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Off the rails

  Thu 17th August 2023

It's not been a good couple of weeks.

Last Thursday I behaved appallingly at a social evening with Miss B's friends (cider was involved) and ended up sleeping on the pavement for a while and getting home at 3am. The following day I noticed the latest round of scooter "accident" injuries, involving my jaw, my leg and most persistently, my armpit. I've made abject apologies to all concerned. I was relieved that the hostess accepted them. It doesn't justify my boorishness, but she can get a bit self-pitying and accusatory as well when that fateful next bottle of wine comes out.

My computer started going very slow, and then the screen began jerking up and down, before it switched itself off, immune to my efforts to resuscitate it. Hours of reinstalling and recovery and setting up.

Then, after a tortuous recruitment process involving a long application form, a set of computer games which tested manual dexterity more than anything to do with the job, following by a "situational judgement" test -- I failed at the final hurdle, the interview. The job was being more or less in charge of two semi-rural stations in north Somerset, doing everything from selling tickets to chatting with the locals and helping people with the wardrobe-sized suitcases that they take with them nowadays. It would have meant a pay rise, a European rail pass -- after a year in the job -- but more importantly, being on a predictable roster, with the occasional long weekend. At the moment, on Wednesday evening, I don't know whether I'm working the following Sunday.

But I have acquired -- for free -- a lovely leather and wood backgammon board. Inside are some old newspaper cuttings from Omar Sharif's column for beginners, called Throws of Pleasure. Of which I could do with a few now.


Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Well my friend seems we’ve been on a bit of the same trajectory (loosely speaking) when it comes to the proverbial shite in the proverbial fan… just keep our heads down, one foot in front of the other and the worm always turns… and though i don’t play backgammon that sounds like a lovely score, complete with Omar Sharif gaming tips… ;)

Thu 17th August 2023 @ 14:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Yeah, I know what caused my long, boring, drunken rant: dissatisfaction with my situation; an enmity towards car drivers; a resentment that I’m the only one round the table that night who has to go to work; and the chemical changes in the brain brought on by strong cider.

But as you say, we move on with greater knowledge. And if some of that can come from Omar Sharif, all the better.

Fri 18th August 2023 @ 00:19 Reply to this comment
Comment from: 63mago [Visitor]

Ah yes, job interview. That stupid, never ending testing : It starts when they sent you to school, test when you go to the Gymnasium, when you study, when you start the first job, when you switch a job - always, endless, fucking stupid, and finally belittling. The last time I had the joy of this experience I was by far the oldest person in the room. Some questions were outright dumb, and some of these young people earned thrice as much as the offered job would have brought me.

The day after ? Every drinker knows this, even Bukowski once wrote about the mixture of shame & headaches … it will fade, as much other things do. With a little scar, as you know.

I do not understand your reference of scooter injuries - did you smash the vehicle ? I remember that you have been run over, last year I think ? Helmets are for the weak, I say !

Tue 22nd August 2023 @ 08:48 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

The thing with being tested for a job is that experience, and the abilities required to do it, will count for nothing. It’s just who does these bizarre tests the best.

The injuries – I mean I didn’t realise I was injured at all until the following day. I’m still aching now, twelve days later. And the helmet has a big scrape across the jaw area. Rather the helmet took that than me.

Everything will be OK with my friends. But my capacity for drink seems to be diminishing with age.

Tue 22nd August 2023 @ 11:05 Reply to this comment

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