Monday, 31 May 2010
Blind drunk date
My week off has been spent sofabed and spare room hopping across the north, via a few bathroom floors along the way.
I picked up a copy of the Manchester Evening News while I was there to look through the jobs pages. Exactly the same jobs appear on the online version that I check from London, but there is something more earnest about leafing through a newspaper's job section, instead of entering key words and scrolling down a computer screen.
Job vacancy highlights include the experienced fryer wanted for a fish and chip shop, chatline staff (must have own landline), and person wanted to be ‘responsible for the maintenance of office tropical plants’ – which I presume means watering yucca plants on windowsills. The starting salary is £16k – the same Southern Man started on for his audio job in Soho (another one of those media roles where you must have a degree, the right face and know someone in the company, but if you won’t settle for the crappy pay there are 1000 other media graduates who will).
My older sister in Manchester was moving to a bigger house, giving her more space to fill with Mamas and Papas highchairs and musical plastic space pods for my nephew. I had agreed to help her move. But I had also agreed to meet an old school friend the night before who has not had much luck meeting men who were not socially stunted in some way.
In West Didsbury's Met bar, I herd my school friend over to a nice-looking chap from Northern Ireland who is 31, has a good job, good accent and a good sense of humour. The only problem is, after 2 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and no tea she is finding it hard to stand, let alone focus on the good catch, and wants to talk instead to the 19-year-old with the pierced lip, no job and two children.
I give her a not-so-subtle shove back to the Irishman and initiate a phone number exchange. In the cold light of day they agree to go on a date. I wonder if I could relaunch myself as a matchmaker. Then I reason a job watering plants might have fewer repercussions.
After 4 hours of troubled sleep I head to my sister’s to help with the move. I end up falling asleep on a concrete slab in her back yard and wake when my dad has to go to A&E for a problem with his leg.