After that farce on Friday I was glad to get an invite to start work. Dutifully I made my way to the Network Rail site - ironically one I'd been sacked from once before by a different employer - and arrived on the dot just as my supervisor from the agency was parking his car. The security guard was one of those smiling happy south east asian types. Friendly to everyone. I can imagine him throwing me off the site for a misdemeanour with a cheery "Have... a... nice day. Yes."
The company site manager pulled me into an office for a welcome to work chat. "This is not an interview" He smiled. Never trust a manager who smiles. I have to say I didn't much like the look of him. He was one of those 'cold' management types. Never really showing any leadership, never inspiring any dedication or loyalty, just expecting everyone to work until they break then throw them away as rubbish. You can't trust people like that.
Sadly I was right. I couldn't trust him. Within fifteen minutes he'd decided I was surplus to requirements (or more accurately, rubbish) and my services weren't required. He even expected me to accept that without any display of negative emotion. The man is an android, programmed for ruthless management, and I suppose luckily for me, I will not be assimilated.
So I stomped off angrily for the gatehouse. Like you do. The cheery security man smiled and as I signed myself out, said "Have... a... nice day. Yes."
Stupid Person Of The Week
So it was back to the Job Centre and the humiliating ritual of attempting to persuade government bureaucrats that your life has turned for the worse and please can I have some money to pay my bills. As it happened the benefits were confirmed without problems (I guess the Network Rail Android is known as a serious hazard to continued employment). So it was only necessary to attend a short interview to sign a few forms before I went back to the job of finding work.
The afro-caribbean lady behind the desk was humoourless. Not that unusual in Job Centres if I were honest, although things have improved no end from the dour 70's. She wasn't being rude or anything, it's just that she called me "Mister Caldrail". Gasp! So I attempted, forlornly, to prove that I was entitled to be called "Lord Caldrail". I had the evidence, I pointed out where she was going wrong, then I was interrupted.
"Sorry... Did you say I was stupid?" She hissed icily. Uh oh. This was the ragged edge of a possible racism incident. Now I get it. She's a problem case given a niche job. Staring her in the face, I slowly confirmed that I did not say she was stupid. So the interview concluded in the same detached officialism she started, believing she had won a victory over racist abuse.
Well. Now I'm going to say it. As much as I was being respectful and polite, lady, you are stupid.