Plague, a plague upon me.
I have been up a short while, trying to convince myself that if I just take enough painkilers and so forth that I can attend the Gala fashion thingie I have an invited to. Invites from City Gay are like gold dust (he works in meedja) and I don't want to leave him in the lurch. Also there will be clothes 'n stuff at the end of this trip.
And yet, even typing I can feel the energy seeping out of me as the infection builds. My voice is completely gone, there's nowt left but the scraping sound of bark on granite and it costs even to use that. Coughing makes me scream but you can't hear it.
I am properly walloped.
For some reason or other, this state of near radioactive slurm filled mank reminds me of a post Fat Sparrow's spouse put up the other day, http://fatsparrow.blogspot.com/. It was a post about the sheer hellishness of a McJob and the tossers and horror of working at that particular fast food place. It put me in mind of a the series of hellish jobs we must all suffer before we drag ourselves gasping and aching onto whatever platform we can cling too that isn't, well, completely shite.
I've had some truly utterly awful jobs before I quit working for folk and started working for myself. But the one I'm thinking of today, as I sit here shivering and freezing and dribbling snot was so vile even now I get frostbite thinking about it.
Door-to door scratch card selling.
Oh lawks, take my soul and burn it right now, you might as well.
It's a vile job. VILE.
I worked for this 'charity' way back in the heady days of my early twenties. Every day we would assemble in the city centre, divide into our respective teams, and go sell!
GO TEAM GO!
Me, a funny dude from Galway, an obese girl from Carlow(who used to steal all the little jam and marmalade tubs from restaurants and lick them clean on the hi-ace), two student who had taken a year off college and a chap who liked to play with knives would climb into into a battered hi-ace driven by a lunatic, and be sent off to various parts of the country to sell scratch card that nobody wanted for a fake 'charity' nobody cared about.
It was hellish. I traipsed around some of the worst estates in Dundalk, Drogheda, Balbriggen, all over the north of the city. It was a strange one, the poorer the estate, the more likely you were to sell the cards, but also the more likely you were to be roughed up and robbed. So it was a fine line. At least poor folk don't just silently let the door close in your face while you're still talking.
Every Friday I would go to Dundalk and set up my pitch outside Dunnes in the town. One Friday I went and discovered a woman there collecting for guide dogs, or Irish life boats or some shit. I a not joking when I saw we nearly came to blows.
We had a quota we had to sell, 65 scratch a day. You would imagine that 65 is not a huge number, but you'd be wrong.
It all came to a head for me on the Christmas week. Driven by greed and good will, the boss, a fat oily oik, decided that we should suck the festive wallets right up to Christmas day.
So on Christmas eve, I, and my bunch of reprobate co-workers, hit Kildare.
I have no words for the misery. It was -2 degrees and as I crunched across lawns, gazing like an orphan in at fires and Christmas trees, waiting shivering in the doors with my fake plastic smile stretched rictus like across my face for the home owners to open their doors expecting friends or family, only to be trounced with, "Hi, I'm Fatmammycat, I work for shysters inc, I'm terribly sorry to bother you like this...'
We worked until the temperature dropped another two degrees. The we made our way back to the hi-ace. I had sold 80 cards. Stabby has sold 12, Galway dude has sold 94, the obese girl, 40, and the two students hadn't come because they actually had family that would feed them, for free.
That's when our driver informed us that what we sold that day was to be our wages for the week, he also added that we should probably get out there and see if we could sell a few more.
So we did, we worked on late into the evening, pestering people, letting the cold into houses, terrifying old deaf ladies who couldn't understand what it was we wanted and who were we again.
It was hellish. My fingers gave up working and despite our best effort to keep him on track Stabby lost it and disappeared-which was alarming since he was from Firhouse and we had no idea how he was going to get back to the city.
Anyhoo, not long after I spent a luxury Christmas in my one bedroomed hovel in Rathmines, enjoying the fruits that my 32 pounds-had to pay rent see- had brought me, I decided I"d rather cut my own throat that go back to that shit hole for one single other day.
And so I called time on the scratch card industry.
So what about it folks, what are the worst jobs you've had to endure? Are perhaps still enduring? Is there one that can pull you up in your tracks and make you go 'Bleeeeeeeep' still? Do you shudder?
Oh, and Frank Carson is a miserable old fuck who is neither funny nor charitable.