“No really I cannot stand her”, I remember saying to Sabrina.
As I recall that statement was so true, never had a truer word been said at that particular moment in my life. Twenty six years and nobody had ever managed to annoy me so much by doing so little, twenty six years and I’d never felt my tolerance for another human being drop so much after two months of knowing them. Twenty six years and I never thought it would turn out the way it did.
It was five years ago that my heart had been ripped out, stamped upon with a size 7 stiletto heel and forced fed back down my gullet to continue its role in keeping me alive. It’s fair to say that I had felt as though I had lost everything I’d ever had. It all came about because I was a young man who didn’t really know that much about life or who he was.
The first ‘proper’ relationship I’d managed in my life came to a devastating end. Losing a cosy little one bedroom flat for two people, this led to losing a comfortable job in management; which in turn led to moving just far away to get a fresh start.
That fresh start came in the form of becoming a bar tender in a bar I had spent many a twelve hour shift drinking away the previous six months.
“So when you catch the ball of string I want you to tell me your name, something interesting about yourself, what your favourite drink is and I want you to think of one word that your friends would use to describe you” said the over cheery chubby trainer that the pub company had provided to educate this clearly unmotivated new team of bar recruits. She was so completely forgettable that those are pretty much the only three things I can remember about her; cheery, chubby and employed by a company to train those of us that had decided upon a career serving people like me a constant stream of vodka.
“Lots of things I guess”.
Were my answers before I threw the ball of string to some other poor soul who didn’t want to be there. Just as the dwindling ball of embarrassment was about to leave my grip Mrs Chubby Trainer interrupted me. “Come on” she started, “you’re not getting out of it that easy”.
“Getting out of what?” I questioned knowing exactly what she was about to say.
“I said something interesting about yourself, you’re not getting away with ‘lots of things’, I want to hear something that will excite me Mr and I don’t want you throwing that string until I hear something”.
Even looking back I can say that this woman took her role far too seriously, every word that came out of her mouth came with a sadistic smile. A smile that said to me, ‘I was bullied at school and this is my way of getting my own back’. I looked at her almost as a vicar would look at Satan should he rise from his pit and steal the church collection moneys.
“Ok” I started. “From my favourite drink and what my friends would describe me as I had kind of hoped that you weren’t going to push me on the interesting fact bit, I’m not entirely sure what you think that I would think is interesting about a clearly uncomfortable miserable alcoholic, oh, there you go, I’m an alcoholic, that’s interesting isn’t it”. With that I threw the ball of string to the person opposite me, Jade.
I was surprised that the ‘get to know each other’ exercise continued after my little outburst. I was even more surprised that not only did Mrs Chubby Trainer not say anything but the woman standing next to me, my new boss, simple lent over and whispered, “It’s alright, you have every reason”. Referring to my recent heartbreak and job/life change.
From this pub car park lesson I learnt two things.
One, those chubby girls who are bullied at school will get their own back at some point and two, that my new boss could be a patronising cow.