Monday, 25 July 2011

The past few days have been relatively action-packed.
It began with my first day at work, which exceeded my expectations. I had mulled over the notion of calling in sick, or just pretending that my commitment didn't exist, but I decided that I had to bite the bullet and forego my cowardice. In retrospect, I think I made a reasonably good decision.

I arrived slightly early at the store and suffered an awkward wait, skulking around Lea Bridge road whilst my manager opened the door for me. I approached tentatively and was pleasantly greeted by Gary, my manager. He was, in fairness, a very nice chap. He explained health and safety procedures to me and showed me how to use the cash register (a knack that I am yet to fully master).

A few customers in and I was fairly happy that I was doing a good job. My co-workers, whilst perhaps a tad simple, were nice enough and nothing much was going wrong. I did manage to charge a woman £28.50 for a book, because the cash register lied to me, but the problem was sorted out quick enough. The day was defined by sporadic and confusing customer-related issues. Firstly, I was warned not to let gypsies in the store because they had a tendency for theft. Whilst I strongly disagreed with the wide-scale social discrimination, I dared not contradict my manager, especially as it probably wasn't worth my job and an argument over. There was a woman who profusely swore at a push-chair... that wasn't there. I would hazard a guess that she had some form of dementia, but she was quite nice to me, so I can't complain. An elderly Muslim woman in a burka bought a £1.50 pair of ear-rings. The futility of this action cannot be expressed by words. My best effort at the time was to offer a sheepish smile and thank her for her business. Later on in the day, a furiously African woman (in the sense that the extent of her ethnicity - as an African - was so strong that it verged upon violence, if that makes any sense) demanded a refund for the DVDs that she bought.  She offered a compelling background story as to her intentions when buying aforementioned DVDs, but it served little purpose as she lacked a receipt... or the DVDs. I could not help but laugh at her. On balance, I didn't regret my attendance and will continue to do so.

My next day was characterised by trip into London with Charlie and Chanel. It was in fact, a very enjoyable day out. I initially intimated that I would enjoy relaxing in Hyde Park, but Charlie has a bit of a domineering tendency to get his way, and so we visited the Natural History Museum. The exterior I found mind-blowing, with its precision carved indentations and beautifully looming spires. However, the interior I am largely familiar with, and thus found a smidgen uninteresting. We proceeded to have dinner at Pizza Hut (the paradigm of class, I know...), which made for a thoroughly entertaining evening, followed by a smooth journey home.

Between then and now, I saw the new Harry Potter film, which was an expected let-down. The audience in the cinema didn't enhance it either; cheering every few scenes for any number of reasons. I was forced to abandon my distinctly British method of gritting myself and ignoring it, rather opting for the American, "Shut the hell up, you fuckwits!". Against my better nature, yes, but it proved successful.

Yesterday I embarked upon a day of sport at the field with the usual lot. I discovered that I have a talent for baseball, denting Tadas' bat in the process, and not very much of a talent for frisbee, falling flat on my face.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Some time has passed since my last entry, the exact amount of time is unknown (or rather, it is known if I were to exercise a modicum of effort, but I shan't do so).
The time itself has whiled away pretty quickly, and without progress.
I will start at what I now understand to be the beginning. Following my most recent entry, I attended a gig with Nathan. It was sweet gauging his excitement over the whole thing, as it was his first ever concert and I think he was (appropriate) especially excited about the mosh pits which I had described in beautiful detail. Travel there was no issue and the support band were interesting. The Computers are a sort of hardcore screamo bunch, which delighted Nathan (who knew?). They weren't quite my cup of tea, but they were good performers, which I shall grant unto them. Bad Religion donned the stage to rapturous applause and surreal levels of moshing. They were everything that I expected them to be, which was good. Bad Religion have an excellent live reputation and they certainly lived it up it, blasting out classics such as 'Punk Rock Song' and 'Sorrow', which was positively goose-bump inducing. The pits were absolutely mad. Nathan got thoroughly involved and managed to crowd surf, but my lack of involvement was testament to my poor fitness levels (something that needs to change - and hasn't since the gig...). By the end of it I left drench in sweat (probably not my own), gasping for water and smelling like a particularly rotund, middle aged, topless man in the mosh pits who insisted on swinging his arms like an orangutan with reduced motor skills in my general direction.

I'm not quite sure what happened between then and now, but I can outline some events. I got a call back from Uniqlo about the sales assistant job that I applied for 6 weeks ago. After passing the interview over the phone (with flying colours, I might add) I was all geared up to attend a group interview this Thursday. However, after some thought, I realised that I couldn't in good consciousness work for the private retail sector. The idea of toiling like a drone, folding clothes and giving 'customer support' in an avoidably bland manner is detestable, further, working for only personal gain and to line the pockets of some japanese billionaire who would doesn't care about anybody but himself (I presume). That altruistic nonsense aside, group interviews scare me shitless.

So, I made the decision to forego my impending interview, in favour of a nice charity shop job. I'm going to be working in retail at the Sense shop, for all of the people who can't see or hear. 'Double Trouble', as I affectionately labeled them in conversation with good Louie, whose blog I do follow and urge you to (even though only he reads this gash)...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Well, it's been a fairly long week, and a very arduous weekend. After my last blog post I set sail for Mexico, moreover, I flew premium class with Thomson airways. The taxi driver may well be the most useless person to grace Whipps Cross Cars... First, he was 30 minutes late, which is even more spectacular considering the company base is 3 minutes drive away. Second, he insisted on doing 45kmph on the M23. Third, he was blissfully unaware that he could drive in lanes that were not occupied by the black BMW in front that was going even slower than us.

Check-in was fairly brief, as was security. The flight, however, was intolerable. Mark my words, whatever an airline says about making long-haul journeys pleasurable is utter tosh. The seats were uncomfortable and narrow and they were not suited for somebody of my height. The films kept me mildly entertained, but ultimately nothing can detract from the tedium of 10 hours in the air.

The week itself flew by quickly. The hotel was quite nice... very ornate. The room was large and there was a spot of American television to hold my amusement when I wasn't drinking, eating or swimming. The food was mostly ghastly, but it was free, so no complaints. Ditto with the drink. Mexicans make the worst beer known to man. XX vaguely resembles sewer water in smell, and ordinary water in taste. The beach was fucking gorgeous, as with the pool. The largest downside of the holiday was that I have met my alcohol match. The peach martini that I ordered was too strong for me to finish. That said, it was a Mexican peach martini, and the Mexicans invariably make every food and drink stuff worse (except for tequila, oh lord!)

The flight home was equally taxing and left be jet lagged and with gastroenteritis.