Yesterday the guy I used to work for gave me a shout and asked if I fancied a small job. Right there and then. I said yes without even wondering what it might be, and I’m glad I did. I had to take a car over to York, then catch a train to London, where I was to check over another car, and if it was OK I had to drive it back.
OK, that’s good enough already. That and the fact I’d be paid a hundred quid. And get lunch thrown in.
But hat’s not the good bit, the good bit was the cars.
I had to take a 1996 Porsche 928 to York. It was old, nearly as old as me, and bloody demanding to drive, you couldn’t relax. But the noise. And the poke. Wow. It was completely amazing. It had a weird gear arrangement where first was where you expect second to be, then the handbrake was strange too, but what the hell it was the fastest feeling car I have ever driven. I guess it’s no faster than dad’s FD’s Range Rover, but that is so smooth you don’t really know what’s happening, but in the Porsche your ass is nearly on the ground.
I’m on the tube now on my way to an address in Chelsea to pick up the other which is even older. It won’t be fast, but I think it will be cool. It’s a 70’s Mercedes coupe, in yellow! First though I want to find an Arab café for lunch, Roger said there’s one on the Brompton Road to look out for – big kebab with foul medames here we come.
Bloody hell London is busy. Mad but lovely place.
I ranted a bit about that Paul Flowers fellow, the coop chairman who has departed in shame after the near collapse of the bank, and then things went from bad in desperate as his seedy life gradually became uncovered. The drug fuelled gay orgies, the coke, ketamine and worse, crystal meth – that stuff is scary.
Various friends work there. You can’t live in Manchester and not know a lot of coop people, and in fact I had an interview there ages ago. It was a call centre job and I know now what an arse I can be. I was offered the job, but thought that call centre work was for losers. I decided to stick with mechanics, and see where that got me!
At the time they talked about the bank’s ethics and I thought that was kinda cool, I was deeply into the idea of doing the right thing and being green.
I wonder now whether that was driven out of me when I lost my job. There’s no doubt that taking a green option costs you more if you want that green option with no extra inconvenience.
Still the peeps I know there still take the ethical side of the business seriously, and let’s hope that they are the real decision makers on a day to day basis. Now its future lies with venture capitalists, what a shame.
I’m writing this on a train to London to collect a car for one of the guys I used to work for. It’s a good gig that’ll I’ll try to write about tomorrow, but right now I wanted to mention the music I’m listening too.
I borrowed Mum’s iPad and she usually has interesting stuff you’ve never heard of. I’m listening to some strange opera type stuff that would usually horrify me – but this is beautiful. It’s someone called Joan Sutherland and the piece seems to be called Lakmé. There’s loads of it that is boring. But now and then there’s a song that just stops me in my tracks.
What the hell is going on at The Co-operative Bank?
I have an emotional bond to this bank. I have many friends who work there.
Because i think that it’s a good bank, one which actually goes out of its way to do a better job.
And yet here we are, hearing day after day just how bent and corrupt its very highest people were.
We have to keep it in perspective. Paul Flowers was paid about £130,000 as chairman. And while that is an obscene amount compared to most normal individuals, it is a mere fraction of the Chief Executive’s pay, in fact it’s probably about the size of the bonus Peter Marks would carry away. But nonetheless he held a very responsible job while living a life of deep and astonishing hypocrisy. Not only was he into hard drugs and having inappropriate content on his laptop, this man was a methodist minister. No exclamation mark is tall enough to be worth putting here.
What makes me most angry is that the people, many of my friends, who work there actually believe in the place, work very hard there to make it a good bank for their much loved customers.
Yet for years this guy utterly took them all, staff and customers, for a ride.
I am closer to genuine disgust than I have experienced in my short life. What a dirty horrible man. In fact I’m going to shave off my Mo in protest, I want no affinity with him.
Living at home definitely has its advantages, predominantly cost based, and having great food served up on a regular basis. The down side is very much about living with your parents.
