Diagonal Tomatoes, Tormented Liquid

 

The Narrative: a Life Half-Captured
Journal Entry, Mon 17 Jul 2000: Wot a strange day…
Had phone call from Exel Timbalex who want me to go for an interview. I asked for the 27th since have already booked it as holiday. Went up to Stafford, got there at noon, had pub meal and went to Walton-on-the-Hill.
When I originally rang to arrange the interview, Mrs H asked if I would be coming up by car. ‘Er, no’ I said, ‘I usually ride a motorbike.’ There was a horrified silence on the other end of the line, and she eventually said ‘Perhaps you’d better get the train.’

And there the fun begins.

‘Holt, Walton and Hill’ (recruitment agency and talent resource management consultants) is actually John Holt and his missus, working out of an office in his lounge. When I arrived he talked for about 35 mins about himself and his background in research and consultancy.
Looked over my CV and asked how many ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels I had – what subject, what grade. Very routine questioning: “…and why did you decide to leave that job?” No explanation or discussion. At one point he said “But you do have a PhD?” Oh yes, I replied, not adding that’s why I do a school-leaver’s job.

Asked salary. When I told him he made no comment at all.
Tried to steer me towards quality control-type work, pointed out that R and D functions are being slashed and burnt during corporate restructuring. Told me that I appear to have R and D written through me like letters in a stick of rock.
During his half-hour diatribe he kept looking down at clipboard. Reciting from notes? Didn’t smile once. During interview, he told me that I was too old (or rather that a lot of companies would regard me as being so) and also ‘You want to move back into adhesives but you’ve been out of it for so long?’

Tue 26 Jun 2017: Went to pub with Peter from work, watched England-Germany U-21 match. As usual, it went to penalties after full-time, and Germany won.
At work: I look at the desks and imagine the UV-cured polyurethane varnish being applied. Then I look at my boss – she wears long false fingernails made from some indestructible polyester resin, a sort of clear lacquer filled with flakes of glitter, probably Merck pearlescent coated mica pigment.
At work: an office block is taking shape next to our building, hunky navvies in yellow hi-vis vests scurry back-and-forth assembling the concrete and rebar.

Mon 31 Mar 2008: Yesterday went to see ‘Untraceable’, a film about a guy who kidnaps people then kills them live on t’internet. The more people who log on to watch, the quicker the end is administered.
Meanwhile, last week in the US a man was given 25 years in prison for putting his baby daughter in a microwave oven.

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