And Still They Came

It was like somebody had turned on a giant tap. A tap like that one that’s somewhere. It’s giant, like, 20 metres tall and the water coming from it hides the structure holding it up so it looks like the tap is floating.

That’s fucking great that tap is, don’t know where it is but I saw a picture of it ages ago and it blew my mind. It’s probably in America.

I imagine there’s such a tap just around the corner from the shop. This tap hasn’t been on for a while, for four years, and when first turned it spluttered and coughed out the people from last week but the airlock has cleared and now there’s a steady – though not powerful – stream of rusty brown stinking water people. The tank’s fucked. We’re not getting fresh water. It’s relentless. Mind boggling.

Last week’s candidates were wretched (apart from that girl who’d gotten herself married) but this week’s… *whistles*

This week’s make last week’s look like Google employees. My neck is sore from shaking my head so much but still I shake it as the next one shambles across the car park.

Who would carry a plastic bag to a job interview? Who the fuck would think that carrying a plastic bag to an interview is an okay thing to do? Answer: Most of them. What the hell is in those bags? I just cannot imagine. Their lunches? Holy fucking Jesus. These people – and this isn’t an exaggeration – these wrecks wouldn’t get a job in the Co-op.

What are they thinking? Holy fuck, look at this one. His bag’s going to blow away! They don’t seem to give a hoot about the time either. Most of them have been late.

Five minutes. That’s the sweet spot. I was going to get there with five minutes to spare. Not ten as that was too long to wait, they were going to keep me waiting anyway so getting there with ten minutes to spare would mean sitting near the reception for up to fifteen minutes. That’s too long. Five minutes. I’d walked to the shop. I am excellent at gauging time and distance, always have been, and the walk calmed me.

I don’t know if other people get nervous but I get nervous meeting people. Any people. Even scum like the people who work at the dump. I’ll get nervous going to the dump in case I do something wrong. Put some of the wrong metal in the ‘FERROUS METAL’ skip. What the fuck is ferrous metal? I do not know. It’s either the metal that’s worth something, like alloy, or it’s the shitty metal. Looking into the skips is no help. One will often contain a complete bicycle which, I know from owning a bicycle, will be made of a mixture of good metal and shit metal. I don’t like talking to people, unless I’m drunk.

I wouldn’t mind working at the dump actually. They seem to do fuck all. Sit in a hut. That wouldn’t be too bad. I’ll have to check that out. Probably need a license for those big machines though.

I got to the car park with five minutes to spare. Perfect. I didn’t doubt I would. If I’d stopped walking for a second my nervousness may have grown and possibly taken over and I might have just walked past. Like that time I went for an interview at that Insurers and just walked past. I hadn’t stopped walking and I walked straight into the Spar, St Ouen. In through the doors. I looked around and felt ill, there was no reception and it wasn’t obvious where I should go.

A girl was behind the counter. She was a bit fat for my liking. Not fat fat. Bonnie is nice, patronising way of describing her. That’s how you describe fat girls who aren’t monstrously fat. She was serving somebody so I stood off to the side. But then more people joined the queue and I – and this didn’t seem right – joined the queue. It was either that or butt-in or stand there like a dick forever. So I queued. I only had a couple of minutes before I’d be late.

I queued up and watched the girl. She was doing nothing that I couldn’t do. I mean, with a bit of training. I’d need to learn codes and stuff and then I was standing before her. She was smiling at me. Grinning, really, and that was a bit unnerving.

“I’m here for an interview?” I said as if it was a question. It went up at the end.

“Oh,” said the girl. “Okay, what would you like to ask me?”

“I…”

“Shall we do it here?” She asked.

“I…” There were people behind me in the queue. It seemed wrong. “If you want,” I said.

“Where are you from? Which newspaper?” She asked.

“I… no,” I said.

“Well, fire away!” She said. I turned and did an apologetic face at the queue behind me.

“I… what could I bring to the role?” I asked. I’d expected inane questions. I didn’t expect to be asking them myself, to myself. This was fucked. This was my nightmare.

“Are you asking me?”

“I don’t know!” I laughed nervously. The girl was pointing to a door. I looked at the door. “Over there.” I looked at her and then at the door.

“Over there?” I said. What the fuck does that mean? There’s a door over there, I should go over there, what? I need clear instructions. She was still pointing so as not to look stupid I walked over to the door. I stood near the door, all casual, and waited for something to happen. The girl hadn’t followed me. She was serving people. I didn’t stare at her as that wasn’t casual. I looked at the bottles of wine. I could’ve really went for a bottle of wine about then.

“Knock!” The girl shouted over. She was pointing at the door. I nodded as casually as I could and knocked on the door. Three firm knocks was my intention. Firm knocks, firm handshake, eye contact, five minutes early. I knew the drill but the door opened during my second rap. The man who opened it was either standing on the other-side of the door waiting, or he was opening the door anyway and it was a coincidence.

“Enter,” he said and I thanked him. I stood near his desk. The man was wearing dark trousers, a white Spar branded polo-shirt and an impressed face. I didn’t want to sit before he did. That would be bad etiquette so I stood there and waited for him to sit down. “Wowee!” Said the guy, looking me up and down. “Dat a bloody nice suit, man!” He said. I’d felt a bit self-conscious when I first put it on, even though I knew it looked good. I hadn’t worn it since I’d got married in it. In Fiji. I was wearing a different shirt though.

“Thanks,” I replied.

“Where chu get dat?” He asked. He was intrigued by my off-white suit.

“In town.”

“I like-a dat!” Said the man with the thick foreign accent. “It get dirty, no?”

“It’s not too bad, actually,” I said, relaxing into it. “And it’s nice when it’s hot.”

“Is hot out?”

“Yeah, twenty-three degrees.”

“I like-a dat suit, man!” Said the man. I’d knocked my first impression out of the park. I opened it to show the lining and then without thinking I spun around. The man was nodding when I’d spun back to face him.

“Chu work in a shop before?”

“Oh yeah, The Camera Centre,” I told him.

“Well, I impressed. Come,” said the man opening the door. Was that it? He took me over to the counter. “Dis Paula.”

“Hi,” I said.

“We’ve met,” said Paula to the man.

“Yeah, we’ve met,” I agreed. I should have said that instead of greeting her again. She must’ve thought I was thick.

“What did you say?” Asked Paula.

“Erm yes.” I replied. I didn’t like this girl much.

“The man from Del Monte, he say yes,” said Paula. I looked at the man, he seemed confused. She was referring to me. The suit.

“Ah, the suit!” I said, for some reason showing her the lining. “Ha!” I agreed. The man showed me around the shop. I nodded while looking at the shelves and the stuff on the shelves. After a tour of the shop we were at the doors.

“H’okay!” Said the man. “Well, es good?”

“Yeah, es good,” I said. The man nodded.

“H’okay!” Said the man again. I extended my hand. “Sorry, what’s your name?”

“Enrique,” said Enrique.

“Enrique, well, thanks for your time,” I said and shook his hand firmly. He nodded. Paula was serving somebody but I waved even though she wasn’t looking. I felt a bit stupid doing that. I had then walked home pretty happy. It had gone well. That’s how you do interviews. I didn’t have a carrier bag.

I wondered if any of the people carrying their plastic bags across the car park after being interviewed felt as happy as I had four and a half years earlier. I doubted it.

“Hey Paula, how many people applied when I started.”

“Two,” she replied.

“Fuck off,” I snorted.

“Really.”

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