Friday, 21 March 2008

Long and Dusty Road - Starts Here

As of yesterday I've joined the ranks of the unemployed. I've shaken off the after effects of a rather generous leaving party (supper with whole company at a local pub - surprisingly good quality - shared with another leaver), said my farewells and read through the messages on the leaving card. Funny how several of the messages concerned gin and that among my leaving presents was a bottle of Gordons. Funny because I don't think I've ever supped a G & T with any of the employees. Pints of beer and glasses of wine, oh yes, but gin - never. It must be because of a famous office conversation which went something like this:

Monday: "J, why are you looking so glum?"
"I've decided to lay off drink for a month - give the liver a bit of a rest".

Tuesday: "J, why have you got that sticking plaster on your hand?"
"Cut myself chopping up a lemon for my G & T last night".

Anyway I dare say I'll miss the slightly monastic open plan office work ethic. The long silences disturbed only by a ringing phone, the arrival of a cup of coffee "oh, thanks", or a deliveryman. The continuous traffic of emails between employees all sitting in the same room; the lady LARPer's attempts at excellent customer relations on the phone with a foreign person who speaks no comprehensible English apart from a demand to know why the book he ordered from Amazon hasn't yet arrived; other employees bafflement that the Rambling Nappa's hearing is so bad that when some sort of conversation breaks out at the far end of the office he is totally oblivious to it, whilst everyone else is hanging on every word - whether involved in the conversation or not.

Anyway, time to move on. Time to take a rest from books on politics, computing and finance. Time to close down a chapter in my life and to start a new one.

With a lot of help from the long-suffering wife we've cleared out much of the retained debris left over from my physical bookselling days - dozens of files, electrical muddle (computers and miles of network cable, security gates, broken price guns and sticky labels, all these went to East Hampshire civic amenity refuse sites (trying to avoid the watchful eyes of the attendants looking to pounce on anyone disposing of trade waste). The keys of our storage garage have been handed back.

The long and dusty roadbeckons, and I'm off to France on Monday to seek inspitration and to accelerate the sale of the chateau.

I dare say that as a result of this blog I'll get a call from the amenity site people levying a fine, and another email from the daughter-in-law on the subject of copyright infringement (use of a photo taken in Dubai desert).

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