part 1: honesty
unemployed i go sweating round the agencies to look for work. in the windows are ads for jobs available. i make note, then go home & change my own cv to fit description. if it’s sales, i've had 2 years’ experience. if it’s marketing, i've done a year & a half. i left my last job (reluctantly) because i was a temp (in a way, this is true. i never intended to stay). most agencies never check. in the interview for this job i lie beautifully & laugh at all jokes. i am successful.
part 2: know-how
peanuts per hour is better than no nuts per hour. i quite like peanuts. 1st day in this job the promise of peanuts gives me an air of enthusiasm & capability. but i lied in the interview about my typing skills & this slows me down. i’m put to work in half an hour on a job i’m not really sure how to do. i fumble, say um a lot. when boss walks by i make use of my fluency in Bull. i accidentally bollox the system but leave it for someone else to sort out. i usually scrape by, & as long as no-one notices the scratch-marks i might just see next month.
part 3: customer empathy
my cv speaks opposite of truth: i don’t really enjoy meeting new people. new people are same as old people in their tiny tyrannies and babyflares of rage. i hate to lose my rag but i can be quite forgetful. i should put it on my keyring. then the temptation to say fuckyou instead of thankyou, the overwhelming urge not to send that letter or that check. the customer is always shite, & to be treated as such. my fellow employees unknowingly drink my spit. i’m really starting to enjoy my new job.
part 4: team work
some people work, some people shirk. i prefer the middle way – do enough to get by, & no more. when boss looks over i’m busy as a bee, keypad buzz & headset hum; when boss look away, i’m slack as a used rubber. in front of colleagues i pretend a mask of knowing efficiency, & blame my bungles on someone else. that person then the team scapegoat. as long as heat’s deflected from me, i don’t really care who ends up being sacrificed.
part 5: motivation
i sit square at my square desk, pretending to work – but my head’s full of bubbles. i put some stationary in my bag; i drink tea out of someone else’s mug. boss comes over for a word. i suck up and ensure at least another week of employment. then i take a comfort break. then i go to the breakout area. then i go back to my desk & draw some cartoons in artpad. payday a week away but i will find stuff to do. colleagues look sideways as phone rings and i answer. accidental cut-off occurs when they look away. “yes sir, yes sir” i say to thin air. three bags full, sir. but full of what, only i can know, as boss walks by, & i SMILE.