Monday, June 28
Not An Imaginative TitleOK, so I got thoroughly distracted by various things yesterday, and didn't get round to finishing my writing on the events of Friday and the weekend. For all of those who waited, rapt in anticipation, I apologise. For those of you who weren't that fussed, good apathy. Anyway, on with the show:
'Twas with great pain and suffering that I woke up at 11 to switch my alarm off and get out of bed. I hate waking up to an alarm clock, but on Friday I had good reason to do so: the possibility of a job.
A job that I desperately needed, both for financial reasons and for preventing nagging from my parents. Oh, and the nagging by my own conscience. I do have a conscience, contrary to popular belief, and there are times when I actually listen to it. Getting a job is one of those times.
I had to be at Y (see this earlier post for the explanation) for 1 o'clock to do a trial shift there, before I could be offered the job officially. Once again, I dressed up relatively smartly (suit trousers, black shoes, plain white t-shirt), and I managed to get there on time, which is always a good thing to do on your first day. It'll all go downhill from here though.
mY was there, as was her assistant (I'm struggling to think of another acronym), and they showed me round the bar and its various workings. I was then left to serve customers as per usual, and to find my way in the job, with mY watching me as she went about serving customers as well.
I managed to cock up just about everything I touched, including the glorious mistake of mishearing "soda and lime" as "cider and lime". Cue one wasted pint of cider. Oops. I also fucked up on the till a couple of times, and always had to ask which button to push when certain drinks were ordered.
I'm used to an old-style till, you see? The ones with just numbers and a Subtotal button. I'm great at mental arithmetic (if I may say so myself), and in my old pub we had to tot up the rounds in our heads as we poured the drinks. I always found that way really easy, and it had the added bonus of knowing the price of drinks if someone asked.
With this new till, each drink has its own button, or is buried in a submenu. You don't need to learn the prices of the drinks, and you can't give the price of the round to the customer until you've gone to the till and typed it all in. I find this system a little awkward, but in theory it should lead to fewer mistakes, although also a slightly longer serving time per customer.
But whatever, it's not a major thing, just a minor irritation that I blow out of proportion, as per usual.
Thnakfully, I haven't lost my pint-pouring skills (yes, I know it's not rocket science!), and I can still do a fucking good pint of Guiness. It amazes me how often I see a pint of Guiness being poured and so much of it being wasted. If you pour it properly, you shouldn't spill a drop of it. Amateurs.
After about an hour there, mY came over to me and asked me how I found it. I said something along the lines of really enjoying it, even though I probably made 50-thousand mistakes. She then offered me the job officially, which I was over the moon to accept!
Thank fuck for that, I've finally got me a job! No more hunting around the web for various crap temping jobs left, right and centre. I hate having to register at a website with practically your entire CV, just so you can apply for one crappy office temp job. Fucking money-grabbing circular websites!
I left the pub after that, and was heading back to the Tube station at Goodge St when I remembered that I needed a cable for my computer, to connect my laptop to my desktop. I had about 45GB of files to transfer over (music, films, Simpsons episodes, photos, etc), and it would have taken a very long time to do it with a CD-RW. Not that I actually had a CD-RW disc anywhere, come to think of it.
Just as I was heading towards one of the numerous computer shops in the area, I overheard a snippet of a conversation between two of the campest guys you ever did hear. The guy who I heard talking was of Central European origin, judging by his accent, and was a big, big guy. The sentence I overheard (and I wish I heard the rest of the conversation!) was:
It's sooooo difficult sex shopping during lunch...
Pure vocal gold. I really wish I'd been walking in the same direction as them, so that I could hear the reply, or even the justification, but I only heard that as I walked past them on a busy corner of Goodge St. It's these moments that we should treasure...
I got the cable pretty sharpish, from a computer exchange mart on Tottenham Court Road, and had to hotfoot it out of there before I spent a fortune on cheap DVDs. So inviting, and oh-so cheap! But no, I've got a financial crisis to worry about. I can't afford to spend money on frivolous things. Well, that's what my conscience keeps telling me. Sometimes I listen.
I was fucking well hot and sweaty by the time I got home (it's a surprisingly long walk from Hampstead tube station to my house, and the sun was blazing down), so it was straight into shorts and t-shirt for the rest of the day. I'm such a child of the sun, I take every opportunity to wear shorts rather than jeans. My knees aren't too knobbly, which is a good thing...
After a little bit of hassle, I managed to get the small home network up and running, and started transferring files across. Unfortunately, this resulted in there only being 1.4GB of space left on the laptop's hard disk, despite it having a 55GB capacity. I think I may need to get one of the extra attachable hard drives for it, since I've still got a hell of a lot of my CDs to rip, as well as a fair few DVDs. With any luck my Dad will volunteer to pay for it! Not that I'm using him, of course.
I actually chatted to my Dad online for a little while later that evening, with the added joys of webcams. That was after he downloaded and installed MSN Messenger, which seemed to throw him somewhat. He's a very techno-savvy guy, almost as good as myself (ahem), but the concept of an instant messaging program seemed to be completely alien to him. Never mind, he got there eventually.
He told me that he had in fact bought himself the same laptop as he got me, but he'd had his for a few months, and hadn't told my Mum yet. Legend. He keeps it in Hong Kong, and calls it a "HK toy". The mind boggles as to what other HK toys he has. My money's on another snazzy piece of technology, but I can't quite decide what.
He told me that he was off shopping that afternoon (it already being Saturday on that side of the planet), with the main aim of buying an iPod for my good self. Excellent news! I think may love him even more with that news. Not that I need material things in order to found my love upon...
I'm actually coming round to the idea of using the headphones supplied with iPods, even though I've previously said I wouldn't. My reasoning is based purely on space concerns. My current headphones are the "sport" ones, with a solid band that goes round the back of your neck. I love them to bits, because they're very comfortable and also damn loud, but they are a little awkward to carry around. With in-ear buds, you can just drop them in your pocket. Solid band headphones are obviously a little more difficult.
The big problem here is that my ears have a weird shape that usually means in-ear buds either fall out constantly or give me some serious pain. I have sticky-out ears, and designers evidently don't give people like me much thought when designing. The minorities count too, don't you know?! So I guess I'm stuck with my bigger headphones, unless Apple have somehow come up with another fantastic design that includes my ear shape...
I watched Bo Selecta again (still funny), and was browsing through my site statistics when I stumbled across a referrer that I hadn't noticed before. I checked the site out (as I always do), to find Brambled Rambling, a blog by a twenty-something New Yorker who has a fascination for English guys. I found her MSN address, and added her to my friends, with the intention of thanking her for the link when I saw her online.
She was online straight away, and what started as a quick thank-you turned into an hour-long conversation about anything and everything, from Linux v Windows to her fascination with British guys, via the whole concept of blogging. It was a pleasure, and I'd again like to say thanks for the link. Go have a read of her blog, it's worth the visit.
And that was pretty much it for Friday, save for doing a little bit more work on the design of the blog. No, I haven't changed it yet, but I have the design sorted on my hard drive. I just need to take some photos and do some editing, and it'll be ready. If only my camera's batteries weren't flat...
Hey Rob! The pleasure of our chat - and the link to your blog - is all mine! :)