So close


So close to actually having a job...

So yesterday evening, I was browsing the jobs on Gumtree.com. I've almost got bored of this unemployed lark, and I suppose I should really earn some money. With the temping agency not coming up with anything, I thought I should take things back into my own hands. So anyway, on Gumtree last night I found a job urgently requiring baggage handlers. This sounds my kind of job. It's low paid, only £6.75 per hour, but it doesn't involve dealing with customers, and it'd be an active job, rather than being stuck in an office all day, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Baggage Handlers Needed Urgently Today was a day-off from the gym, so once I'd got washed up and had breakfast, I gave them a call. It was an agency I was talking to, rather than an employer directly, but it sounded pretty urgent that they needed workers, and asked me to register at their office in Kingston at 15:30 today. No problem. This was going to an agency to 'register', whatever the hell that meant. It wasn't an interview, so I didn't want to get suited and booted. But at the same time I didn't want to turn up in shorts and trainers. Only problem was having cleared out so much stuff recently, the only shoes I was aware of having were my brown leather shoes, which are really damn nice shoes. Though they're only really designed for anything suity and above. The next thing I have is a pair of trainers, so I'm torn a little here. Until, that is, I stumble across my old pair of Nunn Bush's. These were the shoes I bought in Vancouver when I was there in '05, and used to wear to work every night. They were distinctive because they were so damn heavy that you end up walking in huge strides like you're on the moon. After a little polish, they're looking good, and for the first time since leaving Van 3 years ago, I sport these bad boys. They were the cheapest shoes I could find in Vancouver at the time. And as stupid as this sounds, but with them making me walk like a nob, it brought back some awesome memories. I will've been 19 last time I wore these.

With plenty of GB representation in the olympics, whilst I was waiting for the clock to tick to 13:45 before going and investing in a train journey, I watch GB's 4x100m relay team fuck up handing a baton to each other and getting themselves eliminated. I don't mean to sound harsh, but you train for 4 years, there is well over £20m in investment in UK athletics... you'd think they'd know how to hand a damn baton to each other. Maybe we should put these guys in the para-olympics and get some people running the relay who aren't absolute retards. How hard can it be to hand off a damn baton? As soon as this is over, I stand up, turn off the TV, and as I'm turning to walk out the room, I notice a new message on the answerphone. I was going to ignore it on the assumption it was an old message, or likely not for me; I had a train to catch afterall. But something stops me, and I turn back and press play. "Hi Jethro, this is Rachael from Corcoran Parker." That's the job agency by the way. The message goes on to say that there is a job opening starting tomorrow, and she wants to know if I can fill it. Straight away I call them back. But in typical fashion, Rachael is on the phone, can she call me back? So I tell the girl on the other end to ask her to call my mobile as soon as she's free. I even give over my number. Again.

In Kingston, I locate the office I need to go to about an hour before I actually have to be there. I gave myself some extra time in case it was difficult to find. Now all I'm thinking, is knowing my luck what will happen, is that this will be more like an interview. I'll be sitting there getting interrogated about one job, and my phone will ring about another one. Not wanting this to happen, I decide it best to call back Corcoran Parker rather than wait for them to get to me, based on their record of actually calling me back. Wanting somewhere good to sit down to make the call, I go to the Waterstones in the top floor of the Bentalls Centre. Everytime I'm in Kingston, I end up here. It's not that I want any of their books, its just that they have a leather sofa in the computer books section. All I have to do is pretend to be interested in buying a book, and I can sit on this leather sofa for hours. I think they might be getting the message now, because everytime I'm in Kingston I end up on that sofa for half an hour with never having spent a dime in the shop. It's their own damn fault for putting in a sofa that is so comfy. Today I pretended to be interested in a book about Wordpress, and a book about CSS. And whenever a shop assistant walked passed, I would start turning pages as if I was actually reading the book. Anyway, I call back Rachael, who is really hot as well. And surprise, surprise, she hasn't even got my message. By this time though, the position has been filled. I later checked that she left the message on the machine at 09:02. Had it been a gym day, I'd have been getting ready to go out around then. Being a day off though, I was in bed still and missed the call. This is what happens when you're lazy and take days off the gym. You miss out on jobs. This wasn't any job either. It was the job that I was originally supposed to be doing at Russell Cooke a couple of weeks back, and had my name down for. They'd given away my damn job. Understandable that they wanted to get the position filled seeing as it started tomorrow, but still. A call to my mobile would've been appreciated, but despite me emailing my number to Rachael personally, as well as Vicky (I just checked my sent message to make sure that I did)... despite this, she didn't have it on record. So I missed out on a placement. My mobile was in my room at 09:02. Had they called that, I would've got the damn call. So that was great.

