Why Do You Want To Be A Team Leader For Trans-National Car Parks?
Get dressed now; all in black. Choose shirt, trousers. Try on different combinations. Maybe the blue shirt with the twin-colour pin-stripes and the high collar? No. Makes me look stern, meaty. Like I’ve got a smaller neck or something. No. Throw that away. The safe option is the neutral one.
Look behind me at the discarded clothes that lie scattered across the carpet; the daylight bulb has not fired up fully, making them seem like devastated, fleshless bodies. Twisted. Some, arse pointing up to the ceiling; others with their limbs broken into impossible shapes. And all decapitated. Good. No-one to disapprove of my choice of outfit. I could do without that.
* * *
Search for some loose change. Will definitely need something to drink after the interview.
Spot some coins; the house is always dark at this time of day but the reflection upon them tells me that they are silver ones; 5p’s, 10p’s, 20p’s or 50p’s. Still not enough though. A pint will be at least £3. Search the front room with a fine-toothed comb. There is the big, empty bottle of brandy one-quarter filled with coppers and occasional silver. I tip it out and fish through the pile. Smell the dirty coins, dirty hands. Realize that my hands will smell this way too because I don’t have time to wash them, only time to get to that place, to have that interview. Scoop up the coppers and a few silvers. £3.34. Should be enough. Stuff it into my pocket which now bulges comically on one side.
Think about putting my wallet in my bag. Quickly dismiss the idea. The coins will probably spill out everywhere and they’ll most likely want to see my driving licence anyway.
* * *
Open the door. Step outside. Press my ear buds in. Select a tune. Close the door. Twist the handle. Turn the key. Make sure it’s locked. Check again. Check a third time. Closed. Locked. Safe. Press ‘play’ on my mp3 player, set myself into a stride and watch the buses pass at the bottom of the road like overweight dogs.
Why am I doing this?
* * *
The trousers are just thin enough to let the chilled breeze in. Need thicker trousers if I am going to be able to weather the workplace, that’s definite.
My shape does not understand the cut of the clothes hung upon it.
Cars sit at the traffic lights. I cross to the other side of the street which could just as easily be any side of any street. This is miserable.
Town approaches. Or I approach it. Trendy people withdraw money from cash-points next to homeless ones with hats on the floor begging for loose change.
“Spare any change?” they ask me. And I don’t know how to respond without sounding like a cunt.
* * *
I cut down a side street. A car pulls into the curb and a man who has been waiting there jumps in. The car, a Mercedes-Benz, pulls away. It’s not a taxi. Wonder where they are going? Who they are?
I can see the job centre on the corner. The back of a woman sat on a fence. Her hair streaked blonde and tied back into a hasty pony-tail. She wears a hooded top with ‘Lonsdale’ written on the back. Cradles a can in both hands. A thin boy with short, dark hair and reddened eyes stands with her. He has dark, almost black, spots on his face and, at the end of a leash, a pit-bull terrier. He wears a hooded top with ‘Lonsdale’ written on the back.
Well... I don’t care. Everyone has the right to a drink, I suppose.
* * *
The ‘automatic’ door is broken and requires an effort to pry open. I make it inside, though.
They have a greeter now. What a novelty.
“Can I help you?” She says.
I give her the name of the person I’m here to see, the company they work for and the time of my interview.
“Ah yes, second floor.”
I look around me.
“Just through those doors and up the stairs.” She smiles, as though she’s brushed her teeth with her own urine.
The other doors are more yielding. Once you’re in, you’re in.
A girl shouts at a child called Chardonnay. I wait in the queue. Then, it’s my turn. I give the name of the person I’m here to see, the company they work for and the time of my interview.
“What’s your name?”
“Russell,” I say.
“O-kay...” She ticks a box on a piece of paper. Looks up. “Follow me.”
I’m shown to the rear of the office. She asks me to sit down and fill out a form.
“Do you have you passport with you?”
“And your driving license?”
She trots off and I watch a woman with unbelievably short arms feeding paper into a shredder.
I wait for about 15 minutes. The unfilled form in from of me with my driving licence and passport laying on top.
A short, porker of a man places his clammy hand on my back.
“Hello Russell. I’ll be with you in a minute. It’s sweltering in there. Just need to gather myself.”
As he waddles away, I can feel his hand-print cooling on my shirt.
5 or 10 minutes pass, don’t know.
“Okay. Step inside Russell.”
I step inside. Sit down in the only available chair.
“Shall I close the...” pointing to the door.
“God no, leave it open... hehe,” he says.
He checks his notes. Asks me for my application form. I hand it to him. A bead of sweat grows on his pink, puffy forehead. He clasps his hands in front of his face as though in prayer. Makes a pistol out of both index fingers; cocks it with his thumbs, aims and fires...
“So, why do you want to be a team leader for Trans-National Car Parks?”