Friday 7 August 2009
The trains are on strike and now the post is on strike. What the fuck is happening to this country?
After a disturbed nights sleep I awaken with a headache and a bump. I cannot believe how warm and yet miserably dull it all still is. No wonder people are miserable.
As I walk past St Mary’s playground at Balkerne Heights this morning I see some lad in a plain white t-shirt staggering around disorientated looking as he is on heroin. He sits down and in a scene reminiscent of Whistle Down The Wind when he sees me he says “Jesus.” Does this mean I am now supposed/expected to hide him in a barn and sneak scraps of food out to him? I fucking despair/despise his existence and would happily like to punch and beat him at this time not least for being one of the elements that is making my parents’ lives misery at the moment. Instead however I just acknowledge him with “all right” and move on amidst his response of “fucking hell” as if I am going to indulge in concern. Yes, fucking hell indeed.
I get to the station at 6.50AM for some reason this morning – I guess this is me enthused and overcompensating in preparation to fight my corner on a strike filled train. I get on the train just before 6.55AM, a train that is leaving at 7.15AM. Here are 20 minutes of my life I am never getting back.
Reading Jonathan Ross’ Twitter I discover that John Hughes has died. This is real shame, Planes, Trains And Automobiles is as good as (mainstream) comedy gets.
Eventually 7.15AM comes around and the train pulls away. The train does not feel as busy/full today. And most definitely there are no mugging former classmates spilling Lucozade in front of me. Today is already better than yesterday.
At Kelvedon the woman with crazy hair from a few weeks ago decides to sit opposite me. She’s still dragging herself through a bush on a regular basis it would seem. I look at her thinking “what a fucking mess” and “who the fuck would fuck that.” Then she sneezes on me.
As the train reaches Witham there are still seats available on the train today. This is a seachange in the service.
Later I watch at Shenfield as a bloody-minded individual insists on bringing his kid in a pushchair on the now rammed/packed train. Were there pushchairs at Hillsborough? Well there are here today.
Despite there being hardly any fucking trains from National Express today somehow we again still fucking beach outside Liverpool Street. Now that is consistency in the face of such adversity and the polar opposite of efficiency in action.
Things pick up slightly as I snag an abandoned copy of The Sun and on the cover is the sketch of the McCann’s latest Posh Spice lookalike suspect. The picture actually looks more like Alice Nutter from Chumbawamba, an altogether more likely suspect in proceedings (if John Prescott might be believed).
I know I said it yesterday but today the timing of the RMT and National Express strike spookily coincides with the release of Ronnie Biggs. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
As I step through St Johns Wood station a notice confirms for me that the Jubilee Line will indeed be out this weekend.
Despite the train strike today I get into work comfortably and to the sight of all the bosses already in meeting. I wave “morning” to which they all joyfully respond.
Once in I immediately tear into work knowing that I have a major work schedule ahead of me.
Eventually when the subject of working Saturday comes up I point out how pointless it is and how it is only required because the consultant has dropped the ball. Things get a bit tense but the outcome remains me being persuaded to get dragged in tomorrow. Promptly I put on a sulk and a strop. How old am I again?
Fortunately it is not a (too) destructive sulk as I proceed to put my head right down and power through work. An atmosphere exists but it doesn’t matter as I find myself in the zone and not interested in anything else.
Originally I had intended to have just soup for lunch today (health reasons) but The Girl suggests that I have a chicken burger to avoid further bellyaching about being hungry later on in the day.
When my boss returns from a meeting in the afternoon he tells me not to bother coming in tomorrow (on Saturday). Suddenly I get my way but suddenly I also feel really bad about it. He appears to have heard me moan/complain about having a friend over from “France” tomorrow. Its actually Mark who is back from Frankfurt but I’ll take what I can get. I still feel guilty though.
Later in the afternoon my guilt appeases slightly when my boss asks to borrow £10 to get his haircut. Was this some kind of management test?
Towards the end of the day the consultant phones my boss to see if I am still coming in tomorrow. Apparently the guy is at our St Martins Lane location sounding pissed up.
Likewise now The Girl is no longer coming in tomorrow either but she has offered to work late. In a show of solidarity I stay late also as she does a genuinely sterling job in processing invoices, she really helps out and as a result I am semi happy to stay behind also.
On the radio Scott Mills begins his Wonder Years and plays “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – yes!
Eventually, after a few calls from my boss downstairs, The Girl finishes at 6.30PM and I follow a little later at 6.45PM. As I head out the boss is still drinking at the bar. He is happy to see me and asks if I want to join him for a drink but I really need to get back. I apologise for not coming in tomorrow and he tells me he is going to pay me triple time for tonight’s overtime. That’ll be good.
I head home dizzy and exhausted. I wish there was more to this but there just isn’t.
When I get home it is around 8.30PM and I feel exhausted from a mentally challenging day. From here I do little more than flip on the TV and endure another Friday at the height of summer spent on my own.
Evicted on Big Brother tonight is Hira, that poor drippy girl who never stood a chance and was nice throughout the competition. She was nice to look at but little else.
Unsurprisingly soon I am falling asleep, re-emerging briefly to the sight of Old School but not even that can pull me out of the necessity of slumber.