Taking inspiration from Richard Hammond and James May, I’ve gone ahead and made my own unemployment video. This is how I deal with being bored and broke:
I wish I could go back in time one week and slap myself. A firm, loud bitchslap and maybe a jab to the jugular.
Before I went to Amsterdam the landlord and I were having a chat in the garden on a nice morning. He was telling me about how he couldn’t get the motorcycle helmet he wanted because he was broke… Looking all cute and sad. I don’t know where my brain cells went; perhaps they were having a nap, or were distracted by the gender appropriate equivalent to a damsel in distress.
I was feeling quite flush for cash and could afford to pay the rent early, forgetting that I had actually budgeted that into my next salary, as rent wasn’t due for weeks. So I did.
One trip to Amsterdam and a few nights out later, I’m stuck with not very much till the 8th of May. Shit. He got paid yesterday so now I’m going to have to awkwardly ask for some money back until actual rent day. Shit. He’d even asked on the day, “Are you sure this won’t leave you in a bad position?” Shit.
Moral of the story boys and girls:
Use your upstairs brain in matters of money.
Sometimes in life you meet certain characters that enrich your experience. That somehow improve your life and humour by just being. One of these such characters is a middle-aged Chinese lady named, Ching. The day after everyone got made redundant, three colleagues and I went for a cheeky celebratory trip to Amsterdam. I’m uncomfortable with the amount of bicycles in the city, but aside from that, I’m in love with it. We arrived late on a Tuesday night, and after some wandering around found our way to the boat hotel we’d booked. The Zebra. We got so confused trying to make our way inside, that we arrived in reception from the bottom cabin deck. Don’t ask. That’s the first time I saw Ching, sitting aloofly on a comfortable looking couch watching TV. She turned to us and said:
“What the fuck? I was wondering what the hell you guys were doing. I’ve been waiting here forever. Where did you even -? Whatever. Come with me. Breakfast is from 9-11. On the last day you leave by 11. You pick one, either weed or drink, don’t mix it. Now listen… don’t, ever flush your toilet paper. Wipe and put it in the bin, I come once a day to collect the tissues. DON’T flush toiler paper. Police are happier to catch you with a joint than a beer. And always go twos on a space cake. Goodnight.”
Despite her advice we went on the hunt for a place that sold both alcohol and pot. Unfortunately, we overdid it in the first coffee shop and never found one. It wasn’t till the second night that we acquired some reasonably priced booze. They make it incredibly difficult to drink in Amsterdam, rightfully so as the streets aren’t rowdy. Our next encounter with Ching would be during a game of ‘Ring of Fire’ on deck.
“Are you drinking on the boat!? You can’t drink your own alcohol on the boat, you have to stop. It’s not for me that I tell you, I don’t care, I just work here. It’s for the owner, who’s never here… carry on. Buy drinks from here tomorrow.”
The second character I met was a Dutch guy named Gio in a nightclub, with a top knot pony tail; or so my friends tell me. Apparently one of the strays we had collected over our night. Up until the following, we were getting along quite well.
Me: “OK, so let’s go to this party!”
Gio: “So, shall I get us some drugs?”
Me: “Yeah, awesome.”
Gio: “Cool! So I don’t know… I was thinking a bit of crack?”
Everyone but Gio: “Ohhhh….”
That’s the last time we saw Gio. The next morning I woke up fully dressed in my cabin with the door open. My cabin mate and I crawled upstairs for breakfast and were immediately faced by Ching.
“You guys were so drunk last night. Made a lot of noise. Your door was open with the key on the floor outside. Your cabin is messy. Yes, and I found toilet paper in the toilet. Not OK. I said no toilet paper in the toilet. Have a shower. But I took the toiler paper from the bin.”
She had come into the cabin between the hours of 4am and 9am. Quite weird but we moved on. It was over breakfast that my cabin mate and I met the third, and last character of the trip. I call him self-righteous beard man. We had to sit with him and his girlfriend as all the tables in the eating area were occupied.
Me: “I might actually die.”
Cabin mate: “I know how you feel.”
Beard Man: “You know, we’ve been here for three days and haven’t touched a single drop of alcohol.”
Beard Man: “Yes, that’s right. We’ve done truffles, it’s a whole other experience. Much better than alcohol man…”
It took a lot of self-restraint to not be a bit rude back, but luckily I was too hungover to think of something witty to say. Much later in the day, after a little nap; my cabin mate and I went for a bit of hair of the dog. We spoke with Ching who told us to eat something and then pitched us on two Coronas which we greatly enjoyed. Shortly afterwards the men woke up from their naps and met us with a story. Ching had been reporting our activities!
“Those two girls. They drank two Coronas. I’m telling you.”
The treachery ran deep – scandalous! Ching had provided us with so much banter though (classics like: Do you think Ching lies awake at night worrying about people flushing toilet paper?) that check out was a somewhat emotional experience for us. On the last morning I walked up to her and enquired about checking out.
“OK. Leave key on the table. Bye.”
No eye contact.
And with that it was back to the UK.
