Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Geoff Capes's Thighs

It was her large thighs. I couldn’t bear to look at them a moment longer. I had to quit.

For five days I’ve been watching these thighs walk the aisles in the air conditioned telesales office, just outside Bangor. They belonged to my supervisor Doris (I have to call her Doris because she’d probably sue me if I used her real name), who was a hulk of professionalism in navy polyester, cheap Bodyshop perfume, and heavily into good Karmic vibrations. She generated so much static electricity in her skin tight skirt that she crackled as she walked. You could go into cardiac arrest just by touching earthed metal whenever she was in the room. And then there was that voice…

‘Chip? Remember to smile, dear! Nobody loves a sulker!’

‘Chip, hit your quota and you go in the draw to win the dreamcatcher!’

‘Chip! If you’re feeling tired, go to the water cooler and touch the blue crystals!’

If I’m honest, I’ve been too busy obsessed about her thighs to smile or feel happy or tired. They have filled my dreams with images of Geoff Capes, circa 1978, in Britain’s Strongest Man. I swear she could carry a hod full of bricks up a ladder and still have the energy to tell me off. The way she rubbed her legs whenever she criticised the way I’d handled my customers was no idle threat. I was too afraid to make jokes about cracking walnuts.

In the end, I had no choice. This morning I only made it to ten o'clock before I decided to hand in my resignation. I chose to do so by throwing my headset through the window and declaring that ‘I’d rather be broke and happy than in this dump with your thighs’. It was a Freudian slip. I’d meant to say ‘guys’. I stormed out before Doris could catch me.

Telesales has been an experience I probably needed to endure for however short length of time I could manage, but I wasn’t going to last another minute of listening to customers wanting to talk dirty about bank charges. There are more perverts in the world than I’d ever imagined and an unhealthy number of them seemed to have Yorkshire accents. It was, as they say, an education.

I don’t know if I’ll get paid but I know I have psychological scars that time will struggle to heal. But for now, The Chipster is back. I’m looking for work but, in the meantime, I’m getting back to my writing. The only good thing to come out of these bad few days is I’ve finally come up with an excellent title for my next novel.

And you might be surprised to know that it has nothing to do with thighs.

4 comments:

elberry said...

Excellent news, sir, leaving a job - either storming out or being escorted off the premises by Security - is all part of being a writer. If Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be busily being fired from shitty minimum wages jobs. i've been fired from about half a dozen jobs for crimes ranging from industrial sabotage to consistent lateness & rudeness.

Can i recommend saying you can do audio/copy typing (i presume you can touch type), there are usually some jobs around calling for this, and they pay more. i'm on the lordly sum of £7.69/hour, up from my usual £6/hour, because my job involves some audio typing.

i thought it'd be a big mystery but actually there are just two pedals - rewind and play. As long as you know how to type you can figure it out in 30 seconds at the most. It pays more, people leave you alone, you don't really have quotas, and you get paid more. Even in Bangor, if you join enough temp agencies, an audio/copy typing job might turn up eventually. It really is the ideal job for writer/tramps. Also, the people whose stuff you turn into letters are absurdly grateful that you can do punctuation and can spell.

ElizaF said...

oh that was fantastic. hysterical post me old chipster...

Lizzie said...

Nobody needs to stay in excruciating jobs with excruciating people who knock one's dignity without having, for themselves, any dignity whatsoever.
Keep your dignity, Chip & move on.
Lizzie x

Big Chip Dale said...

Elberry, you've inspired me. I thik you're right about knowing the right jobs to take. I'll look into the typing, though I wonder if my fingers could take any more battering every day.

Eliza, it makes me feel good to know I'm making you smile. You've inspired me too.

Lizzie, dignity and Chip Dale are rarely found in the same room. However, you're right. Employment too often amounts to exploitation. I was being exploited. I should stick to the stripping.