Wednesday, August 19, 2009

hustle hustle hustle.

Some people live to work. Their jobs are their everything. Consumed by their professional ambition.

Not I, oh no not I.

Quite the opposite, working has seldom seemed appealing. Still, tis a poor excuse for remaining “sans job” for five months. I tried a few things but nothing stuck. I went to recruitment agencies. I wore my horrible leather shoes and my only shirt. They saw right through me.

I had a trial shift that I thought went fairly well. Fuck that bar. It was supposed to be a typical English bar, but I didn’t believe their lies for one moment. They told me I had to brush my hair and that my trousers were too low, I wanted to tell them no, I wanted to stand my ground. In the end I put a brush through my hair and pulled my trousers up. But to no avail. They said I was too young. Twenty-two is too young for a barman? Like you need a fucking PHD. Fuck off. I think they were scared of me, what I could have brung to the table, I would have changed that shit up like Bill Gates in the eighties. Their table would have been seeing some knights of the round action. But instead all they have is a coffee table without any legs, just a slab lying on the floor.

After such fruitless attempts, I put a job on hold. I had enough financial muscle to chill for a while. A choice that saw me become tighter with the pennies, it wasn’t a big deal, I was writing a script, wasn’t that like a job anyway? Who knows maybe I would get head-hunted?

I didn’t get headhunted, I didn’t even get head-considered-for-hunting. I Just wandered around like Bambi in a concrete forest without any hunters in it. Then when it became clear that I would soon have to leave my flat, I had to make a decision. Should I stay or should I go? Should I stay or should I go now? I should stay, summer in Barcelona or summer in Bath? Not particularly tricky. I decided to give the whole job thing another whirl. So I sent my “Hi, I’m a young, life-loving, friendly guy” CV to every hostel in Barcelona. Its amazing how many hostels didn’t reply, Juan responded. Juan is now my boss.

At the hostel I don’t make much money, but I can live for free and usually get away with walking up past noon.

I went one further and got a second job. I know, slow down there, two jobs? Bit Erin Brokovich no? Well, its okay, the second job is four hours a day in a market research call-centre and is more flexible than those Chinese eight year olds at last years Olympics. So flexible in fact that I haven’t been in for eight days or so. Chances are, if you are reading this, I have already interviewed you or at least left five missed calls from a withheld number on your phone, I am deeply sorry. But wouldn’t you rather all cold callers were people you know, up for a friendly chat, before finding out how anti-Russia you really are, then subsequently thinking less of you? Of course you prefer that.

So now I have two jobs.

A typical call centre day goes something like this.

I arrive at work fifteen minutes late, no one notices, because no one really cares. I turn on my computer and do quick catch-ups with fellow employees, “how many surveys have you made today?”, “isn’t this job shit?”, and more often than not “oh sorry, I thought you spoke English”. Then I logon to the software. I pretend to make ten calls, but put them in the system as ‘no answer’, ‘fax number’, ‘answer machine’, and then make a few fake rejection calls to top it off. Then I get my mobile out and find the place in my phonebook I reached at the end of yesterdays shift. Phone a friend. Do the survey then a catch up. Most of the day carries on like this for a while, survey and a catch up. But sometimes I phone real people, but the more I do this, the less I want to.

I’ve phoned old women, who have suffered falls the day before. Getting them to agree finally to surveys, only to find out that they fall outside the target
Sometimes the job gets to boring and facebook just isn’t what it used to be. Try and make yourself sneeze whilst the phone is ringing, then try and make yourself not sneeze when they pick up, it’s very entertaining.

After four hours or so its time to leave the office. Back to the hostel.

The hostel I manage (yes that is how it will be going on my CV, manager), is small, only eight rooms in total. Set in three flats, inside a fourteen flat building, I don’t really know if you could officially call it a hostel. Each flat has its own kitchen, bathroom, lounge. And the hostel is nicely situated a few minutes walk from the centre of Gracia, which is a great new neighbourhood to be living in.
So living in the hostel I have come across a few characters.

