Wednesday, December 22, 2004

November 25 (Thursday): The War. This morning I am up at 6.30, there is nothing left to do. Sara Haslett hits me on MSN briefly, making jokes about boning some hick in Australia, something which I never find amusing.

Today I feel weary and overwhelmed. I guess these things are sent to test us but it doesn’t make any of it any better. I do however manage to get some revision/study done and my coverage now reaches Audit 14%, Tax 7% and an overall score of 10%.

This morning I study some but once more all efforts are disturbed by MSN (Sara) and then the telephone rings and it is Azmei telling me that Nick has got my CV and that he asked her for my phone number. She advises me to call him but I think better of it.

Around lunchtime I begin to get ready for my first interview since my dismissal. I’m not really up for it, I just want to stay in bed and concentrate on my exams at the moment, I don’t think a calculating mind could have a picked a worse possible time to give me the sack.

My interview today is in Felixstowe and at 4PM. I get my shit together and comb my hair and leave home at 2.30. Today I don’t feel good about things and I really am not on good form for which to be going into an interview.

Getting to Felixstowe in the midday/early afternoon traffic turns out to be a complete breeze and once off the A12, I get there in no time. This turns out to be the first time in living memory that I have been to Felixstowe and I have to admit, I am not overly impressed by the place. Immediately I am struck by how similar it is to Frinton, only without the snobbery, which in this case is a bad thing. Early on I was concerned about finding the office but there really aren’t that many options for location, so I find myself in Felixstowe almost forty minutes before the scheduled commencement of the interview. I sit in my car for a bit and see that Acme Personnel have emailed me about a position in Haverhill, which isn’t very local either (to say the least). Just past 3.30 I get out of my car and begin a slow walk/creep into the town that is Felixstowe. Upon first impressions, this place really doesn’t have much going for it. It has a Tesco Metro but I could hardly describe it as a Metro town. I find the tucked away office and it looks dubious and intimidating at best. I continue however with my descent around the streets of Felixstowe. I walk past one of the man charity shops and sat outside are a couple of zimmerframes with the ticket price of £20. Since when have zimmerframes been the staple stock of the Salvation Army? And what about their owners? Did they trade them in for zimmers with wheels? Oh dear, I guess they died. How does the zimmerframe thing work though? I know NHS lend you crutches and don’t really put much effort into recovering them afterwards, is it the same for frames?

All good questions but soon it is time to jump into my job interview for the day. Like a good boy, today I turn up early (my big failing/error in the summer). I go into the interview having half decided already, working in Felixstowe will be too far from home but as if it is a sporting/personality contest, I want to win and I want them to want me. The interview turns out to be hard work, I find myself in a room with the sole partner/boss of the organisation along with a friendly female manager who seems immediately friendly and up for me. The big man however is somewhat more difficult (harder) to impress. Immediately I am asked to reel off my career and history and pretty quickly it becomes evident that do not know that I am currently unemployed. I hate being asked to talk about myself, it is my real real failing in life, my inability to sell myself. Historically, not only in work, it has proved a hindrance in trying to sell myself to the opposite sex, to sell what was the record label to people and these days becomes a problem when I try to sell myself when just trying to build friendships. I only appear to possess two methods of doing this process: act shy or over compensate aggressively. As soon as I realise however that Acme have not told management that I have been dismissed, I feel doomed. I dig myself out of this, when I tell them about the lunch meeting with Pannell Kerr Foster and how things feel/look hairy within the organisation, regardless of whether I am still there or not. My initial impressions of the company are bad any way, this all just feels like Frinton all over again. I do however warm to the firm the further go into the interview and I do sense that the hardnosed captain of industry boss begins to warm to me before the end of the interview. He does however ask/check that I have been fully trained up in the Money Laundering Act that has come into place this year. I shake my head, attempting to dismiss it (intelligently) as an act of overreaction to common sense. The man looks dismayed at when I say this stating “your current employers must be idiots if they have not bothered to train you up on the Money Laundering Act”. I manage to dig myself out this hole by saying this and that, displaying knowledge that I know enough of the act, deflecting all incompetence onto my old employers but the boss guy launches into a really interesting story (anecdote) as to the first accountant that has actually been arrested through the act (the legend is, the man who produced the act/bill has been heard as saying “I’ve put a solicitor behind bars and now I want to put an accountant in prison”). The story however describes a scenario where an accountant has lets go an instance where a client has purchased a £70,000 property with cash. Obviously nobody possessing that much physical cash and when it turns out that the gentleman (the client) in question is a drug dealer, no one should be surprised. However, due to the act, the accountant has wound suffering harder than the actual drug dealer. This is all good puff but a scenario that is unlikely to affect me in my everyday accounting dealings. It just has to take a really incompetent individual to let something like that happen/occur. The boss man also changes tact/direction and questions whether Felixstowe is too far to come for a person in Colchester. My thoughts exactly and I tell the man “that’s the bugbear”. The interview ends a healthy 45 minutes later. After bad initial impressions, I leave the company impressed, giving it some serious consideration.

Before leaving Felixstowe, I decide to take in a little more culture and check out their Tesco Metro for some bread and cereal. Actually, the bakery bread turns out to be the best loaf I purchase for weeks. Still, this is not a town deserving a metro as its not a metropolis by any means.

Today turns out to be a real humdinger in my part of the world. I later discover that this is the very afternoon that a person is found dead on the beaches of Felixstowe. Surely an out of towner, such as myself, would be held as the number one suspect. Or perhaps maybe my interview was set for this afternoon in order to get me out of Colchester as this be the afternoon that her royal highness herself the Queen comes to Colchester for a visit. Like a stalker, I would have loved to have seen that old bird.

By the time I finally get home, it is 5.30 and it has taken me three hours this afternoon to interview in Felixstowe, three hours for that! It all feels/seems like a waste in the long run.

