A Change Will Do You Good
By mark p
Gary was promoted now, somewhat belatedly, in his eyes , he had now become the ‘company boy’ he always vowed not to become, the ‘typical civil servant’ he had avoided so long turning into, maybe he had belatedly grown up.
His folks were proud of him, he had a flat of his own, and of course, a mortgage, he had effectively morphed into a down budget version of his old mate Paul.
Gary , of course, was realistic about his abilities in this job unlike Paul, and he still did not like being in the in-crowd, playing what was seen to be the correct sports ( golf, football, hockey) to get on in the world.
Wasn’t it all about getting ahead on merit rather than because you were 'flavour of the month', like his Dad used to say years back.
He sometimes wondered about this.
Callum had been promoted up a grade and had been transferred to Dundee now, so that was the end of Gary’s rebellion, which he supposed had probably been in his head all the time, what with people like Justine, all those years ago, and more recently Callum, who had navigated somewhere in between the channels of what to do and what not to do workwise; the Service didn’t like mavericks and Callum was never one to kowtow to management, Gary on the other hand had become a real kowtower, if that was a real word. He was, in his eyes, like Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984, when he had said that he loved Big Brother, and turned from his rebellion, to go with the flow.
Gary’s job involved three days working in the city, two days working away in a smaller office, in Reidhall by the sea, just twenty miles south of the city, which was great to start with, a trip down to a seaside town in the summer months, with walks along the beach at lunchtime. It was beautiful travelling down there by train where you saw the sunrise on the horizon, it would really set you up for the working day.
Bill Gordon his boss, was a great guy to work for, he actually motivated you, made you want to do well , to achieve what he had in his time in the Service , then Bill retired and was replaced by Colin McMahon, a man whom the word delegation was the name of the game, with no discernible interpersonal skills and no work ethic to speak of .
Colin had been evidently transferred ‘for personal reasons’ from pillar to post over the last twenty five years, these supposed reasons were never disclosed but Callum had told Gary previously that people who were ‘seen to be trouble’ were moved, and jobs created for them. Maybe that is what had happened to Colin, and possibly to Callum for his opining in public.
Colin sat and ate at his desk most of the time, his girth increasing over the weeks, as his lunchtime fish suppers, bars of chocolate, multiple bags of crisps, scones and cakes disappeared down his gullet, not forgetting the numerous cans of Coke he consumed each day.
As Colin ate, Gary became more and more incensed at his so-called boss’s actions.
What did the guy actually do all day?
Make cheeky innuendo to Jenny and Fiona, Gary’s colleagues, inane puns, and jokes that were funny if you were still in the 1970s and acting in a Carry-On film .
No work was involved, Gary and Fiona did all the work, Jenny being part time did her bit and went home and was not one to become involved in office politics.
Two months later, Colin was transferred yet again, to Lochmaddy, which evidently was the last place anyone wanted to be transferred to as it was so small, there was nothing going on work or otherwise. It was also a smaller office, so the higher management could keep an eye on Colin and what he was or wasn’t doing.
Gary had reason to rejoice, also, as his ‘post’ was being relocated to Aberdeen full time, fucking hell yeah, he thought, as the office radio blared out the Sheryl Crow song, ‘Change’ ; a change would indeed do him good!!!
That night Gary went home and had a six pack of lager at home to celebrate, he decided that he would treat his return as a fresh start, he took out some old writing notebooks from years ago, some rubbishy stories with thinly disguised versions of folk he knew, he tore them all up and binned them. The poetry however, he kept, and decided that poetry was something he would hang onto, a lot of poetry, and music , the likes of Dylan, The Doors and Van Morrison, had got him through bad times, and maybe he would need this again, he was after all only 34, and there was a still a fair bit of his life to go, he wasn’t quite ready to meet his Maker just yet. He did have an inkling that he would write something in the future, maybe a long poem, a prose poem, that would be something new, and call it 'Rebel In the Head', that sounded liked a good title, maybe it would revive his enthusiasm for writing short stories.