I dearly love mum, and I know it’s not cool for a young fella to admit that, but I’d miss her like mad if I moved out.
Dad though is hard work.
The worse thing is that I’m a disappointment to him.
He’s quite bright, but more important than that is that he has worked really hard all his life, and been successful.
When I started tinkering with go-carts as a fourteen year old he saw it as showing engineering potential, but I knew otherwise.
He was always banging on about the value of getting his O levels, and he is oblivious to the fact that no one has studied for an O level for several decades. Having said that it seems that Michael Gove is hell bent on bringing back the pain he went through when he went to school. If he has his way course work will go out of the window, and qualifications will be based again on exam prowess and not much else. It’ll mean that the kids will need every bit of help they can get from reading past papers, example exam answers and stuff like that, thankfully there are businesses like these guys to help these days.
It’s a shame I think, because not all of us react well to the pressure of months of preparing for and then sitting exams. It sort of takes the pressure off now that kids sit exams through the year, rather than all within a couple of weeks, but that also means they have a degree of stress for longer.
For me it didn’t matter too much as I was too slack at school and didn’t get anywhere near stressed enough.
And for dad? Well he just refuses to acknowledge any qualification that came along after he left school. At least that means you get hired at his place on the strength of what you’ve done, not what you did at school.
Whether that’s a good thing or not I’m not sure.
Image courtesy of Cristian Carrara
The house that the folks were trying to buy to get me out of their home has sold.
I didn’t know that they’d actually put an offer in but I have been hoping against hope that they would.
But dad came in this evening and said that someone’s offer has been accepted. Bugga.
I have to hope that now he has his mind on finding something he’ll start to look for another. Just a tiny flat, studio even would be amazing. Especially if like the other place it needs some work doing, that way I could earn a bit, save the folks a bit, keep out of mischief, and create the pad that I want to live in.
He just dropped it into conversation as if it was of no consequence at all, but I could see mum knew how much it disappointed me.
Well, it’s not as if I can do much about it now. I can’t even think about moving into a rented place unless I get a job. I must pull my finger out, and after all, something crap will do, just a McDonald’s perhaps – I wonder if you get to take home everything that hasn’t sold at the end of the day? Dad keeps banging on at me about a call centre job so that at least there’s the hope that if I’m any good I could work at getting a supervisory role quite quickly.
Is that cool? Working in a call centre?
Well I guess that just about anything is more cool than having no job and no money and so having to always turn down stuff.
Maybe, just maybe I ought to do something about it.
But the house sold? That’s a gutter.
Blimey, I’m knackered.
I haven’t done much in days, I’ve been writing for a friend, helping them pull together a website and putting their words into something that makes their little business make a little more sense.
I did a bit of driving for dad. He had a client who needed to be picked up from London and brought up north for the afternoon, to have a meeting, be wined and dined, and then driven back. That was great as I got to take dad’s FD’s Range Rover Vogue. I have never even sat in such a brilliant car before, and there I was getting to drive it hundreds of miles, with the fuel paid for, and get paid myself.
While they were in the restaurant I had a sleep stretched out on the back seat. Good job it wasn’t cold, so I could leave the windows open a bit, I didn’t want it smelly in there from my parping, or even breathing.
And dad gave my a hundred quid for my efforts, and another twenty to get lunch (I don’t know how much he thinks McDonald’s costs theses days!).
The fellow was some sort of marketing guru who is going to do some work for their business and I enjoyed his company. He was telling me to watch out for some ad that’s coming on soon for Volvo Trucks with Jeanne Claude Van Damme, apparently JC will do some crazy splits stunt while standing on two trucks. I’ll be watching out for that, I like Van Damme, he’s so over the top I think he’s cool.
But OK, so I did a big drive, but that doesn’t explain why I’m wiped out several days later.
I reckon a couple hours of Rugby League will be about as active as I’m going to get today. Perhaps I’ll stretch to a bit of hard core cricket too. And save my pennies by not going out.