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It's Good To Talk

Was it something I said? Apparently, yes, it was. You might want to sit comfortably at this point because I want to begin this sorry tale of miscommunication.


Too late, I've started.


It was a dark and stormy night when I fired up the computer to search for employment. No, I'm lying, the weather's been quite reasonable lately and it was mid morning at the local library, so the only risk was a librarian moaning about my military surplus trousers and an ugly stare from the security guard who for some strange reason gives me ugly stares.


Clothes do strange things to people in Swindon. My Gap hoody has made me the mortal enemy of a youth gang, off duty servicemen mock my baseball cap, and people in the bus queue down the road complain that I never change my clothes. Oh good grief. I change my socks every six months or when they fall apart, whichever happens first. Hey, I'm a single guy. What do you expect?


Anyway, I'm obliged by my Job Seekers Contract to use the government's Universal Jobmatch website. So I pulled up the site and searched for gainful employment. As it happens I found a vacancy. Woo hoo! Somebody wants a Warehouse Operative. You would expect at this time that I would read the job description and see if the job was right for me. Nope, I'm also obliged to apply for the jobs I find. So the company, location, hours, pay and conditions are actually largely irrelevant.


Oh... Hang on... Where's the 'Apply' button? There isn't one. Now that's suspicious. Just a phone number to a job agency. So I pulled up the agency website and searched for the vacancy. Not found. Even suspiciouser...


No alternative but to phone the number provided then. The one good thing of using an ordinary telephone is that the recipient can't see my clothes. Heaven knows what reaction that would have caused. It dawned on me after the woman answered that I'd phoned her once before concerning another Warehuse Operative job. I seem to remember that for some inexplicable reason she threw a hissy fit. I might have hung up on her. I'm thoughtful like that. Wouldn't want her trantrum to cause her any embarrasement.


This time we discussed my sporadic career history and for some inexplicable reason she gave me a lecture on the ramifactions of health & safety legislation in the workplace. Can she see my clothes somehow? Eventually I managed to get a word in and she moaned that she was only trying to help. From this point it sort of got worse. I think she was trying to control the conversation and couldn't handle a jobseeker trying to get her to impart information slow enough to write down. Woah! Slower! You spell your last name how?


"I don't like the way you're speaking to me" She said. Here we go again. She said that the other time too. I might have hung up on her again.


Primate Alert

"I know you can hear me" Someone said outside my home. The weather's been a bit humid of late so the open window was too much of a temptation for him. He simply had to make some kind of taunt, threat, insult, or a reminder that he wants me to believe he's the most dangerous dude on the block. You know how it is when you're young, trying to make a name for yourself in the 'hood. Well, youngster, you're right. I can hear you. The real problem you have however is that I'm still not listening.


Migration Of The Week

There's an advert on television that comes around quite often. It reminds us that Yellowstone Park is an active volcano and shows a bear relaxing in the grass with all the time in the world. "He has no idea" Says the voiceover. Apparently some of the animals do, because they've been spotted leaving the park by the nearest convenient tarmac road. No-one told the bear obviously. Right now he's probably wondering why he has a national park to himself.


So while the grizzly bear is headed for extinction the local bison have evolved to the point where their brains now comprehend the purpose of tarmac roads. They haven't quite managed to invent the internal combustion yet but I guess hooves are something of an obstacle to drawing blueprints. On the other hand maybe they simply decided that grizzly bears are not good neighbours.