Friday 22 January 2010
The bad news today is that I wake up with a headache. That isn’t going to be good for anybody.
As I head off to the station yet again I arrive there early and with it raining I decide to squeeze onto the 6.48AM train rather than wait around and get wet. Surprisingly though for a train that pretty much leaves Colchester already full it turns out to be another fine, boring ride devoid of drama or anxiety. Maybe I need to get back onto that 7.03AM fast.
Eventually I get into Liverpool Street just before 8AM which then subsequently sees me into work just before 8.30AM where I finally get around to watching the remainder of this week’s Newswipe which turns out to be top notch stuff, dare I say even more spot on than the last series and far superior to Screenwipe.
While watching the episode just as Doug Stanhope is going through his rant the Filipino turns up and steps into our office just in time to hear the worst possible language imaginable coming from my PC. What must she think of me and my viewing choices? I blush apologetically.
Again it is another day of closed-door meetings with a lot seemingly going down with the company at this time, not that we are being kept in the loop about things (just yet).
This morning The Girl informs me that she is looking for a new job and this time it sounds more serious, feasible and likely. Compared to such similar declarations she made during the summer its not so bad this time now that the Filipino is now bedded in and the company feels as if it has some kind of buoyancy now that was missing in the summer.
Elsewhere the Filipino has her own hassles as the legal firm dealing with her car accident claim are charging the other party £4000 for her two weeks hire of a Vectra. No wonder the other party are querying/disputing this, you could probably fucking buy one of those for that price. All in all though this is more hassle than anybody needs. I try to help out by taking interest and offering up advice but I can’t help but agree with the other side. Not that I would ever dream of saying this to her.
Today I once more attempt to make plans to meet up with my friend in Holland Park but when she eventually gets back to me she tells me we can’t meet up because the builders are in at home and also that her eldest has pneumonia. The fun never stops.
Mid morning I express surprise that the bosses are not yet leaning on me for December accounts but within half an hour I suddenly find myself being harassed as they are requested. That is foresight.
At lunchtime when I head down to collect our food the Heavy Metal Manager ropes me into going for drinks at the Crobar tonight. I don’t like the sound of this place, sounds like the Batcave to me.
From here I run out the afternoon putting through final adjustments on the December accounts before sending them off to the powers that be to review and authorise. Inevitably this will not prove straightforward and will be the beacon for a series of queries I suspect/expect. As a result I work a little late in the hope of avoiding the Heavy Metal Manager and getting out of drinks tonight.
At around 5PM I get an internal call from downstairs with a foreign voice telling me that the Heavy Metal Manager has already headed off and he’ll be waiting for me at The Salt House on Abbey Road.
The Salt House is not a place that holds good memories for me. The last time I was there was with the Heavy Metal Manager this time last year when he should have been going to band practice and I should have been popping in to see Szesze at her restaurant. The time before that however was when the crazy financial controller of the restaurant and I had a sit-down as it became evident that his time was up. It was a weird conversation that I could barely muster any energy to converse or participate in. He then proceeded to invite me back to Reading later that week for some kind of weird orgy foursome with a couple of kinky girls. Had I gone to this I don’t expect I would have got out of Reading alive, certainly I would have struggled to get into work the following day. Then as conversation between he and I moved from laboured to dying on its arse he began grilling a bunch of middle aged yobs who were sat on the table next to us (the leader of which looked like John Hollins) who it turned out were armed forces, something that really tickled and titillated the FC as he had a huge claimed of previously being in the forces himself. Later he and I stole pint glasses from the pub and headed back to our restaurant where we bowled in to get a couple of steak sandwiches. I think he was doing this to put a blot on my record sheet with the company, to sabotage my goodwill. Soon fortunately I was on my way home, getting away from him as fast as possible. So no, the Salt House does not hold many fond memories for me. Who would have thought Abbey Road could/would be so exciting?
Begrudgingly I leave the restaurant and head to said pub, going in the wrong direction from home. When I get to the place there is ding-dong stood outside smoking a fag. To be honest I am only coming along with view to getting the latest restaurant gossip. The latest gossip turns out to be that he has indeed decided to leave and he will be gone in two weeks.
