Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back to the grindstone

Bad news, readers: I don’t think I’m going to be able to remain as a full time Citizen Journalist for very much longer. Truth be told, my money’s run out. And so has the bank’s money. I’m at the arse end of my overdraft and, if it wasn’t for Mum helping me out, I don’t know where I’d be. Still, like I said to her, at least this way we avoid inheritance tax, right?

Why should The Man take all of her hard earned money? It’s so out of order. I’m going to suggest she signs the house over to me this year. I know it’s grim to think of her passing like this, but we’ve got to be practical, no one lives forever. There are two things certain in life, death and taxes. We might as well try and limit the latter for those that have yet to meet the former!

I think Mum agrees with me. It got me thinking, too; there’s no need for her to be rattling around in that big old place all by herself anyway. Much better that we sell it and give her some money to put down on a smaller place, somewhere better for a single lady of her years. A nice cosy little studio, maybe.

Anyway, that’s all in the future. The present, for old Newsdesk at least, is Skintsville. Population: ME!

So I’m afraid I’m going back to the old sales game, I’ve no choice. I’m not selling out, I’m selling ads! But there is an upside: I’m looking for work on magazines, which will put me in a position where I’m able to move sideways into the editorial team. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. These kind of outfits are generally smaller and people all work together, so I bet the editorial team will love to hear about suggestions from the sales guys. I’ve got loads of ideas.

In fact I even had my first interview today, for a sales manager position on a personnel magazine. The publisher was a guy called Dan Bantam and, I’ll be honest with you, it was a strange old interview. Usually with sales interviews you have to talk for ages about yourself and all your achievements. I was worried, frankly, in case I got grilled over what I’ve been doing since I got made redundant, so I cooked up an excuse about travelling to the Middle East to make a documentary.

I know, I know, it’s unlikely to the point of fantasy. It sounds and reads like complete bullshit. But the last thing I did before I left the house was watch the news, and that was all I could think of. Fortunately, after a bit of a panicky moment, I didn’t have to use it. Good job too, because it would probably have made me look like a complete dickhead.

No, instead of being asked a load of stuff about myself, all I really had to do was sit there and listen to this Bantam bloke talk a bit about the company and (mostly) about himself. The whole time, as well, he was drinking from this massive tupperware beaker of what looked like Horlicks. Towards what I thought was the end of the interview he asked if I had any questions. So I said: “Sure: What’s with the Horlicks?”

I shouldn’t have asked: The interview ended up lasting for another 35 minutes. I’ll get to that later, though.

It turns out that Bantam is new on the singles scene since his wife did a runner a while back. This surprised me because, at the beginning of the interview, I assumed he was gay. He just looked and sounded gay, always going up at the end of sentences and stuff. And he clearly had dyed hair. Still, that’ll teach me to judge a book by its cover. I stand corrected.

He was obsessed with clothes, as well. One of the first questions he asked me was where I got my blazer, and I told him about my mate who works at a tailor, and got me one on the cheap. He said he approved of bespoke tailoring, and that he gets all his made in the Far East. But he keeps having to phone them up to get them taken in at the waist. Perhaps he’s developed an eating disorder, I thought, and this is a cry for help.

Then he said he has to get them made bigger in the chest and I thought, Christ, he’s got some sort of hormonal imbalance and he’s growing boobs like Meatloaf in Fight Club. But it turns out it’s because he works out so much, he said. If I worked out so much that I grew boobs, though, I think I’d stop working out.

Anyway, just as I feared, the dreaded question came up: “So what have you been doing for the past six months or so?” I took a deep breath and said: “Well…”

Then before I could answer, he said:

“Because I’ll be honest, it’s been an interesting few months for me. Well, not so much interesting as difficult. It’s been pretty bad, really. A nightmare. My wife left me at the start of the year and it’s just been a complete nightmare. I’m kind of seeing people but not seeing them if you know what I mean? Like I don’t want to get into anything too deep? But you know you’ve got to get out there I guess, and there’s so many girls out there, and I just know I’ll find one that’s willing to take things as seriously as I take them?”

I said: “Right, yeah.”

“I don’t know, though, I’m so wary of getting close to someone? Because Clare, my wife, well my ex-wife, although we’re not actually divorced yet. But it won’t be long, although the solicitors fees are really high, and I don’t feel like I should have to pay them because it wasn’t me that left her? But anyway Clare – it’s like she never really talked to me? We never really knew each other and we lived together all those years. And even though I bought the car, we got a Z4, it’s beautiful, but even though I bought it she wants half? I don’t know, I guess you never really know anyone else, do you.”

“I said: “No, I guess not.”

Anyway, he went on like this for a full 25 minutes and I didn’t really know what to do. So when I eventually asked him about the Horlicks, he got really excited because apparently it’s some sort of body building supplement and he loves talking about going to the gym. I was able to tell him about my Judo, which got us pretty chummy, although he doesn’t do any contact sport, he said, because he’s worried about his face. So once we’d been through all of that, he gave me a copy of the mag and said he’d be in touch and that was that.

On the way out I was shown out by this tasty lass who said to me:

“Don’t worry about Popeye, he’s always like that.”

I think they’re all mad. I’ll fit right in!! Alol!!! (A new one, readers: it means Actually Laughing out Loud). Fingers crossed.


  1. A very bizarro-world interview, to be sure! Nice when your interviewer is so narcissistic that he barely pauses from over-sharing about his life to ask you questions. Less "interview", more "monologue". Makes for amusing blogging though! And who wouldn't want a boss nicknamed "Popeye"?? Think of all the potential spinach jokes! Oh, the hilarity!

    Btw, I'm trying to work myself up to be offended by the phrase "tasty lass" as a reference to a woman...but it's kinda funny, so I'll let it go. :)

    Good luck with the job hunt!


  2. Going up at the end of sentences is only gay in the new sense of the word "gay" meaning a bit rubbish. But it's all the rage in offices. Even though everything you say sounds like this? And makes you look like a twunt?

  3. TC - thanks for best wishes. In the UK the expression 'tasty lass' is considered highly complimentary. Having said that, it has never worked as a chat up line.

    MLS - I'm not sure I like the way gay has become associated with rubbish and I certainly don't like sentences that go up at the end? I blame Neighbours for this development? It's just gay?

  4. Over here from Mr London Street and he's absolutely right. How you only have 18 follower is beyond me. Well, now you have 19.