Celtic Illumination, part 269, Take this job and shove it.
The whole situation was very strange to me indeed. I worked for a company although I was self-employed. Apart from the initial two weeks training I had, on the job, I had never worked with anyone else. So I was self-employed, had always worked on my own and yet here was this fellow telling me that he was my team leader, he was in charge of me. Perhaps it was semantics, perhaps it was my bullheadedness, or perhaps it was the fact that the fellow was so average he was bland. He was the sort of fellow who gave me the impression that he would take a day off work for having sore hair, or would get lost on his way to work. At least in the air force people, like Joe, the idiot, look at me I can march, Pearson, had the decency to be so bloody awful, or stupid, that they gave you a valid reason for disliking them, but this fellow offered me nothing.
I can remember standing there while he rabbited on about horse shit he had appeared to learn from American soap operas, spouting meaningless cliché after cliché that I knew it was time to react. I told him to shut up. I was tempted to give him the proverbial both barrels but he didn’t deserve my attention, so I walked away. Well; when I say walked, I mean that I got in my car and, peering through a small wood glue free hole, drove away. I spent a good half an hour that evening cleaning the windshield and stuffing the rubber seal back into position although I feared that the moment I hit a decent cruising speed on the motorway, the thing would begin to unravel again. I checked my diary and began to plan the following day in my head as I relaxed for the evening.
The company on the other hand had different plans for me. It appeared that my wonderful leader had contacted the company head office and reported me. He was a bit stand offish with me the following morning as he explained that I had to report to head office immediately and that he would be taking over the job in Pontypool. It was quite obvious that the man had no moral fibre, as I was finding out was the case with many civilians. It was something that I was having a huge problem with, for it was appearing that in order to become successful in Civvie Street you first of all had to be below average on the intelligence scale and secondly, have no moral scruples whatsoever. I failed miserably on both counts. I began to drive North towards Lytham Saint Annes when I began to think about what they would be saying to me when I got there.
I came to the conclusion that there were really only two things they could do to me. One was to give me a severe reprimand, but this was probably impossible as I was self-employed, so effectively the only thing they could do to me was fire me. But then again they couldn’t actually fire me as I didn’t work for them, I was self-employed. Whatever the terminology used I felt that we would be parting ways, so being the clever fellow that I am, I made a slight detour. Irene was surprised to see me home, but not so surprised to hear that I thought I was going to be fired within the next hour or two. I emptied the car of all my personal possessions; I left everything at home from my briefcase and Filofax to my overnight bag and raincoat. I was making myself more aerodynamic, stripped to the core and ready for action, like a greased up racing snake.
You may think that this is not the attitude someone should have who is preparing for a meeting where there is a high chance you might be fired. You would probably think that the clever option would be to think about a strategy for trying to keep your job. Plead with your employer, beg for another chance, and humiliate yourself in front of them. I am pleased to see that most members of The Illuminati already know that none of those scenarios would fit into my persona. When you are as good looking and as clever as me it is they who should be doing the begging. Anyway I had a new and better job to move on to, a week or two off before that would do me no harm at all.
I drove to Lytham and went to the head office. They were all very solemn and serious. There were two of them and it really did feel as if they were trying to get me to apologise and beg for my job. I can remember sitting there looking at the pair of them as they spoke at me, and I’m sorry to have to admit this to you but there were one or two swear words floating about inside my head. I didn’t let them come out, but I do remember shouting at them, inside my head of course, is that all you’ve got? It was like the air force where I learned from Barry not to be afraid, it was all a game and they thought they knew all the rules. Normally I would have been worrying about references or write ups but I now knew that all of that was absolute horse shit. The pair of them sat there looking at me waiting for a response. I stood up dropped the car keys on the desk and, as sung by dear old Johnny Paycheck, told them to take their job and shove it.
It felt good walking out of the head office and standing on the pavement with the sea air making me feel fresh and alive. Once again the most handsome and cleverest fellow in the universe was without work, but at least this time there was a little edge to the situation. Sure I had stood my ground and as every fellow in the air force dreamed of, I had actually told my civilian boss to stick his job. Yes it was invigorating, and had I learned anything from the situation, as if someone as clever as me could learn more. Well yes, there was one thing I had learned and that was if I ever found myself in such a situation again I should probably not leave my wallet on the kitchen table at home alongside my briefcase and Filofax. Another thing I learned, yes, I did learn more than one thing that day, was that handmade leather shoes are not very good for walking long distances in, especially over rough ground. I had no money on me and no credit or debit cards.
I now knew that I would have to walk past the Lytham Saint Annes windmill to, and through, Preston and then on to the M6 motorway where I could try to thumb a lift. If I could get a lift down the motorway to Orrell, I could walk from there to my house. From Orrell to my house would be about four miles, pretty easy if you are in a tracksuit and running shoes, jeans and ordinary shoes still not too bad, but handmade leather brogues and a sharp three piece suit made that four mile journey a little challenging. Of course that was the easy part of the journey as Lytham to the motorway would be nearer twelve miles and there was no point hanging about wondering if I could sneak on to a train or a bus. Head down and get stuck in.
There must have been thousands of cars that drove past me on my journey and if I had had any sense I probably would have felt like a complete idiot. I didn’t have to wait too long when I eventually got to the motorway when a car stopped and gave me a lift. Some fellow who delivered cars for a living, not in a midwifery sense, don’t be daft, but from garage to garage, took me the whole way to Orrell. It’s not the way I would have wanted the situation to end but that’s what happened. I couldn’t exactly tell anyone the whole story about the incident as I might not paint myself in too good a light. It’s not as if I would ever sit down and write about it. If I ever did have to tell anyone about my parting with the company I could just say that I told them to stick their job, just like the song. I would probably remain a hero in their eyes, a righteous fellow, so that’s what I told myself to do, and I did. Hold on a minute……..