The point of this blog is to try and heal that disconnect between us all. Countless negative things that are would become a thing of the past if we just saw past our hesitation and got in touch. This is obviously going to go nowhere fast if I only keep writing humorous posts about my life – did I mention that I had to return a stolen trolley today after this weekend’s antics? I don’t expect to change the world, but I can try!
Instead, I’m going to make a docu-series exploring this generation. I shall say no more for now, but I’ve bought a video camera and Amazon says it should be here in a week. Until then it’s Creativity Week! There have been ‘events’ like 80’s Week; where I secretly pretended I was living in the 80’s and did things like only listen to 80’s music. This one is a bit more standard: drawing, origami, guitar, programming, etc. The whole concept is a money saving exercise at its core..
Impending redundancy frees up a lot of time since most of our operations have moved to other branches. We are bored senseless with two weeks to go and my desk is starting to look inappropriate…
On a foot-note, I totally got that job I missed the interview for. It goes to show what a long way a little determination can get you. Moral of the story: Don’t cry, try.
I got what I deserved for strutting around like I’m way too cool for school. One must not forget that awesome things do not tend to happen without repercussions of some nature.
I rolled out of bed this morning disoriented; with only coffee on my mind – 27 hours until my interview. Lost in a stoned/sleepy/cocky haze, I fumbled my way downstairs and found myself face to face with a stranger.
All of a sudden my landlord ran over and exploded the following information:
“Oh, I was just writing a note out for you. I took two of your beers and left you £6. My friend and I have been on a bender and are going to go to the airport now to continue in Spain. Want to come?”
Quickly, my mind ran through the details: Can I spare the money? Yes. Can I get the time off work? We’re all redundant – sickies are common place nowadays. How quickly can I pack a bag? 20 minutes.
I’d already said yes before I remembered about that damned interview. 30 minutes later I was watching my landlord and his friend jump into their taxi… drinking my beer.
Had my phone not ran out of data yesterday I would have made my interview and be happily drinking Sangria in Spain right now. Instead I’m at work; where it’s so slow that I’m blogging at my desk. Maybe I’ll clean my room later. Maybe I’ll even have a wild one and throw on a movie.
I found myself applying mascara after they left earlier, shouting into the mirror: “I FEEL SO AGGRESSIVE”. The rest of the day has been similar.
There are moments in life that determine whether you are a crier or a trier. I had one such moment today.
The plan was simple: input address into Google Maps, leave 30 minutes early for a 5 minute route and attend an interview at 1pm.
1236hrs, mount bicycle and input address into Gmaps.
1242hrs, annoying GPS lady hasn’t said anything in a while, check phone – out of mobile data. panic.
1243hrs, freak 15 minute hail storm.
1253hrs, locate office building with company name – wrong building.
1258hrs, follow directions given and arrive victorious. wait in reception.
1315hrs, receptionist advises it’s still not the right building. panic.
1317hrs, locate bicycle; feel the urge to cry.
1320hrs, purchase phone credit.
1322hrs, email recruiter explaining mishap and request a rescheduling.
1326hrs, mount bicycle and input address into Gmaps.
1334hrs, arrive at correct building. decide it would be pretty cool to still land the job.
1336hrs, charm receptionist lady, recruitment staff summoned.
1340hrs, charm recruiters, agree to reschedule interview.
1430hrs, email received – all interview slots full. panic.
1723hrs, hiring manager has made space. self-five.
Up until this point I had at most, a passing interest for the role. Now, I want it because it would be quite bad ass to get it. Warped psychology aside; it is a fantastic opportunity that would see a pay increase and free flights. One downside; commute time from Brighton, but that’s a problem for later.
I can’t begin to describe what a cliché the date I went on was.
It quickly became a parody of itself and soon I felt part of a fully interactive virtual reality simulation. I had heaps of fun being involved in the tragedy of it all; but once I’d had enough I actually paid £46 to take a taxi home from Brighton. For the privilege of sleeping alone and a quick escape. My friend and I have thought long and hard about how to inform this guy that I probably won’t be seeing him again (apparently throwing away my phone is not an option), and will be mailing him the following:
Dear Mr **********,
Thank you for your interest in the position of Partner in Crime as advertised on Badoo.
We regret to inform you that on this occasion, you have been unsuccessful. Please do not let this news affect you negatively. We at Girls Over Wine understand that rejection can be hard and hope that the humour of this letter will be well received. So here’s some feedback:
Where you did well:
- Amazing motorcycle
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Superior baking skills
Where you did poorly:
- Suggesting your date move in with your ex next door who lives with her boyfriend (in a house you’re moving into).
- The rant about how your ex’s boyfriend doesn’t like you.
- Eating most of the Domino’s after forgetting about the Barbadan take-out idea, after not checking kitchen times for the Mexican place.
- Talking about the many girls you’ve been with.
- You can’t claim to live alone if you keep “lodgers”.
- Talking about your credit card issues and general lack of financial responsibility; not ideal first date material.
Once again, we’d like to thank you for your interest in the position and wish you luck in your future endeavours. For the avoidance of awkwardness, all social media ties have now been terminated.
Booty Game Level: Inisipid
Girls Over Wine.
I’ve since deleted Badoo. Onto the next genre of adventures!