Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Hanging on the telephone
Watched pots do boil. I have watched some. Watched phones, on the other hand, refuse to ring.
I am back at work after the job interview, with my mobile on vibrate mode in my pocket. I have been checking it more times than a teenager with a crush. They will phone me this week. The longer I wait the more I replay the interview, done after two sleeping tablets, three hours of sleep and four coffees and consisting of answers that ranged from good to gobbledigook.
I feel a vibration. I get my phone out and check it under the desk. No missed calls. No messages. It was probably the gentle hum of my Mac. Again. Someone else’s phone goes off. I check mine. I wait five minutes. I check it again. I hide the phone in my glasses case and keep lifting the lid and peeking inside. Still no calls. Still no messages. I have another seven hours of my shift left.
I hate my phone. I hate its silly touch screen that makes it impossible to carry out those automated calls that require you to ‘push button three’ because it keeps locking. I hate the way its hot screen is left with a make-up smear after I use it. I hate its rubbish camera, which I can’t understand. I hate the scratch on its screen that mysteriously appeared after a night out and I will be forced to stare at until my contract finishes in a year’s time. Mostly, I hate its ability to deliver any news.
I lift the lid and check it again. I become aware that someone is calling my name. It is one of the moody executives on the other desk. I am surprised he knows my name. He is holding his office phone up and waving at me. I point at my face and silently mouth ‘For me?’ He nods.
I take the call on his phone, which he is not too happy about. I don't care. It is the man who interviewed me. He appears to be telling me that I got the job, and do I want it. He says he knows I can’t talk properly, but he just needs to know a 'yes' or a 'no'. I say 'yes'. The executive is eyeing me suspiciously. I adopt a tone similar to the one I use with my doctor’s receptionist, or the customer service team at nPower. ‘How did this person get this number?’ I am thinking. He is telling me he will send something-and-something out in the post to me. I forget to ask start dates.
I go back to my desk and try to compose myself. I fail. I go to the toilet with my mobile and make several screechy phone calls.
I have a job in the north. I am getting out of London.