Monday, 9 January 2012

"Look, cocktails are only £2 each! Let's get eight."

"Look, cocktails are only £2 each! Let's get eight." - If you're wondering, that was the dreaded phrase that came out of my mouth the other week and made way for the worst hangover I have ever had. There was a moment some time around noon the next day where I actually thought, 'this is it'. Laying in a crumpled pile of sadness underneath my duvet, sweating out vodka and Cheeky Vimtos and surrounded by empty Wotsits packets is not how I wanted to go, but when one is faced with death, one must be valiant. I think the worst part of it was when I was trying to calm myself down by listening to some soothing radio and Carly Simon's You're So Vain came on. Usually, I would not be so distressed to hear this, but this time a horrendous memory came screaming back from the night before which involved myself, Paul, a karaoke machine and too much Carly Simon to enable us to ever show our faces in Bradford city centre ever again. Thankfully, I made it to the afternoon and spent my entire day wrapped in said duvet feeling sorry for myself and watching one of those made-for-TV films that are always shown on Boxing Day and usually encompass a war hero and a little boy calling the film's leading male 'dad' just before the closing credits. Since finishing university, I have made a conscious effort not to waste any of my days sat in bed, stewing in my own shame and wasting my life, and until now I have managed relatively well. The feeling of self-pity and nausea was actually comfortingly familiar and, to say for most of the day I was either scared I was dying or wishing I was, part of me quite enjoyed it. I have now taken to spending my Saturday nights trying to trick MegaVideo into letting me watch more than 72 minutes of online TV shows a day and Googling every English person I see in an American sitcom to find out where I've seen them before. I don't know what it is about Casualty and Where The Heart Is, but they have both churned out their fair share of nurses-turned-Hollywood-superstars.

I should take to staying in the house more often, there are so fewer opportunities to humiliate myself when I am not surrounded by other people. The other day on the bus, I noticed that I'd forgotten to pick up a Metro when I was getting on (the world's most prestigious newspaper, as I think you'll all agree), so I left my seat to go and retrieve one. However, because I was so intrigued by whatever was on the front page (knowing the Metro, it's usually something that is a) about animals, or b) untrue), I didn't realise that I had been sat on one of those seats that flips back upright when you stand up. Usually on buses I tend to avoid these seats because they fall into the undesirable seat category. This category includes seats near the front that you will inevitably have to give up to an old and/or pregnant person, seats near the back that are usually covered in chewing gum and tend to have the name of some poor Bradfordian girl graffiti'd all over them with "sucks cock for bus fare" scrawled underneath, and the worse - the flipping seats. So, as I am about to sit back down on my seat, I suddenly have the horrible realisation that my seat is no longer there. By this time, however, it is too late and I have already leaned back and started my descent. There was nothing left for me to do but take the route that most of us take when faced with a humiliating situation - do not make a fuss, and pretend everything you have just done is both acceptable, and completely on purpose. There's a certain element of shame that comes with sitting on the floor of a bus, huddled under the front page of the Metro and pretending to tie your shoe with your left hand, and it is not one I wish to revisit.

As always, work has been the epitome of excitement this week. At one point, I had to resort to pretending to get my hand caught in the meat slicer in order to scare everyone and give myself a bit of entertainment. (This sort of backfired as that night I woke up in a cold sweat after dreaming that someone had left the safety guard off the slicing blade and it had flown off and chopped my head off when I had reached over and turned it on...) I have done well, though, and only managed to be told off for one thing this week. I, personally, do not think drawing a speech bubble at the side of the shop mascot and writing 'I HATE MY LIFE' in it is unacceptable behaviour, but apparently it is not the level of dedication and enthusiasm for my job that I am supposed to be showing. It is difficult to show enthusiasm when dealing with certain customers, though. Today I was serving a woman when she said, "I'll just go up to the pie counter, I want some pork pies". Fair enough, so up I saunter to the pie counter where a man says, "I'll have two pork pies". Polite as I ever am, I replied, "Sorry, I'm just serving someone at the moment", to which he retorts, "the woman in the red coat? Yes, we're together", as if I am being a complete fool for not realising. I stopped myself from saying, "well, next time if you could mount her in the queue, just so we know who belongs to who, I'd really appreciate it", instead mumbling something under my breath about not being psychic and then flashing him my favourite I-hate-you-more-than-I-hate-my-job smile. We do get some friendly customers, though, don't get me wrong. In fact, the other day an old woman came up and started asking me lots of questions about my life and whether or not I'd had a lovely Christmas. She was about to invite me round to a party when a younger woman came up, whispered, "Mum, that's not Karen..." and slowly dragged her away. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

No comments: