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Browned off

  Wed 3rd April 2024

After successfully negotiating the circus of computer "games" -- they're no fun -- that railway companies use to sift the job applicants, I was invited to an assessment day for a better job (they're all better than mine).

My mood sank when I saw that a woman I used to work with on the trolleys had been promoted to something in HR. She met my smile with the same unchanged black looks she wore when we worked together almost six years ago. They said "but you got sacked for turning up tipsy. How have you got this far?"

I've done the exercises before. They were in four sections. Some of my fellow interviewees didn't get past the maths test in section three; most young people have no idea how to do arithmetic without a phone. I did well, I know.

A week later, I got the expected email saying I hadn't got the job. A couple of nights ago I bumped into another old railway colleague on the bus. He said that he'd met Miss Black. "I believe you interviewed my mate looby the other day." "Oh yes, well, as soon as his name came up I knew he wasn't going to get it."

I asked for feedback, but none was forthcoming. I assume that no-one in HR, including Miss Black, wants to broach the reason for my dismissal.

I was asked recently if I'd like to stand for election in our union as one of the reps. A great part of the attraction for me was the possibility of being sent to Doncaster with the other delegates for a week, to do a course about the regulations and legislation that I need to know. I like being in hotels I'm not paying for.

In order to achieve such office, I had to present myself at a branch meeting. In my head, I had a picture of a warm room in a church or Labour Hall, with a high table of men with papers and minutes and procedures, and an audience of a dozen "I've seen it all before" men and two fat lesbians.

Instead, me and my proposer, walked up a set of steps crumbling under the weight of its own flora and knocked on the door to a working men's club. We were admitted to a freezing cold pub populated by five union members, a young girl with two children and a dog, and a couple of blokes playing pool. My fellow union members were all around my age except for one young man who looked like he'd mistaken Gwent for Tenerife. "You dress for the weather you want," he said.

I sat turning my hands over together or pulling them up inside my coat sleeves. My proposer brought the drinks thick and fast; a show of hands, and I was accepted in to office in a branch where new members will turn up to one meeting and go home cold, never to return.

Just as I will be leaving here soon: I've been offered a flat (well, a "studio") in the city centre. I'm very much looking forward to having such modern amenities as pubs, and there are shops that sell things you can eat, rather than browning you in a big microwave before you go gambling. I hope to move in next month.



Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Mostly good news then?
I don’t like Miss Black. I think she should be sacked.

Thu 4th April 2024 @ 08:13 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, it’s excellent news Miss S. The city centre pad is a big part of the Five Year Plan.

I think Miss Black and HR should have had the guts to tell me that I am wasting my time with that company before I went to the effort of getting time off work to sit through a set of tests I’ll never pass, no matter how good my marks.

Fri 5th April 2024 @ 11:01 Reply to this comment
Comment from: 63mago [Visitor]

You’ll man the barricades soon ?
Allons mes enfants …

Mon 8th April 2024 @ 08:39 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Things have got to change in my workplace Mr M. There are many practices -all of which suit only the company - that I have never encountered in the three other rail companies I’ve worked for.

Tue 9th April 2024 @ 12:04 Reply to this comment
Comment from: 63mago [Visitor]

Sounds like systematic exploiting.

Tue 9th April 2024 @ 20:09 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Just one example – we have to take our breaks on the train (although some people, including myself, ignore this and get off the train a stop or two earlier). This directly contradicts advice from the Arbitration and Conciliation Service that breaks should be taken away from the working environment.
Anyway, glad we’ve got a bit more of an active branch now.

Wed 10th April 2024 @ 09:13 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Someday the lounge will get to my years at the Big World Bank Machine… i once interviewed for the supervisor job when my boss had been (unfairly canned), long story short, my dept. VP and the ranking management treated me quite poorly, being on their phones a half dozen times during the interview, even worse i didn’t drink for a World Cup game, way back in 2006? i believe because i had this fucking interview… at one point when asked about getting a group to work together i stated i’d start witha group hug… since the VP wasn’t paying attention she wrote it down and then stopped, looked at me and i stated i was just seeing how close she was listening… she turned the same color as her dyed red hair and we both knew the interview was over… i wanted to state they wasted my time and i could have been down the pub… there’s more to it later on (another job i didn’t apply for but was basically mine for the taking) but that’s a post for the future…

and look at you my friend! Union Rep… i like it!!

Mon 22nd April 2024 @ 13:48 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Well played kono!

Mon 22nd April 2024 @ 17:31 You are currently replying to this comment

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
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Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
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