He tells me that his friend has turned up and is waiting inside adding that he apparently loves himself and is slightly full of it. Generally it sounds as if this is the type of person I hate. Regardless I enter the pub giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. My bad.
The Heavy Metal Manager’s mate turns out to be called Simon and also turns out to be a Grade A prick. The first thing that I notice about him is that he is wearing a North Face coat, which is fashion code for cunt to me.
I get introduced as “head of accounts” and from here he begins grilling me about my job and pummelling me for figures regarding the financial performance of our company (our restaurants). What the fuck has it got to do with this guy? He asks me about annual turnover and GP percentages and these just aren’t things I know off the top of my head. Perhaps I should. Instead I seem more concerned with the soft issues; elsewhere the powers that be are taking care of the big picture. This guy is firing corporate questions at me when our setup resembles anything but that of such a corporate mentality. We are proudly independent with all the benefits and shortfalls that come with. Even if this guy has the textbook knowledge and the front with which to initiate it he doesn’t possess the hands on experience to deal with a place such as ours. Not that I have it (the words) in me to explain this.
Thankfully while this line of grilling is ensuing the Heavy Metal Manager seems happy to chip in so I let him pick up the ball and run with it even though from my level/perspective he doesn’t really know what we do (when at the same time I could never claim to know what he does at his level). I don’t want to say he is clueless about the financial dealings of the organisation but he is. He doesn’t even know what we are currently up to with regards to our corporate reshuffling. In The Tortoise And The Hare race that is his mind, the Mouth is most definitely beating his Brain.
All in all this Simon is a prick. Fortunately the Heavy Metal Manager gets a call from his bass player already waiting for us at The Crobar just off Charing Cross Road and with this I get talked into heading along after all. How do I get myself into these situations?
With a couple of drinks inside him at this point Simon North Face suggests that he gives us a lift to Chalk Farm where we can get a Northern Line tube down to our destination.
It is at this point I find myself riding in a Porsche along Adelaide Road with a wired arsehole at the helm. If we die, I blame him. Soon it transpires that he isn’t actually doing us any favours when he parks up in a place called Eton Court. This is a pretty nice place to live it would appear and without question I am envious.
Soon we bid farewell to the arsehole and he heads inside to a comfy Friday night at home while the Heavy Metal Manager stops to have a piss in the bushes, which comes well timed as it coincides with another Eton Court resident returning home after he own session.
Within minutes we find ourselves on a tube flying down to Tottenham Court Road with us acting like a couple of dickheads playing each other loud music via our iPhones like a couple of stoned Chavs. Tonight we are the ASBOs.
Eventually we get to Tottenham Court Road station where the Heavy Metal Manager surprisingly doesn’t appear to know his way out of. When we finally get to The Crobar the bass player is patiently waiting for us, more patient than I would ever be. I just guess I am not cool. From here we get some cans of Red Stripe in and grab a seat and table.
This is metal central, a place I once would have felt comfortable in but these days despite wearing black most of the time I feel horribly alien/foreign to these people and to be honest I can’t help but think that that is a good thing, I don’t want to be tarred with their brush. The Crobar is where metal comes to die but quite frankly it is infinitely more fun than anything North Face Porsche Simon from Eton Court was offering.
I manage to keep up with conversation having slightly similarly record collections to these guys (well, in the 90s I would have).
Like a fool I keep tripping up tonight on various steps seemingly hidden in the Batcave grog house.
Later the bass player’s girlfriend turns up and it transpires that she is a roller derby player for the London Rockin Rollers. She is called “Bloody Valentine” and is a totally nice person. For me this is about as cool as it gets.
It seems that most of the roller derby players have already seen Whip It and they think it is good. I keep grilling the lady about the game and how much it hurts to keep whacking into other players. As ever she shrugs it all off (just like every other player I have met). We chat briefly about mutual friends and now more than ever I come to the conclusion that I would really love to have roller derby girlfriend.
Around 8PM I leave the Crobar and wind up on an 8.38PM train home that I didn’t even realise existed. When I finally get back to Colchester it is beginning to get too late to do anything. As a result of this it’s not long before I’m heading to bed to watch Celebrity Big Brother and other Friday night TV treats (which these days feel thin on the ground).