Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Job Cunt

Christmas was coming up and The Boyfriend and I were stoic in our hatred of Australia, the country that had rejected us. In the run up to the festive season, it was easy to shake off such a spurning by reminiscing about the Emerald Isle and all the annual traditions we were missing by wasting time Seeing The Wizard. We immersed ourselves in old photos, loudly exclaimed how weird it was that December's temperature hadn't plunged below zero and indulged in many a Skype call to Da Mudders and Da Fadders and Assorted Siblings.
I spent my days at work insisting to the few that would listen that the inevitable return to Ireland was all that was keeping me smiling. Internally, we were shitting sizable bricks. I checked my pathetic bank balance hourly, willing some windfall to scare away any doubts. The fact was, the plan was crumbling. We had intended to get sponsored and to stay in Australia until things at least picked up somewhat back home. We hadn't prepared for the monumental brush-off, and our confidence had been shattered. It just goes to show that thinking positively is dangerous - and it is for that very reason that I have always remained a distinctly cynical and negative individual.
I'm very health-conscious.
Anyway, I had to approach Boss and let him know about my situation. I would be leaving a month after Christmas and he was closing up shop for three weeks. So I needed any hours he could throw my way to fatten up my moth-eaten purse.
Apparently, I had spent too long building up the courage to speak with him about it because one fateful day, in between squeezing Sappy's generous haunches, he called me over to the coffee machine. He sighed and hummed along to Bob Marley - the musician of choice for the rich, white capitalist partaker, don't you know -  and gently informed Yours Truly that my services wouldn't be needed until the end of January, although everyone else would definitely be back when he re-opened in the first week of 2013.
"But I'm going home at the start of February!" I exclaimed, my heart doing a flip.
Boss scratched his hairless head and I caught a whiff of his herb. "Yeah, well. We don't actually need you until the of January."
A vein bulged in my eye, making it quiver a little in its socket.
"I heard you the first time, Boss," I murmured. "But I cant afford to wait until then. I need a job after Christmas; I need to make some money. I have to go back to Ireland! Haven't you heard about the Recession?! It's been in the papers and everything!"
I wasn't exactly putting forward a very convincing case. What I wanted him to see was that I had been here a year, one of the only five that had lasted that long in his illegally run cafe of hell, the only part-timer. I'd worked on Saturdays, taken minimum wage, helped out in any section that needed it, tactfully ignored his blatant adultery, smiled at his clueless wife, made his snot-nosed children their vegetarian, gluten-free sandwiches. I had served this man's senile bigot of a mother, smiled when she spilled her scalding hot tea down my forearm in her haste to pour. I had crawled into his fridge to scrape the mossy cheese out of the grooves. I had never mentioned his use of the girls bathroom for his frequent and fragrant bowel movements.
I peeled that bald bastard a boiled egg every morning for his breakfast for eleven months.
Every. Morning.
I balled up my fists, the list of my anti-accomplishments from the year flitting miserably through my mind in a tragic slideshow of failure.
I thought I was going to lose it right there. I thought I would just throw my hands up in the air, knee Boss in his over-active gonads and squat to take a shit on one of his god-damned tables. Tables that I had polished, nonetheless.
Instead, I shrugged, and mumbled a sentence I will forever regret.
"Eh... so... I probably shouldn't come back after Christmas then? Eh?"
He smiled, ever-so-condescendingly, and agreed that that was probably the best course of action. I fought back the tears and informed the staff of my "decision", mentally kicking myself for such diffidence.
I clung to The Boyfriend that afternoon, wiping my snotty nose in his cobweb-strewn work shirt, cursing the world and being characteristically dramatic. I had a couple of weeks left working with Boss and Sappy and the crew and vowed I would exact my revenge.
I had been used and abused, I told myself.
It was terribly unfair, I muttered in bed that night, over the sounds of our neighbors'  rambunctious fornication (which he was now indulging in with a French girl, of which there could be no doubt if one was to go by her loud and continuous Gallic appraisals of his copulating skills)
"It's a feckin' gyp!" I assured my reflection the next morning, as I washed my teeth alongside two of the spicy-smelling Nepalese guys.
I strutted back to work, determined to voice my anger.
That afternoon, I was elbow deep in floor cleaner, scrubbing the stairs. My eyes stung and and the chemical was making my fingers swell slightly.
As I scrubbed, Boss came downstairs.
"Just been to the toilet. You can do them next."
I couldn't just smell what he'd just done up there. I could taste it.
Rolling my eyes behind his back was the closest I came to assertiveness. I am a very ridiculous and unfortunate human being, but at least I am aware of it. What's your excuse?

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