Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Out On Blue Six : Cat Stevens

In 2005, I was so royally fed up of having spent the previous six years as a civil servant/representation of hate for the mass unemployed that I decided to jump ship and landed, quite inexplicably and utterly ill advisedly in the bizarre and unsuited role of customer services for an office furniture supplier.

I lasted three months. It remains the only job I ever got the sack from and I seem to recall skipping for joy all the way home that morning after my unexpected - well not all that unexpected I guess - severance meeting with human resources. I skipped for further joy when I saw the incredible severance package I was rewarded afterwards. I still think they made a mistake!

I absolutely hated the place. The work - tied to a phone all day listening to people place gibberish orders and type in equally gibberish codes on a colour co-ordinated package that looked about as high tec as a ZX Spectrum game - was not for me, the atmosphere was deeply unwelcoming, the people decidedly unfriendly and small minded. It was an established family business of many years in a small town, hence the small mentality (however it didn't excuse any of the blatant casual racism they so often showcased) They seemed to live for office furniture and little else. Me, I couldn't give a toss about office furniture, I only took the job because I could walk it to and from work each day as opposed to the twenty minute train commute I had been doing the previous six years and also because it might mean I wasn't subjected to face to face abuse on a daily basis. I was however subjected to stultifying boredom on a daily basis and was so adrift I regressed the seven or so years professionalism I'd had from previous jobs to become a slack jawed, incompetent, awkward loner counting the ceiling tiles and watching the hands of the clock go by...willing it to be 12 noon, for lunch, or 5pm for the end of another dreary, soul destroying day.

Why am I saying all this - and in Out On Blue Six? Well because I think Cat Stevens had been there before me, in a firm that ironically shared the same name...


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