the coffee machine and drinking Coca Cola before 9AM.
As people slowly come in thankfully The Girl comes around today. I still do not know what the major family problem from Monday was about but if she is now coming around best let sleeping dogs lie.
Aside though I feel relaxed and happy today for the first time in months and with it a forgiving nature re-enters my soul, which can only be good for everybody. Empathy resumes despite the fact that the lady Gyle once joyfully took it upon herself to inform me just how I lack it.
Work wise today is another very busy day with the audit. Yikes this is turning out to be a messy job.
Around lunchtime I sorted out the wage payment transfer which has thankfully been my only concrete requirement of the week. In her defence (praise) even though The Girl sat in a strop yesterday she did get all the wages work done well on time.
The day improves infinitely when at lunchtime I discover that Ricky Gervais is doing four warm up shows at the Bloomsbury Theatre in August. I find out about the shows via Pilkipedia and when I hit the Bloomsbury website with a pleasant surprise there are still tickets available. These are shows that generally tend to sell out almost immediately but even though pairs of tickets appear long gone there still seems to be lots of singles open to buy. I snag two tickets (one for the Tuesday and one of the Thursday) for less than I was going/willing to pay for Ipswich tickets. This genuinely cheers me excessively as I feel horribly smug in the process. Then the reality hits me that I could well find myself bumping into The American at one of these shows. That would/could be a slice.
For lunch I have penne with chicken, my total standard meal full of carbs and devoid of imagination on my part. Should I be trusting the Mexican/Brazilian chef if my boss has had a word with him?
It is another busy quiet busy afternoon. I find it is actually good talking to the accounts consultant when the bosses aren’t around, I feel it gives me the opportunity to attempt to blow my own trumpet. Also I know these accounts better/closer than my bosses ever will. They know the cashflows and performance but they never look at Sage or my management packs.
In the end I find myself staying late until 6.10 in order to ensure that I am last leaving, staying open to field any remaining questions that might arise from either the auditor or the consultant.
On the tube from St Johns Wood to Baker Street tonight is an incredibly annoying family with a pushchair. Don’t these people fucking realise that on tubes these buggies represent a death-trap in the event of emergency. Looking at the family I have no idea where they are from (somewhere third world) but the dad sure likes showing off his kid as her big brown eyes glare into those of every other passenger causing a dozen hearts to melt. This however is a big error on the father’s part as when the kid stares at me I notice the big dangling tacky fake gold earrings on its ears. Surely this must be illegal (or at least made so). I then note how its ears are hanging down like some horrible hybrid/combination of Yoda and Mac from Mac And Me. This is another example of the parent product of Hackney no doubt.
At Liverpool Street station I then see a man with a prayer mat bowing inside the gates and it is a truly terrifying sight. Please not in public you attention seeking cunt.
Tonight I catch the 7PM train to Norwich, the first post peak train of the evening. This bastard is always packed, a fact that isn’t helped when people use available seats as glorified coat racks and/or luggage compartments. Truly I wish I possessed the balls to act like such a self-serving ignorant cunt.
Wow, two paragraphs ending with the word “cunt” – where did my good mood go to?
In an effort to mellow/chill out I manage to royally get/tap into “Wowee Zowee” by Pavement. Listening to this must indicate that it is summer.
When I get back to Colchester and pop into the olds at Balkerne Heights it is into an empty flat despite the door not being locked. I have a work colleague (the operations manager) that would describe it as looking like the Mary Celeste. When someone eventually shows their face it is my mother emerging from the bathroom where the pair of them are bathing the dog. It most certainly must be his birthday (albeit one day later).
Mum tells me that dad has resigned as a director. This is a surprise.
It would turn out that a fellow director called Barry Hepburn has kind of taken over proceedings not necessarily to dad’s tastes and the final straw comes when Mr Hepburn fires a series of patronising (but professional) emails in the old man’s direction that are calculated and strike a nerve with him only serving to infuriate and upset circumstances further than they already frustrated.
The email reads:
“From: Hepburn Barry [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: 30 May 2009 20:46To: AudreyandrolandCc: email@example.com; JFStopford@live.co.ukSubject: Re: PMS
You leave me a little confused Roland.. We had a Directors meeting on the 5th May when discussed all your points and we agreed a course of action? As I understand it that has all been implemented bar one issue that has been referred back for further consideration by us. The meetings you mentioned of 8th Feb and 8th April were not mentioned let alone figured in our discussions.
Since then I have received, anonymously, a list of grievances and a petition. I do not respond to anonymous letters but I think we should consider the list of grievances at the next Directors mtg and record our collective response. As far as the petition is concerned it does not seem to be addressed to anyone so I am not sure who they are petitioning. Disregarding the 'duplicate' signatures (one property one vote!) and the properties who only pay a gating charge and therefore do not suffer from the alleged failings of PMS, the petitioners only represent a tiny minority.
