Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I had too much to dream last night (Paul Newan I owe you one)

Despite the snow that greeted Lisa and I this morning, I can feel that Spring is in the air. The mornings are significantly lighter and the flowers are starting to bloom, it won't be long before the birds and bee's try to have sex again.
One poinant sign of spring's impending arrival is the effect it has every year on my sleep patterns and dreams. I had too much to dream last night.

Not being a 'dreamer' as such, I rarely wake from my slumber wide eyed and bushy tailed wishing to explain to every man and his dog of my mind's nocturnal activities. On the rare occasion I remember dreaming I usually keep it to myself, possibly because of its explicit content. There has been the odd occasion when I've had a dream worthy of mentioning to Lisa, however as dreams by their very nature are confusing and difficult to describe, I spare the details and try to surmise it in a few simple sentences. Describing dreams it could be said are one of the few things I keep short and to the point. The other being my descriptions of my day at work.

"how was work?"


or the more common response:


Unfortunately, when my response is the latter, I'm usually required to follow this up with some example of my displeasure. I often struggle, and more often than not when I inform Lisa of my grumblings, it actually makes me sound a churlish and petty man, which as you will no doubt know, is not the case.

You may remember my disgust with my colleagues' lack of consideration in unloading the dishwasher in a previous entry (kkk). Do you know how sad it sounds when you're asked by your nearest and dearest as to why I feel it appropriate to describe my day as "crap" and your response is "I had to do the dishwasher again". It's not right.

Thankfully Lisa now takes it as read that my day is going to be lousy as she knows just how much i dislike my vocation as a Dog’s body and on the occasions that she will ask, I've learned to answer "okay" to avoid any follow ups, which as I've just explained prevents me from looking more pathetic and lets be honest, I need all the points I can get.
Plus the is the regular "why don't you get another job?" conversation. I hate this response as she's right. The fact of the matter is I'll hate most jobs no doubt. I have yet to complete my application form for the Advisor role in the One Stop Shop as it is exactly the same cruddy wages I'm on now, only I'm going to be speaking to idiots all day.

I've had the odd eventful day though in other jobs. The most eventful day was on Mourn day Thursday (day before Good Friday -you heretics) in 1999 when I worked in Hutton’s Off Licence in Allerton, Liverpool. Despite it being fairly menial, I enjoyed this job. I liked speaking to people and when I used to a be cheerful chappie, I would often provide the punters with gems from my patented sense of humour. Eg:

Woman customer who looked like an anorexic Seal (the musician not the animal!) rushed into the busy shop mid Lottery rush shouting:
"Do you have extra large condoms?"

"No, but we sell bin liners and I could give you a elastic band?"

The shop gwafores and i bask in the glory whilst she storms out. Sadly, I never get those kind of opportunities stuck behind this desk.

Anyhoo- that Easter night I was working with Kev. (by the way I'm sure I've told this one before on this site- if so please ingnore the following crap)

He was several years younger than me and a archetypical slacker. He like his alt rock, and would attend the Krazy House three times a week. He lived with Ste who also worked at the offie, and they both work part time- as it meant they were still eligible for Housing Benefit. He was also little bit fey. Slightly effeminate, but according to him -100% straight, not as my less than enlightened colleagues would say "on the other bus". He was a nice bloke.

The shift went without too much incident, so much so that I don't actually recall any other details except I wanted to get home for as near to 11.00 as I could as the film The Sting was due to be shown, and never having seen it before I was looking foreword to in immensely. Once again, my sad life was being run by the TV schedule.

The shop was due to be shut at 10.30, but on nights like these it was very rare to see any customers after 10ish so Kev and i prepared to clean the shop, cash up etc in order for a quick departure. Kev, of course was due for another lonely night a the Krazy house, and I remember cringing at him whilst he painted his thumbnails black in preparation.

By 10.20 the shop was spotless, and one of the two tills had been cashed up successfully. The other till has as good as cashed up, and I had devised a full proof method in which we could officially cash up the till, however still serve any customers should there be any. We proceeded to put this method into action and I locked the door prematurely, of course should a customer arrive, we would naturally let them in, as shoudl we close early Mary- theboss, would no doubt find out the next morning.

As I locked the door at 10.25 I turned around and walked back toward the two tills in order to face up (a term referring to tyding them up in case to the non Shoppe experienced don't know) the crisps. I made the few short steps to the counter when I heard I loud bang against the glass shop window. Assuming it was the little buggers who plagues from time to time with their high jinks and endless purchasing of Space Raiders whilst their little co-horts steel the Yorkies and other more expensive confectionaries, I though no more of it. I looked at Kev though and he had literally turned as white a sheet. He was pointing to the window in a manner that reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Do when the monster was stood behind them as he couldn't say anything through intense fear.

"what's up?" I asked whilst holding several bags of ready salted Hula Hoops.

"Two men in balaclavas and shot guns just ran at the door, hit the glass and then ran off..."


We both dived to the bullet proof office and called the police immediately.
Kev was really shaken up and struggled to light his Marlborough red ciggie. He looked really gay smoking it I remeber, the black nail varnish and choker he had around his neck didn't help. The police arrived in less than two minutes. Three Volvo Estate cars screeched up and armed policed jumped out. I ran to the front of the shop and opened the door and explained the situation. I was starting to shake a bit too, but The Sting started in fifteen minutes. The police then dispersed around the surrounding street and I could hear the police helicopter flying above. One of the officers came to our office and watched the black and white CCTV footage of me locking the door turning my back and then these two burly looking types with shotguns barging into the door then fleeing. I noticed on the CCTV footage that the back of my hair needed cutting.

There wasn't much to do really. the police took the video and told us how lucky we were, as this sort of robbery had been happening to all the off licences in the area. If we hadn't had locked the door early who knows what could have happened. Paul Newman I owe you one.

Once the shop was locked up we both ran to the rival Off Licence, Bargain Booze as it was cheaper and stayed open later. We immediately let the staff know of our lucky escape and told them to keep their wits about them. Kev sacked off the idea of going to the Krazy House, but I was determined to get home in time for The Sting.
I made it home having just missed the intro, but I couldn't concentrate and decided to phone a variety of concerned friends and family and regale me story of heroism. By midnight I was very anxious, and when Gareth and Ziad arrived at back after a few ales at the Dovedale, I once more re-told my story.

Thus far this is the only work story I have where I felt it necessary to tell other people and do you know what the most common reaction was?

"I can't believe you haven't seen The Sting"

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