Monday, August 08, 2005

Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions 

Stella was on the roof doing her capoeira exercises this morning when her phone rang. Group pickup hasn’t reached these parts yet, so I stumbled into her office to answer it.

“Hello, Company X,” I said with my telephone voice. “Tim speaking.” Wind chimes crashed playfully against my head.
“Hello Stella, this is Peabrain Worthless from Waste Of Space Recruitment. I’ve got your CV here and just need to run through a few questions.”
“Stop right there, Peabrain,” I said. “Stella’s away from her desk. Can I take a message?”
He asked if I was Stella’s boss, and I answered no. He said he’d keep it brief and asked how long I’d been at Company X.
“You’ve got your wires crossed,” I said. “Stella’s on the roof at the moment. I’m Tim.”
“Right you are,” he said cheerfully. “Is it permanent or contracting work you’re looking for?”

Neil, my former team leader, wandered into the room wearing a chef’s apron and said “You look different today.” He was carrying a frying pan. “You want to stop eating those coloured sweets.”
I said “And you want to stop sniffing marker pens.”
“How do you like your eggs?” he asked. “Fried or boiled?”
I said “Permanent. Poached. The green ink on your nose gives you away.”
“And how much notice would you be required to give?”
“Poached will take longer.” Neil scribbled on his little pad. “Toast? Brown or white?”
I said “Three weeks. Brown.”
“And what kind of salary would you be looking at?”
“Three weeks?” said Neil. “You daft sod. Ten minutes more like. How many slices?”
“Does 25,000 sound too much?”
“You’re taking the piss,” he replied. “I don’t have that kind of bread.”
“Let’s give ourselves some room for negotiation,” said Peabrain, both eyes firmly on his commission. “How about thirty?”

“Thirty?” I said.
Neil said “Yes, me too. Tea or coffee?”
“I’ve got something coming up in Salford Quays. How are you fixed for Wednesday?”
Neil said “With or without?”
Peabrain said “Morning or afternoon?”
I said “White. None. Morning.”
Neil said “Good. Now where did I leave my trolley?”
Peabrain said “Lovely. When’s the best time to call you back?”
I said “In the corridor.”
“Great!” they said.

I said “That’s nothing, you should hear me play piano,” and went back to picking bits of, I dunno, cornflakes I think, out of my hair.

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