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I have a competitor

  Mon 27th May 2024

Last Sunday

It's Sunday afternoon and I wish I were in Blackpool, where Lancashire are 232-4 against Durham, and our captain is into his second century of the match. The BBC's commentary is a substitute. It's gentle -- the commentators' inoffensive jokes receive a response of a couple of seconds of rapid nasal exhalation.

No news, ten days on, from my interview. I was startled yesterday when a colleague, who works in the kitchen, told me that he's got an interview for the same job on Friday. So none of us have got it then, and they've re-opened the advert? I don't know.

I hadn't told anyone that I've had an interview for it. Outwardly I was encouraging to him; inwardly I was outraged that someone who is not the sharpest pencil in the depot, who never listens to you, and has to include his identity statement that he is dyslexic and "has" anxiety, into every monologue, might be awarded the position over me. In that asymmetrical way that can characterise work relationships, he likes me, and is always comparing me favourably to the other union rep. He gives me out of date food which would otherwise end up as a rat's dinner.


I didn't get the job. It's too early to know if my competitor got it.

Yesterday, due to engineering works sending my train round a funny way, I ended up having an hour-and-a-half to kill in Trina's home town. Fifteen minutes before we were to arrive there, I sent her a speculative text, asking if she were free. She was.

She met me at the station and we went to the pub opposite for a coffee. I was a bit disappointed that my colleagues on the train didn't see us embracing and kissing at the ticket barriers, and then felt a bit pathetic for wanting them to see me in Trina's arms. "Hey look at looby! The old bastard's still got it!" like a scene from some elbow-nudging seventies TV comedy.

I came home dog-tired on Friday, sleeping open-mouthed on the train from work, but dredged up enough energy to apply for a position as trainee guard based at Trina's nearest station. I had little time to complete it, so it was mainly copying and pasting from an old application which had got me on to the next stage previously. I altered a few details to try to defeat any duplication-detection program they might use and submitted it with twenty minutes to go before a midnight deadline.

I haven't got a plan. I often do this -- applying for things requiring upheaval if they come off as a provocation to my future. More simply, I am desperate to get a job with a predictable roster. I like Trina's company, which can sometimes slide into getting turned on. We never act upon it, which makes the desire more intense, and then self-conscious, and we get all circumspect again, and laugh; we haven't drawn up our constitution yet.

This weekend, me, Kirsty, and the two younger of my daughters are going north to see our family's semi-adopted daughter's graduate art show at Newcastle Uni. She explained her art to us at Christmas and my very inaccurate memory of it is that it's something to do with x-ray pictures of food they give to long-term elderly patients in some sort of mental home. Me and Kirsty are staying with my mum in Middlesbrough while the gals stay with the graduand in the Toon. I must try not to drink too much. My teetotal mum calls alcohol my "medicine".



Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

That art show sounds interesting. When I was at college one of my peers made a City landscape of rotting fruit - X-raying it would have been right up her street.

Why is it that I see Mel fading into the distance whilst waving a white handkerchief as she stands on a bridge spanning a railway track?

Tue 28th May 2024 @ 02:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I hope that doesn’t happen Miss S. I hope I can keep these two plates spinning for a good while yet.

I’ll report back on the art and try to get a few pics.

Tue 28th May 2024 @ 15:39 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

That’s a bummer about the job my friend… and as anyone who reads this knows… looby’s still got it!! ;)

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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.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

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?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

If your comment box looks like this, I'm afraid I sometimes can't be bothered with all that palarver just to leave a comment.

63 mago
Another Angry Voice
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Clutter From The Gutter
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Exile on Pain Street
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George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
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Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
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