Song for Voctor

Sunday Morning, Stretford

Everywhere looks nicer on a Sunday; you walk
To fetch the papers and the streets are still,
The only sounds a distant aircraft or perhaps
An early train. The pattern of fallen leaves
Makes the wet tarmac into a philosopher’s delight.

But just last night this place was not the same.
Bottle – woolly hat – girl screams – and then
Blue lights locate red blood upon a wall
While young men stagger, killing time
For, like us all, they’ve nowhere left to go.
(22 Oct 2004)

Journal Entry, 22 Oct 2004: On Weds night sent e-mail application to Tetrosyl for job as Technical Manager. Acknowledgement arrived today.
At work noticed a lot of fallen racking, heard that J-P had a drum of resin drop on him – another disaster.
WB tower paint ex-Rembrandtin. Send to EA Technology.
In the news: Deepcut Barracks – lots of trainee soldiers being mysteriously killed by gunshot wounds – and now a PT instructor has been sentenced to four years for sexual assaults on lads.
And the military just shrug and say it’s not a cover-up.

25 Oct 2004: Hot news from Kozmik Koatingz Inkorporated!
Last night got v drunk on S African red and left some gibberish messages on Bikersweb.
Today at work discovered the SCD Presence Recording Log, an in-out book printed up for Andy and Kev, with me being added on week starting 30 July 2001. No mention of Joe.
This document was never shown to me but my name has been ticked in and out for a few months then in October 2001 it just goes blank and was never referred to again.

Still no news about putting new B-lamps in the QUV cabinet for Sean McCabe. My safety shoes have split. [Note: the Surface Coatings Division workshop had pools of xylene and white spirit all over the floor and I regularly had to walk through these]
Have you heard the new song from Sir Michael of Jagger? The theme to the new film version of ‘Alfie’, not really a film-type tune. Don’t like it at all…
Yesterday footie match at Old Trafford – Man U beat Arsenal (first defeat in 49 games)

7 Dec 2004: At work have started compiling a Microsoft Access database of QC test results. They’ve put a PC in my office with Windows 98, but no printer and no internet or e-mail access.
Tonight went to Stockport Bike Club and indulged recklessly in two cranberry-and-orange J2O drinks and a small bowl of chicken supreme with rice.
Had a letter at work from Barbara Knight saying my application was due to be submitted to the OCCA committee for approval.

9 Dec 2004: Nothing happened at work today. Ordered some new lamps for QUV machine. Sent confirmation note back to James M Brown who have been taken over by Heubach. Sent e-mails to Paul and Shailesh saying thanks for approving my OCCA application.
Steve Mayall left me a box from A O Smith – some metal parts, a matt-black coated bit, and a plastic bottle of WB black paint. But when I sprayed it out the panels were full gloss, even when stoved for one hour at 200 degrees.

7 Jan 2005: Mark Jones decided to dispose of some amine by mixing it with epoxy. But it exothermed and stank out the entire factory. All the Epoxylite formulations tend to use neat amine hardeners instead of blending them with solvent and fillers, so you end up with bizarre mixing ratios – 34 to 1 by volume, for example.

6 July 2005: Andrew Keefe breezed into the lab and asked if I had been told about Newage request for better drying. Apparently someone should have left a note for me explaining what the situation is. ‘Go and discuss with Gill H’ said he, ‘she’s the brains behind this project.’ What Gill has actually done is to use a bought-in red oxide dispersion as part of the grind stage. Tried to follow their formulation but it was far too stiff.

10 July 2005: On Friday I was busy making up the red oxide WB for Newage so Gill came over and ‘tested’ the QC batches – no evidence that they had actually been done.
The customer wants faster drying, so Rob  P has instructed me to put iso-propanol into the paint to achieve this. Andrew K was annoyed to learn that I hadn’t carried out this task yet. I didn’t tell him that I thought it might destabilise the emulsion and prevent correct film formation.
11 July 2005: Today at work carried out Rob’s idea of using iso-propanol in WB emulsion paint. Viscosity plummeted and lots of extra thickener required.

3 Aug 2005: Well…
Monday v hectic at work, didn’t look at my handy until about 7.00 when I discovered a message from HR manager at EC Pigments. Tried to get in touch with him – no luck.
Tues night found letter waiting for me with an offer of employment. But they require a reference from Sterling Tech. So today I collared Rob P in corridor and said ‘Can you spare a couple of minutes this afternoon?’
‘Why, what’s it about?’
‘I need to discuss something professional.’
‘Oh’ said he.
Rang Eileen Coffey and asked her about this. Turns out my pay review should be 2006 not 2007 like it says in her letter. [Note: I didn’t receive a pay rise in 2006 after all]

6 Aug 2005: Went up to Bolton on bus to visit Art Gallery and see exhibition of early C-20 paintings, British Surrealists, Stanley Spencer, Lowry, David Jones.

Song for Voctor

When a snail hears rain, it sees dull grey swirls
And when it hears birdsong, there are small bright angles of terror
But when the music of human laughter is overheard
The slow dull dance of continents takes place.

17 Jun 1997: Yesterday Mike called us into the office to announce that we six youngsters were going to Durham for a paint conference.
Then he called me into the office for my performance appraisal review. Several sheets of paper with headings: according to him, I was lacking in creativity, unwilling to learn more about the job, and had difficulty expressing myself.
GBMCC application form arrived. Saw landlord and arranged to rent garage.

And during appraisal, MH informed me that alkyds were being put on hold because polyesters were cheaper and performed better. Cheaper?!

18 Jul 1997: At work have been preparing lots of single=pigment dispersions and reducing them in white, in order to set up a predictive database on the colour computer (which is managed by Brian Addenbrooke). One of these sets of panels was missing the lowest concentration variant, and I casually said ‘Well, I didn’t think we needed to include that one’ whereupon Brian said ‘Well, could you try not to think in future.’




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