Whether this was a blessing in disguise or not, isn't yet clear. What she did also say to me, is that there is a 6-week position, maybe longer, starting next Wednesday. This pays £8 per hour (£2 per hour more than Russell Cooke). It would be extremely boring work by the sounds of it, but it's not like the solicitors was going to be a big party. For £2 per hour more, I wouldn't care what I did. "Why don't you have a think about it and call me back." Fuck that. I tell her I want the damn job. So she tells me that she'll call this office, then call me back. Not before asking for my moblie number though. I only had it on my phone, which I was obviously talking on. So a little tongue in cheek, I just tell her to check her messages. It should be there.

Now it's only 45 minutes until I have to be at this other agency to register for the baggage handler job, so I'm really worried she'll call about this job when I'm registering for that. Luckily though, she calls back at 14:57. There is a position starting next wednesday. It is in Twickenham, so really near to me, with an employer whom previous temps have given really positive feedback about. But he wants to look over our (me and another person who'd be working for him) CV's. And she drops into the end of the conversation "You haven't got any actual office experience have you? I'll email him your CV and call you back when I know more. It'll probably be tomorrow." So now I'm waiting. It sounded like my lack of office experience could cost me this job. She didn't actually say that, but by the way she said things. Which is why I don't yet know if missing the call this morning is a blessing in disguise or not. I could end up with a 6-week position, maybe longer, which would be perfect for me. Starting next week would take me through to a week into October: 3 weeks before when I plan on leaving. If the job got extended, then great. 3 weeks more money. If not, then 3 weeks to get myself all ready to leave. Either is good. So if I get this job, sleeping through this phone call could make the rest of my Summer. If I don't get this position, then I'm back to square one. Fuck this is frustrating. Based on their record of communication, if I haven't heard anything by 16:30 tomorrow, then I'll be calling them. I don't want to go the whole weekend not knowing.

By the time all this was over, I had to get to the other agency to register for the baggage handling job. This wasn't how I now envisioned temping agencies. The girls here weren't hot. They were all fat and ugly. I prefer the other temping agencies where the girls never call you and don't find you work, but at least they're good to look at. And the clientel in here; it's like being in an asylum seekers camp. I'm the only white person here looking for work. I get sat in a room with a few other people, and get handed this butt-load of forms to fill out. Every single person they answer the phone to, or have in the office, for whatever position, they seem to be making sure that no one has had more than 4 jobs in the passed 5 years. Not sure why. I'd guess to ensure their reliability to maintain a position. With me skipping the country in 10 weeks, this didn't really bode well for what I was looking for. And then the amount of crap I had to fill out because I'd be working in an airport, all these damn checks, and character references etc., all for throwing a few bags around. I could see that it would take weeks to even get into the job, however urgently they advertised it to be. And with another job now pending, maybe, I didn't want to have to give referees to these people. They'd end up hassling them for a job that I intend to quit in a few weeks, and might not even want. So I plan on ducking out the door without saying anything. The person who gave me the forms though sees me on the way out, so I make it like I was looking for her to say that I don't have the reference details on me right now, and I will bring the forms back. For some reason though, you aren't allowed to take half of these forms out of the office. What do they think I'm going to do? Start illegally hiring baggage handlers to shift the large amount of baggage I have sat around the house? For fucks sake. But anyway, not being allowed to take these forms, I sit down and rush through the rest of them, signing my name on all sorts of crap I didn't read. I have a total disregard for the legal system as it is. I don't really give a fuck what I sign, and I don't give a fuck if a court rules that I've signed my life away. I work by my rules, not the rules of a court. If anything came from those bits of paper, then I will do whatever necessary to make sure that they aren't enforced. Whatever necessary. No matter who gets in my way. So I sign all these bits of paper. And I'm still not allowed to leave. Someone wants to discuss with me some things to do with baggage handling. They decide to wait until I have these forms handed in however before doing that, so I get out of there. I still have the forms I was allowed to take out, and they might be a fall-back plan should this office job next week not materialise. Though the amount of red-tape it appears I'd have to go through to actually get the damn job, I'm not sure it'd be worth it. By this time tomorrow I could be set in a decent-paying job, near to my house, for the next 6 weeks. But then again, I might not be. I do get the feeling God just doesn't want me to work this Summer. Making me sleep in through one call, then waving a job in front of my nose before going to register for a different job, just so I don't treat the baggage handler job with any respect. Now I've dismissed that job, I'm sure I'll get a call tomorrow that the office job is a no-go. He's just fucking with me. Dickhead.

