Saturday, August 14, 2004

Born Slippy 

“Good turn out,” yelled Neil above the din. “What’s the occasion?”
“It’s your leaving do,” I yelled back.
“I see. And where’s he going to?”
“No Neil, it’s your leaving do. To mark the fact that you left our team.”
“Oh right. Very good. Did I? And all these people came out? I’m touched.”
“No, these are just members of the public. Our lot are in that corner eating curry.”
“Curry? I love a good curry. What are we waiting for?”
“You’re buying us all a drink. It’s your round.”

The engineering team (me, Mike and Terry) put in a full turnout, and there was a fair smattering of programmers, apps, helpdesk and admin people too. Diana and her team - Sideshow Bob - were also there. So called because of his resemblance to Sideshow Bob. There wasn’t a trace of Stella all night - the eighties-style yuppie witch, that is, as opposed to the reassuringly Belgian lager.
We started at The Moon Under Water, (a curry and a pint -£4.50, formerly a cinema and once Europe‘s second biggest pub, apparently), moved onto Sinclair‘s Oyster Bar, which I liked very much, and ended up in some awful unlinkworthy bar playing suitably shite eighties chart music. It was crap then, and the passing of time has done little to improve it. It made me wonder how the witch was getting on.
If you were in Manchester on Thursday and saw a sagging middle aged man dressed as Napoleon, then congratulations, that was Neil. I was the bloke picking rice out of his hair. My hair, obviously, not Neil’s. He was wearing a hat.

Buoyed by recent successes in the planning department, I knew exactly when and where we needed to be for the last train home. So why did I allow Mike to persuade me that there was an ‘even better than that’ solution?
I’ll spare you the details, but it involved getting on the wrong train at the wrong station, missing a connection at Salford Crescent - “You don’t want to get stranded there at this time of night” shuddered a number of helpful passengers - then sprinting between platforms at Bolton for the right train, which our kindly conductor had arranged to wait for us.

So why did we sprint? I guess we were just a bit excited, living in the moment. I’ve never had a train held up to wait for me before, and doubt I ever will again.
We must have looked like an older, flabbier version of the Fab Four in A Hard Day’s Night. All that was missing was a horde or two of hysterical teenage girls anxious to tear our clothes off. Maybe next time.

Stella rang in sick on Friday.
Call me a soft get, but I’m feeling a bit guilty about letting her think that we were meeting in Liverpool. It’s not a very nice way to treat someone, yuppie witch or otherwise.
Would you want it to happen to you in your first week in a new job? No, me neither. And we can’t really pass it off as a mistake, because we told her more than once.

Shit. Actions have consequences. Not looking forward to Monday.

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