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Dishonesty is the best policy

  Fri 6th May 2016

Got up at 5am and got back home at 11pm, working at one of the various elections that are being held today. Trina drove me and all the paraphernalia there for 6.15 and picked me up again after the poll closed at 10pm and drove me to the Town Hall where everything has to be checked. I feel that hot head like sunburn that lack of sleep can cause.

We prepared for this important exercise in democracy sensibly last night, with Chablis, sherry, mdma and speed. It was a successful evening -- by which I mean it was sexless, and she didn't criticise me or start ragging on about what she sees as my alcoholism and my deprived childhood. I long since gave up arguing my case with her about any of her idées fixes, but it was a pleasure to be neither analysed nor lectured.

At around five o'clock a private number rang. I don't know why I answered it as I rarely answer numbers which aren't already in my phone; boredom maybe. It was someone from a GP's surgery offering me an interview for a medical receptionist job I'd forgotten I'd applied for. I'll have to find the cv I sent them to make sure I can remember the particular mixture of truths, half-lies and straightforward ones that I concocted for the application form.

Edit: just found it. My main referee is someone who doesn't exist who works for an imaginary company in a virtual office in Glasgow. All the enquiries to her will be diverted to me so I'll write my own reference. My children are a few years older than they are, and I need to warn Kitty that she's my second referee.

I also had an unnerving online video interview with a bookmakers, who rang ten days ago saying that I'd passed that and that they'd be in touch with a date for a face-to-face interview at the local branch. It's a palaver of a process for 7.20 an hour, but I do fancy it. The clientele are my people -- heavy drinkers, people who've given up, people secretly convinced they'll win the lottery, who have an honest camaraderie and unchanging habits which make them easy to know. I'm not doing it if it's all targets and selling though.


In the meantime, I've secured an occasional gig as a mystery shopper and I've got to go round some crappo DVD shop tomorrow morning. But it's ten minutes' work for a fiver and I get to keep the DVD they'll refund me for buying. Then Wendy's coming round and we'll take a funny fagarillo and a bottle of sherry up to the park. I wish I knew that we would end up laying about together, kissing, me toying with her dress hem. We won't though.

6 comments

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

It’s good to know that world is not full of achievers, the first question in the states is always “what do you do?” my answer is always, nothing or sometimes to confuse people, factotum, i laugh these days when i tell people i’m always on the lookout for new revenue streams, not a job mind you but revenue streams, easy money, i run the odd “errand” for old hippies who don’t know i have a great connection and my fee is quite nice and the gear is excellent and the price beats the comp and it puts a little cheese in the pockets, i take online surveys that pay out in cash, i sell old vinyl and books, i don’t need much these days, the bookmaker gig sounds a right laugh, and the CV is fucking brilliant, if i’m ever forced back into the workforce i’m using those tricks, as an old dog i’ve learned something new, haha…

Fri 6th May 2016 @ 14:31
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Ha ha…:) I enjoyed reading that kono. (Why do you never put your link in? I bet some people here would love to read you.)

I have a similar patchwork quilt of an income stream. I lurch from hard-up to skint, but I really think I have a good life, with all its temporary difficulties. Our political class works relentlessly to banish pleasure from our lives. I don’t just mean in terms of rugs, I mean in the way that work is organised, and the way it makes people throw away their natural gifts.

Re the CV – I’ve listed a non-existent job for a company which is not so imaginary as to lack a honey-voiced twentysomething secretary from an area with a good accent. When I give that phone number to him, and he rings it, I’m hoping that she’ll create a sexual imprint on him which, when he calms down, he’ll link with my name.

The recruitment process is so warped that you need to control as much of it as you can, and your cv, your work history true or false, your experience (which one would hope is true in some sense) and the pliant, uninquisitive secretary – who’s doing the same for many other chancers – is under your control. I literally tell her what to say for the approaching telephone call. It’s great and well worth £16 a month. And best of all she keeps her gob shut about why I am telling her to say something a bit different every time.

Fri 6th May 2016 @ 15:36

I think working for a bookmaker would be a fantastic gig. Shite pay but money was never your game, anyway. I didn’t know there was such a job as ‘mystery shopper.’ Are you a spy now?

What ever happened to your relocation?

I agree. Kono is a great read but good luck finding his URL.

Fri 6th May 2016 @ 19:10
Comment from: [Member]

As long as it’s not a sales role in disguise, I’ll be fine. I’m not doing that and I’ll tell them so in the interview. I’d be a good bookmaker’s assistant, but I’m not interested in pestering people to buy anything that doesn’t sell itself.

Mystery shopper is where you go into a shop and check whether the staff are behaving in the micro-managed way that modern managers think is good for business. You check up on how robotically poorly-paid staff act, and how good they are at their aesthetic labour.

“Aesthetic labour", by the way, is something I came across a while ago and is a new “skill” required of low-paid employees (i.e., most of us) – here’s a short introduction. One of the attractions of working in a bookmakers is that I don’t think I’ll have to bother with it much.

About my relocation, I won’t be moving into Kirsty’s (née mine) for several months. It’s pencilled in for the end of the year. You will hear my renewed joie de vivre as soon as I do though.

And yes, I’m going to hyperlink kono in his name whether he likes it or not. (There, done).

Sat 7th May 2016 @ 00:56
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

My sister in law took a job at William Hill purely because it allowed her to smoke on the job. That was in about 1991 though.

Sat 7th May 2016 @ 21:00
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, in the Lancaster branch they all still fag it outside the shop. That means that I should ask to go home twenty minutes early each day, because I don’t smoke.

Sun 8th May 2016 @ 09:11


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