June 02

Journal Entries

24 July 2002: Went to the Thatched House (pub) in Stockport for South Manchester MAG meeting. Only three of us turned up: Tev (organiser), Chris and I.
We held a meeting; Chris was appointed Branch Rep, I became Treasurer.
(Notes: this was the first meeting following an attempt to launch new branches of MAG all over the NW region. Although there were a few hundred members in the area, none of them could be bothered to turn up even though individual mailshots had been sent to every listed address.)

25 July 2002: Today at work sent a memo to Norm, Rob, Steve and Phil suggesting that we might try just putting a list of SCD product range at the bottom of our C of Cs.
Steve came up to the office and was cautiously sceptical. No mention by any of the others.

Had mailshot from Tony Hart (selling nickel powders). Faxed him back, pointing out that I was now Dave Waring, so to speak.

In today’s ‘Daily Record’ newspaper: “Bad news for Scotland as Asteroid Discovered Heading for Earth!”
(Notes: C-of-C refers to Certificates of Conformity, a one-page document which we were obliged to fax to customers confirming that the batch of material they had just purchased was within specification. I would normally sign and send about twenty of these during the week. Since each one had two inches of clear space at the bottom of the page, it occurred to me that we could add a list of materials produced in the Surface Coatings Division and possibly generate extra business. The SCD range was never advertised anywhere since the firm’s main client base was the electrical insulation market.)

06/07 June 2002: LK rang last night – am I going to visit for his birfday? I said no, but still have to liaise with Andy.
At work, Steve asked again if I could contact Akcros to see about adding high levels of soya oil (epox) to our vinyl paint. Did some DSC work; alkyd paint (teensy weensy peak at 250oC), vinyl paint (huge peak at 220oC).
In the news: special government adviser has sent an e-mail asking for details of the political leanings of Paddington Rail Crash survivors group members.
Today, while everyone else at work was gathered round portable TV sets watching England beat Argentina 1-0, I was emptying out dozens of small retain tins of paint.
Such a rewarding career I have here.
Rob was in this morning but made no comment on the DSC traces I left in his pigeonhole.
So far at work I haven’t:
– been given training in how to use analytical equipment
– been given training on computer system 6000
– been issued with a named labcoat
– been give the keypad number codes for the office doors.


Out of Touch

The tiles on the laundrette floor are
Patterned with a mottled grain; someone
Has laid them carefully so that
The streaks go first along and then across
The axis of this narrow room.

The washers are gleaming – nice grey steel,
Not too polished but just enough
To hold the weeping portholes fast,
A line of seven sisters watching
My aimless shuffle through the working day.

The washers are friendly: every word
In lower-case with rounded corners,
Nothing harsh or intimidating, instead
Delighting in the bland instructions
Repeated like seven murmurs in a line.

And yet these machines look so sci-fi
One almost feels that garments could become
Clean simply by being locked inside
These austere perforated chambers
Together with the sacrificial soap.

I wander back and forth, remembering
Faded wallpaper, fluorescent tubes, a
Dirty lino floor; and all around the
Rhythmic plashing of the turning clothes.

Time itself is being washed away….
            (08 Aug 2002)





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