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Wednesday, June 23

Waking Up Is A Good Thing

Has anyone ever woken up to find the offer of a job waiting for them as an answerphone message on their phone? That's what happened to me on Monday morning lunchtime.

After getting my customary 8 hours sleep, I woke up sometime around 12, had a shower, and then came back to my room. I switched on my usual 3 things that need switching on: the computer; the stereo; and my mobile;

My phone beeped at me (too loudly for me, seeing as I was still a little dozy) to let me know that I had an answerphone message. It seems that one of the pubs that I applied to do some bar work at a few weeks back had passed my details on to another pub in the chain, which could offer me some work for the summer. And no, the first pub still hasn't got back to me about work there.

I rang this new pub up, and spoke to a very friendly female manager. She asked me to pop down that afternoon, around 6, for an interview-type thing. Cool, I'd finally found a job, and it had fallen into my lap without looking for it specifically. This is a "good thing". Oh, and handy too, because I got a few emails back on Monday declining my application for other random jobs. Bastards.

I then made a big list of a shitload of things which I needed to do either that day or at least by the end of the week. This included such simple things as shaving for the interview in the evening, but also some more complex and time-consuming tasks, such as sorting out personal insurance for my move to Germany.

Actually, the vast majority of the stuff on the list is concerning Germany. There is an absolutely incredible amount of stuff to do by this September, and it all must be done, along with getting a job and working... Too much!

One of the items on the list was to clean the entire house, because it still hadn't been tidied after my housemates' drinking session on Friday. Looked like a bomb hit it? Hell, a bomb blast might have tidied it somewhat.

Chindle and me blitzed the entire house, top to bottom, and I ended up spending a good few hours at the kitchen sink, washing 3 days worth of crockery for 7 guys. Funnily enough, that's quite a lot. Oh, and for those who don't know the album 'Mutter' by Rammstein is the best album to wash up to. The thumping beats behind the frenetic guitar and keyboard parts make you wash up so much faster than usual. I couldn't help but headbang too.

I then hopped onto a tube (after a stupidly long delay) and made my way to Oxford Circus, for 'twas there that the pub was located. A little period of searching ensued, but I found it, and was even early for my 'appointment'. The bar staff evidently hadn't been informed of my arrival, and the manager was still in a meeting, so I had to sit on my own for a while whilst they sorted themselves out.

More confusion ensued when a deputy manager came to see me, led me downstairs into a private meeting room that was set up for the England game for some blue-chip company or other, handed me an application form and promptly disappeared. I filled it in, trying desperately to remember my GCSE exam results (honestly, why do they need them?!), and then spent a panicked minute hunting for the guy so that I could give him the form back.

I couldn't find him anywhere, and I was getting very disconcerting "who the fuck are you" looks from the people who were there for the private function, so I went back upstairs to the bar. I gave a random barmaid the form, told them who it was for, and carried on standing around aimlessly.

I was even looking half-decent, freshly shaved, and in a shirt and trousers for once. I don't make this type of effort to be left looking like a lemon, alone and slightly confused. At this point I got a text message from an unknown number, asking me where I was watching the England game, and signed off "Rob from German at KCL". Cue 5 minutes of racking my brains, trying to remember anybody from German Law at King's called Rob, other than me. I was at a loss, but couldn't phone back immediately because at any moment the shadowy, evasive manager could appear.

Which she promptly did. Small, very very small, but other than that nondescript. She explained that another pub in the chain, just up the road, was also looking for staff, and that if I wanted full-time work, they would be quite happy to share me, for want of a better term. Basically, I'd do a 45+ hour week, but not all in one pub.

This suited me fine, because all I wanted was hours and the accompanying money into my account. I was very polite, gracious and almost grovelling (well, it felt like I was doing everything I could to appear eager, willing and available. Job-wise, that is), and it seemed as if it worked.

Obviously, she said, I'd have to do some sort of trial period first, to see if I was up to the task. She said I shouldn't have a problem, because I'd worked behind a bar before, and knew how to do the job. Was I able to do it tonight (Monday), she asked.

Was I fuck! There was the small matter of an England game to watch, and my financial needs aren't quite that desperate. She said that it would be "manic" in the pub anyway, and it was probably best for me to wait until Tuesday, to be honest. Thank fuck for that! I thought I was going to miss the game for a minute there.

We arranged for me to return at 7 the next day, to do a 2-hour test shift, which was fine with me. Like I've got anything better to be doing...

When I got outside, feeling pretty confident about having got the job, I was straight on the phone to the unknown number who had texted me. As soon as I heard his voice, I knew exactly who it was. It wasn't a KCL law student who did German, which is why I couldn't remember a face. No, it was a student at the Royal Academy of Music who does the same German Language class as me at King's.

I'd bumped into him at a Tube station a few weeks back, and I'd given him my number, since he only lives 20 minutes walk from my house. He explained that his housemates were all out, and that he was at a loss for somewhere to watch the football. I invited him round to mine, because I was pretty sure that we would have it on, and that it would be a good atmosphere.

I made my way back home, via Sainsbury's (the greatest shopping basket ever: bread, Pringles, pasta sauce and a 4-pack of Stellas;), and was home in plenty of time for kick-off. A quick plate of pasta as my first meal of the day (I was too busy cleaning when I woke up to remember to eat), a pint of Stella by my side, and I was all set.

It turned out that there were 11 of us in our living room watching the game, and it got pretty cramped. It also got very loud whenever England scored (repeat x 4, add salt and pepper to taste), as well as deathly silent when Croatia put the ball in the back of the net.

I showed Rob around the house at half-time, and he told me about the exam for our class which I chose not to sit (I was too busy with other courseworks and [ahem!] revision). It turns out that he is also going to Germany this year, but he's up in Berlin, whereas I'm down in Heidelberg in the extreme Southwest of the country.

The second half carried on in the same manner as the first (more beer, more Pringles, more goals), and it was pretty soon full-time. A joyous cheer went up, and we were all very content.

Rob left almost straight away, but I must remember to ring him and see if he wants to meet up again for Thursday's match. I can't remember exactly what happened during the rest of the evening, but this wasn't because I was drunk. I'd only had 3, for fuck's sake!

Actually, I can remember some stuff. Big Brother was on, as was this random documetary on bestiality, which caused great amusement. There is a surprisingly large amount of animal porn on my housemates' laptops; make of that what you will.

We then watched a lot of Family Guy, a good 6 or 7 episodes at least. It's just too funny to turn off, you can't help but select the next episode each time one ends. Definitely one of my inspired purchases this year.

After that I ended up online, again, until somewhere near 4 in the morning. What do I do for that time?! I couldn't tell you, because I pretty much do nothing for the whole time. Meh.


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