Tonight will be a busy night, first I have my English class and secondly I have the Gobsausage show to co-DJ at (with Adam Cats Against The Bomb). In preparation for my long evening I settle down upon my thrown to empty my organs and flip open this week’s NME to discover that Ol’ Dirty Bastard is dead. What is happening to this world?

Wearing an invisible black armband in tribute, I head over to the community college for my English class. This is cool shit, the teacher pulls me out upon arrival tells me and asks me if I have ever considering doing any creative writing courses because she tells me that she thinks that I have talent. I respond with a sarcastic “yay me” when actually internally gloating like a motherfucker, looking around at my classmates mouthing the word “jealous?”. These comments are only matched when she hands me back my homework of my Hans Christian Andersen short story rewrite, awarding me the very first “A” grade that I have ever received in my life. I gush like a fucking school kid, sucking up to teacher without shame. And it only gets/becomes more embarrassing when she continues to refer to parts of my story in between her telling us about her experience during the day time of seeing the Queen (fucking bitch, she got to see the Queen). It all ends on a high, my very best class to date. I really hope the grade and the comments were not acts of pity resulting from my dismissal. I stroke my chin.

Out of class, Emma and I jump into my car and head straight over the Arts Centre with gusto to attend the final show/night in the November Full Bleed season of gigs/shows. Upon arrival, I am asked by the art lovers to take an envelope and write on it what I would like to do to another person in the building at some point later on in the evening. There must be some kind of catch to this. I stop short of writing down a description of doing something using a coat hanger, instead just writing “rub some for luck”.

When I hook up with Adam, Doug, Staff and Jo, Loveless are on stage making an incredible din, akin to a swarm of wasps attacking a laptop. Behind them on a huge screen backdrop are several visuals spewing out of their computers. We briefly take this is but sadly I cannot control/prevent myself from boasting to people about my “A”.

Loveless end their set and Adam kicks into DJing. He has brought way more records than me tonight and is obviously really into it, so I don’t interfere or bother him, instead I check out his wares and act graciously as he hands me a couple of CD-Rs, one of which being the Cats Against The Bomb Peel session that I have wanted to listen to for the longest time.

Staff comes over and looks around and he is beaming about the turn out in the venue tonight, the place is actually rammed.

Some guy called Luke Wright gets onstage at some point and does some poetry type stuff. I saw him do this a few years ago at the Oliver Twist and recognise that there same mobile phone rant, back when it was cool to rip on mobile phones. Now they’re like tri-corders and essential for everybody, so that poem has slightly dated. He does however name check Hoxton elsewhere, which is nice.

The art lovers than take over and get everybody to go to one of four areas of the Art Centre and open their envelopes before being asked over the PA what it was they wanted to do per the envelopes. It’s a happening.

As soon as he chance again, Adam hops aboard the DJ with the John Carpenter theme to Escape To New York, a much better track/tune than I could ever imagine/attempt to pick.

Eventually, the much anticipated Gobsausage hit the stage like a bomb explosion. This is utterly burlesque all to an electronica/electroclash soundtrack, complete with dancing ladies. Here is another act it appears about confrontation with the audience and its difficult always to tell where the fine line of art against titillation comes to an end, especially as another garment slips off a sweaty body. I haven’t to say it is a fantastic set but I make sure/ensure that I watch it from way back. And part way through the set, Jo comes along and tells me to shut my mouth as I watch the lighting guy shrink, unable to bear the tackiness of it. The frontmen consist of a man with a stocking mask, looking about to hold up an Esso once he gets away from the show complete with an oriental looking pimp with obvious sunglasses issues as he keeps having to adjust them throughout his set. And around them are several scantily clad, writhing ladies all dancing like extras from a Bettie Page movie, ladies of varying levels of attractiveness and size I would add. Gobsausage are dirty magazine music, hard work, repetitive and the general sound of oral omissions. I have to admit not being able to recall any of their songs, just a general bump and grind of disco akin to the teaches of Peaches. I must further confess to spending the majority of the set watching the girl dancing that vaguely resembled Amy Winehouse on smack, slowly falling in like and wishing more and more than I had followed through on that coat hanger suggestion from earlier. This is music to be listened to with a red light bulb. The set ends as intended, as feared no police come in and bust out the set, rightfully what would have been shutting the set down. If ever I see Gobsausage on the bill again, I will go out of my way to go to the butchers.

Finally, I bother to join in DJing tonight, after Adam bashes out a hat-trick of Japanese music (5678s, Guitar Wolf and Shonen Knife) I finally play the tracks I tell myself that I MUST play this evening: Huddle Formation by The Go! Team and Clocked In by Black Flag.

Headliners Client take this stage, completely against what I was expecting. Client turn out to be a female fronted three piece starring the lady that used to front Dubstar dressed like an airhostess and, more or less, acting like one. The songs are very dry but also very sexual, subtly explicit in content and flirtatious in a way that it is acceptable to be a prick tease, acting aloof in abundance. And the singer looks absolutely fantastic for it. Musically the band song very much like Ladytron and that who electroclash vibe but without the androgyny, and dare I say, dark humour. If I had been told before tonight that I would end the evening appreciating such an act, I would have accused anyone of being a liar. The soundtrack to being sad today but happy tomorrow.

The night ends and it is late and a school night but, wahey, Jason hasn’t got school tomorrow! Still, I am exhausted and head straight home after saying my goodbyes (but not before checking whether Gobsausage are staying at Staff’s and having an aftershow).

Before heading home, I go to Asda to get some much required petrol and as I listen to Radio One, on the stroke of midnight, the guy that is currently filling in for John Peel plays an Extreme Noise Terror track. The irony of my night.

np: Earth - Tallahassee


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