I get back from all of this, with a live Yahoo! fantasy draft just around the corner. I haven't been onto the ESPN league since the whole waiver wire fiasco of 2 or 3 weeks back, so that team is dead to me. Even if it will fuck the game up somewhat for other people. I know that I know more about football than any of them. Even if I won the whole damn league, it would've been by less than I should've done, and that hurts my pride too much. There's not too much in this world that I hold dear, but my knowledge about the NFL is one of those things. And I refuse to play in a game where I'm getting screwed by a system that isn't working properly, or taking the decisions that you tell it to do. I've been playing Yahoo! for the passed few years, and I've never had a problem. So I joined a public league. It's better to be in a league with strangers that actually works, than in the damn ESPN league that doesn't. Especially as I'd be losing to friends and teamates, that I'd be beating if that damn system worked. So live draft baby! I get the 8th pick of 10 players: The fantasy gods really are being harsh to me this year. But I picked myself a decent little team. Apart from week 8, when seemingly my whole receiving corps are on byes, it's money time baby. I didn't pick a QB until round 13, and I still got me the reigning Superbowl MVP. Eli in his post-season form, then here comes the money baby! I also entered into a survival football league, and a prediction league. I plan on winning both.

Gene Upshaw Dead On the subject of the NFL, it was RIP Gene Upshaw today, said in no uncertain terms by NFL.com. His successor as NFLPA exec. director will, in my opinion at least, have ramifications felt almost second only to those by the appointment of Roger Goodell a couple of years back. Maybe even more so. A commissioner essentially has to fit a specific make-up. The next NFLPA exec. will have ramifications on the salary cap negotiations, and if they don't go well, then fuckin eh, the whole league will change. In my opinion there can be little done to the NFL as detrimental as no salary cap would be. It would turn it into a game of whoever has the most money, wins. Just like in the soccer world. I prey to the heavens that his replacement, whom ever that may be, can recognise this.

The draft was quicker than I had anticipated, so I had the time to make a trip to Tesco's. With items ending on eBay tomorrow, I needed some more duck tape. That somehow turned into a £22 shop. But only of things I'd actually be getting through anyway. Now I have something of an eye for money. And when the shopping came to £22.48, I can sense that it's too high. So I sit down and examine the recipt. And sure enough, there should have been a £1.28 saving for a multi-buy. Normal people would let this go, but I'm not really a normal person when it comes to money. So I go straight to customer services. I'd got these 2 different chicken meals on buy 2 for £5. They were still pricey at £5, but were perfect post-gym meals, so I invested. It clearly said on the labels, by any 2 for £5. So when I take the customer service person then says to me, "No they have to be any 2 of the same price," I vividly make the point that it quite clearly says any 2 for £5, and says absolutely nothing about price. I was cycling as normal, and had had to jam everything into my backpack. So when she says "Would you like a refund? Or you can have 2 of either of these for £5..." I then of course point at the more expensive one. Not only for reason that I would save more money, but also because the other meal had got totally crushed in my bag by this point, and it really didn't look as appealing in this state. I ended up saving £1.58! I wouldn't normally be so stringent or such an asshole (that's a lie), but I have a real beef with Tesco in some of their marketing methods, one of which I demonstated in the last blog entry, so it was a joy to make them work, taking up 5 minutes of this poor girls time all for £1.28. I would bet this was deliberate as well. They will know that most people won't check their recipts when they leave the store, so they conveniently forget to mention in their promotion that you have to buy 2 items of the same price, and take an extra £1.28 from each customer.

