“Four times a day you say you’re leaving,” Paula told me. She was having a stupid day. “For the last four years,” she went on.
“It’s a bit different,” I said. There’s a massive difference between hating your job and threatening to leave and leaving, surely she could see that? I know she was a woman and needed everything spelled out but still. Enrique clicked his fingers and then clicked his heels to his office. He pushed the handle down, it clicked then swung open with a small creak. It closed with a click.
“A click is a kilometre in army speak,” I told Paula.
Enrique returned holding one of those cardboard folders that are a bit like big green envelopes. I recognised it of course, I often look through it when I’m feeling glum although I hadn’t looked through it this time as it wouldn’t have helped. It would have made things worse but I still chuckled at the sight of it. There’s was good stuff in the folder and on the front Enrique had written JAIMES LEEVINGS.
Bless him, it was a good effort but I’d love to have seen him attempt ‘resignation letters’ which is what the folder contained. Well, at first.
“Eh?” Said Enrique opening the folder and showing me the bundle of documents contained within. Some handwritten, some printed on a computer.
“Ah, that was more… suggestions. Like a suggestion box.”
“Sestion box?” Asked Enrique flicking though the folder and producing a picture I’d drawn. “Sestion?” He asked showing the picture to me, Paula and the old woman who was waiting to be served.
“You were being one that day,” I told him, “a steaming one,” and then I scooted around the counter to get the old woman out of the shop. “He was a turd that day,” I told the customer during the two seconds I looked at her. I was eager to get back to the looking-through-the-folder game. When she left I looked at the second piece of paper Enrique was displaying.
Fuck off. I’m not coming in tomorrow. And tell Paula to wash her hair. There are squirrels in it.
“I didn’t leave though, did I?” I said. I risked a glance at Paula, she was looking at the paper while stroking her hair. “It was that day you got all the sausage roll crumbs in your hair.” She looked at me and I tried to remember how that day ended. The day I decided it’d be funny to put crumbs in her hair without her knowledge. I think I’d had a bust up with Enrique and then been too depressed to tell Paula what I’d been doing. “Get another one out,” I urged. Enrique flicked through the folder.
“Many, many dicks,” he said shaking his head and producing –
“Why’s there a pig in the shop?” Asked Paula grabbing it like a rude person with no manners would. I grabbed it back.
“I should have gone for that job.” I said looking at myself driving a National Trust Land Rover which I’d drawn excellently. Last year there was a job in the paper. I check for jobs every day but last year there was one I would have liked. A Ranger for the National Trust. You got a Land Rover. And you got to range which I imagined meant driving your Land Rover on the sand dunes. I’d convinced myself I was going to go for it but as the closing date approached I’d talked myself out of it. Loads of people would have applied for such a sweet job. I should have applied. Initially I’d been smiling, looking at the picture, but my smile faded the longer I looked at it. “Yeah, alright, we get it,” I told Enrique when he went to get another one out.