Sadly, Roland, you saw fit to put your own signature on the petition which means that when the Directors discuss this, you will not be able to be present. Directors act as a Corporate body. Indeed, there are many published codes of corporate governance that we are expected to adhere to. Even though we may have different views within the Board room, once the Directors have made a collective decision we all have to abide by it. If an individual Director is so opposed to that collective decision that he cannot abide by it, then he has to resign. By going public on your views before we have a structured debate, you have ruled yourself out of making an impartial decision based on facts and therefore cannot participate in that decision.
We may well agree that PMS need to be replaced, but it must be considered in a disciplined and structured way so that we can show we acted in a responsible manner - otherwise we could be severely criticised by the vast majority of Members who have not expressed any concerns. Even worse, as Directors we can be held personally financially liable for decisions which have an adverse financial impact on the Company's Members unless we can show we made that decision in good faith after having considered all the facts and within the limits of our competence. I promise you Roland, I speak from experience. I have been a Company Director since my mid thirties whether it was a small family owned business, a medium sized public company or the European Divisional Chief Executive of a major multi national where i was Chairman of many subsidiaries. In every case, the rules of procedure and conduct were the same If we ever ended up in a legal battle my extensive experience would be taken into account in deciding whether we acted properly - which is why I am so insistent that we conduct our meetings properly
We must have another meeting.
Kind regards to all, Barry.”
Talk about play to your strengths. Away from a kneejerk (such as the old man’s) it would beg the question that if this man is such a captain of industry what is he doing living on the Balkerne Heights complex? Surely such a history of such corporate credentials would equate to a very substantial legacy of earnings and the ability to purchase a grand home as opposed to some boxy but convenient apartment close to town. Likewise this directorship is pretty much a volunteer role that derives no salary or income so why on earth is this man puffing himself up so much on such a small role. Ouch, he’s some kind of David Brent figure whose only ability appears to be to string a few words together and make pretty letters (so it would seem).
Ultimately one of the most annoying and galling aspects of this to the old man is that this Barry Hepburn guy is the new kid (codger) on the block while dad has been banging his head against the wall for around three years now. He’ll learn, if he doesn’t die of old age first.
On that note (jumped up wankers) tonight is the interview episode of The Apprentice. This is always a damn good episode, generally in many ways it is better than the final episode. I absolutely love the interviewers tearing the candidates apart in the interviews from hell.
The fact that interviews feature four women and one man speaks volumes to me of the absolute rock bottom low quality of The Apprentice this year.
Personally I feel James gets given a hard time although listening to extracts from his CV he doesn’t help himself. Lorraine soon fucks up and is revealed for the piece of rotten cheese that she is. How she has arrived at the semi final stage is beyond expectations and common sense.
Kate is the person that appears to come through smoothest. I swear Alan Sugar has a thing for her and tonight so do the interviewers it would seem. The inclusion of Karren Brady as an interviewer really does add a lightweight; minor celebrity tone to proceedings and the woman barely tests any of her interviewees. She seems to be appearing in place of the really rough, unshaven East End type that usually tears the contestants apart in an aggressive manner. He is usually top value and a real loss to proceedings this year.
Debra and Yasmina are the more entertaining interviews. Debra obviously gets all defensive and slightly shirty as her references unsurprisingly paint her in a very bad light and she contests everything asked about and of her. Yasmina fucks up big time when her interviewer looks a bit too much/far into her restaurants dealings for her comfort. She is plainly been spoon fed this business and when quizzed on the turnover and profits of the company she appears to not know the difference between gross and net at which point by rights she should be laughed out of the room and out of the series.
When it reaches the boardroom after the poor showings in the interviews Lorraine and James are the first to go. As ever Yasmina manages to hang in there but still the gross/net boob I personally feel really has revealed her utter ignorance of business finances. Perhaps this is not an issue for Sugar and his cohorts but surely if an individual cannot work out this how on earth are they going to measure performance of any of their endeavours?
With Kate smiling her way the show despite being suspected and accused of being a phoney and fake (which of course she is) it comes down to a decision between Yasmina and Debra. In the end he plumps for Yasmina but displays some hesitation and extends an olive branch to Debra for later down the line, when she is older, more mature and less aggressive. With her aggression it has been a wonder she made it this far.
The final is going to be on Sunday now instead of next week and the few clips show the Yank looking more chubby and trotting into view to help save the day as Kate and Yasmina captain/manage two teams in some silly task. Truly these are not good candidates.
Afterwards I watch some of You’re Fired and find myself stunned at how Lorraine has put so much effort into polishing the turd that she is. She looks completely different but still utterly disgusting. The glammed up Debra however is very sexed up but still shame about the boat. James comes over the best, lots of fun with lots of personality (if no strong charisma). At the beginning of proceedings I would never have had him down as a semi finalist but tonight on this show he really excels.
Beyond this my night still has not finished when I notice a leak at the base of my toilet. This is the worst possible way to end the day as I go to bed worrying about the toilet and a sense of panic is sent in motion about the floor falling in beneath me.
I fall asleep watching a quiz with old Big Brother contestants. It is pretty entertaining and that beast girl Rebecca that devoured the comedian last year is suddenly more appealing than ever. The real eye opener is when that Kemal person gets wheeled out and it is now the biggest freak – how shit must his life be to now resemble something like that?