This conveniently brings me onto an idea I had a while ago, but never enforced. In keeping with what I said in the last entry, if I'm to get rid of the 'extras' page, then I need a replacement page. And a while ago, I had the idea for a page: 'Fuck 'em'. That's what it was going to be called. This was going to be the page, or maybe even collection of pages, where any organisation, or I guess any person, or actually any thing, that I had a beef with, I was going to vent this frustration. I have problems with a lot of organisations for the way they act: Tesco's marketing methods being a prime example. 'Fuck 'em' would be the place where I wouldn't have fair discussion, I wouldn't have unbiased opinion, I would simply have everything I hate about certain organisations and why. My place to vent to the world, all the things I think that are wrong. I'm sure I'd be able to find a space for Tesco in my 'Fuck 'em' page. I'm sure I'd have a place for Corcoran Parker as well if they don't get their act together and find me some work. Just everything in the world I dislike, I would put here. It'd be my platform to vent all my angers. And I think it is a good idea. People prefer to read about adversity that about lovey-dovey crap. And I seem to take a different perspective on life to most people, so they might find things that I've realised about an organisation for example, that they haven't yet. Plus it'd just be a place for me to vent my anger, which I have a lot of. But despite all of that, I think I've decided it's not a good idea. For one, it's not in keeping with this site. It's only loosely linked to travel, in that it'd mainly be about things I encounter as I'm travelling. Unlike the travel blog, and the where I've been map, and the photos etc, it's like the extras page in that it isn't linked to my travel enough, and that is the reason for this site. On top of that, right now I have the time to fuck about with additional sections such as editing and experimenting with the extras page. I don't anticipate having so much time as I travel, so on top of the photos, videos, travel blog, where I've been map, money saving and hostels page, that will all need regular updating as I travel, do I really want more to have to edit? And as well as this, I can just see that it will step on what I say in this blog somewhat. As with Tesco's in the last couple of blog entries, if something pisses me off, I tend to write about it here anyway. Do I really need a separate section? It would help with organisation, but I just don't think the rewards would be worth the extra time it would take. I haven't even started travelling yet, but I can sit down at my laptop and write for hours at a time when I've had something of an uneventful day. Once I'm actually travelling, I think it'll be a challenge to keep a detailed and up-to-date blog as it is. Do I really want to add to that? Just a thought I had though. I want to have enough content on this site, that people will visit for things other than just a blog. But at the same time, I want to actually have the time to do things when I'm travelling. If I spend all my days sat in front of my damn laptop, it definitely won't be the most interesting blog. It's a fucking tightrope. I still need that eurika moment. That definitive section, to replace the extras section, that is linked to my travel and will interest people, but doesn't take much time to maintain. I had the idea of having a live webcam a while ago, but what the fuck is going to interest people about that? It'll only be live when I happen to be in a place with Internet. I'd need my laptop on 24 hours a day if I happen to be staying in accomodation with Intenet. And most of this time, I'd just be sat in front of the laptop typing. Not exactly enthrawling viewing. I'm sure it'd turn into a 1-man sex show once or twice a day, but again, I can't see that really pulling in viewers, so I think the live webcam is a no-go.

I'll keep on thinking. There has to be an idea out there somewhere. That's me done for today. Next time I write, I hope to say I have this job, and that I'm not sorted for work for the Summer. I'm not holding my breath though. If nothing else, I have a confirmed £140 worth of things ending on eBay in the next 2 days, and hopefully those prices will go up. So avoiding fucking people from Hungary bidding, I should have made a little moolah soon. The damn second-hand bookstores still haven't got back to me though. I might just turn up on their doorstep with 20 books, see if I can get them to purchase there and then. They were in places of London I don't think I've ever been to before, so it'd be an adventure, even if they didn't buy, which is always fun. And if they didn't, then I could add them to the 'fuck 'em' section. Serve them right for not replying to my email. I'm out.


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