The first one is the fat bitch from Australia. I have nothing positive to say about her physical side or her mental one. Maybe she would have nice eyes, if it didn’t look the back of her skull was trying to suck them onto the other side of her head. Obviously I only make fun of people’s physical features if I know for sure they are complete twats or if they are really close friends. This girl was definitely not the latter.

First signs of dark evil? I was checking her and her noticeably more amicable friend into their room, the first thing she says? “Bunk beds?” in a tone that makes you want to help her eyes get top the back of her head with the aid of something big and blunt. Hold back. But seriously, what did she think this was going to be the fucking Ritz? No quite clearly the pictures online show you that this is most certainly not the Ritz.

Her friend says “I don’t mind which bunk” you know the way every decent person says it, then the next person says me neither, then they flip a coin for it. Not the fat bitch, she’s straight in there, “Really, okay then I guess I’ll have the bottom bunk”, the Italian is obviously quite taken aback, “What? well we can just sort it out in a minute”, fat bitch replies “Well if you don’t mind I’ll just take the bottom bunk”. This is the kind of person who doesn’t give their seat up to a blind man on the bus, this is quite simply; devil spawn.

Exhibit 2: Showing her the kitchen, “Is this all we get for breakfast?”, shut up bitch you should be eating breakfast anyway.

Finally, possibly the best bit of evidence of her being related to some other-world type demon, the key incident. Its about 1.30am Wedensday night casual. The buzzer on the door goes. I answer it to see her standing there looking guilty, “Slight problem”, I wanted to reply “yeah bitch, your face”, I didn’t. So it turns out that she had thought our building was further up the street and she had used our key on another door. The strangest part being that the key actually opened another front door on the street, the less strange part being it was stuck in the lock and they couldn’t get it out. I strolled over to the scene of the crime. Surveyed the situation, went back and got my tool kit, I felt like such a personal masculine victory would have taken place if I’d managed to get the key out, I failed in my attempts. So there we were the three of us, forced to spend time together. This is also the point where I found out that the Italian girl had told fat bitch that this was not the door to our building, that our building was further down the street, but devil spawn wouldn’t listen, she just had to fuck my night up. Next step call up a locksmith, I told them they could wait upstairs whilst I dealt with the locksmith.

Locksmith arrives. There is no way to get the key out. The key has broken the lock inside. We have to pay to replace the lock on the front door as well as keys for their whole building, or do a runner and keep our mouths shut. The Christian side of me wanted to stay and do things properly, but lets be honest, I’m not really a Christian, I’m an aethiest and we run. So the locksmith snapped off part of the key and we did a runner.

I went up to their room, to give them a new key and to discuss what had happened. Its around 2.30am, I get their and those bitches are asleep, I give them the replacement keys and spawn says “We are asleep. Lets sort it out in the morning”. Obviously avoided me completely for the next four days. I managed to bump into them on their way to the train station, that was when I knew she had to be the offspring of Satan because her face was burning red from the shame.

Then there was the Italian boys. I would have assumed they were gay, standard. If I wasn’t woken up every morning at 8am with one of them standing at the door with a new girl, every morning. He was a really nice guy and gave me a free haircut in return for giving him clean sheets every couple of days. I feel sorry for his friend who had to wait whilst he was banging out these girls in their private twin.

Then there was the Romanian couple who liked to get Johnny Blaze. Their first night here and one of them creeps into the office “you want to smoke something with us?”, something? Like what? Weed? Meth? Banana peel? Hash, as it turns out. What followed was me sat with two people talking Romanian, getting high and thinking “hmm isn’t this strange?”. I’m not exactly at my peak of how much Mary Jane I can handle so when he lit up a second one, well before the first one was even finished, I started to get the impression I was in for a long night. Luckily we just smoked those two joints, otherwise I don’t know whether I would have woken up for the check-in the next morning…