MY FIRST DAY: LEARNING HOW TO LAY BEST LAID PLANS

I had somehow got a gig at a Drug Rehab Clinic. The result of an anguished and careless job search, the type that comes around once in a while and you end up pondering any old turn. Soon as I found out I was in with the Rehabbers I cancelled my test to become a driving instructor.

So. To my first day.

Agatha was the Liaison Officer with whom I had had my interview and would, the email said, meet and greet me on my arrival. She was nowhere in sight.

‘Where’s Agatha?’ I asked.

‘She’s late,’ said a woman with a pan-Caribbean voice.

‘Did she say when she would get here?’

‘No no. She’s late.’

“Right, so, what, midday, late afternoon?’

‘Aldyth means she’s dead’ said Kenneth, the other employee at the centre. ‘She died yesterday afternoon.’

‘Jesus Christ.’

Aldyth sucked her teeth at me.

‘Sorry,’ I said.

‘Ok, let’s crack on,’ said Kenneth.

***

‘So what were you doing before this Mister?’ asked a young tattooed boy.

‘Used to be in the Fairtrade Cocaine Game,’ I replied, selecting the song to kick off my get-to-know you bit of the day. Mr Brownstone started blaring from the speakers. ‘I got caught and had to look for a new job. This role seemed as good as any. Some of you may have even tried my wares before.’

***

By 3pm I had been told it may be best if I looked for alternative employment.

– from Ed Spencer’s The Last Thing Anyone Needs Is A Dribbling Crisis (And Other Small Talk)

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