Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Job hunting & the wisdom of friends on the Internet

I rediscovered a forum I used to operate a few years ago. Amazing to look back at the gripes of yesteryear. Under "I'm beginning to think I'm unemployable" I found:

Date Posted: 05:57:58 07/03/03 Thu

"I'm beginning to think I'm unemployable"
You know I was talking to someone yesterday and I was saying that where once I had a little business of my own (albeit a poorly-paying one) and looked after it, now I spend most of my entire day trawling through job adverts and apparently making no headway whatsoever.

"I can't make any promises" was the response of the latest job recruitment person I spoke to. God, I hate agencies. I apply for a job thru one, and all it is is an excuse for them to run you through a typing test, put some of your details in a database, and tell you "that particular" job is now filled, but they'll get back to you. Fuck.

Me: "I'm looking for part-time work."
She: "Now wouldn't you want full-time work?"
Me: "Yes... But I'd like to start with part time..."
She: "Now, those people are ONLY looking for part-time employees."
Me: "Yeeeeesss... And that suits me fine..."
She: "Wouldn't you like full-time work?"

Bugger. 55 WPM typing speed and 100% accuracy in a test straight off the rain-sodden streets...

She: "Out of ten, how would you rate your computer skills?"
Fuck's sake! What was the test, the long list of skills I carefully prepared in my CV and the letter of application for...?
Me: "Seven and a half...?"
She: "Okay. I'll ask those people if they're interested. No promises though."
Should have saved the busfare into town.

Author: Angh
Date Posted: 09:15:00 07/03/03 Thu

In reply to: Willie 's message, on 05:57:58 07/03/03 Thu

The thing is...SHE has a job; her job is to ask you the dumb questions as it states in her job description. Have you thought of trying to put together your OWN agency?

Here the deal is to make the CV as concise as possible, since there are so many people out of work, and nobody really reads the resumes unless they are truly striking.

I have a great looking CV, but it too often gets stuffed in a drawer because people don't take the time to read it. I usually tell people I only want part-time because I'm working on a novel. LOL Sounds better than "I'm too damn old to hack full time".

I saw a state job here yesterday that I'm well qualified to handle, but damn I just don't want to work for the government anymore.You have a good personality, a clever wit, and the skills...it'll happen one of these times.

Meanwhile write an article about the trials and tribulations. It makes good reading...

Author: Frank
Date Posted: 15:16:00 07/07/03 Mon
In reply to: Willie 's message, on 05:57:58 07/03/03 Thu

Willie Sorry your going though the wringer in fonding a job.

I does stink and ya find the dumest hopes to jump though to get a job now a days. Well I was once told this that it take 100 tries to land a job. So you are that much closer to getting one. True it did not help when I was looking like mad to find one.

Just keep trying Willie one will open up for you. If not well one can fallow the rest of the Irish wake over the pond and muddle around in the states or england for a bit.

Take care Frank

Author: Willie
Date Posted: 00:58:27 07/08/03 Tue

In reply to: Frank 's message, on 15:16:00 07/07/03 Mon

Yesterday on Nixers.com... (advert is now gone, so I'm paraphrasing here...):

"Helpful individual with PC skills and pleasant telephone manner to work 11am to 3pm 5 days a week."

The email I get from the agency reads:

"Dear Willie,

Thank you for your interest in the above position.

Unfortunately, on this occassion you have not been short listed for interview I will however keep your CV on file and keep you advised of future opportunities.


I resisted the urge to tell him how to use a spelling checker.


Fuck it.

Author: Angh
Date Posted: 07:37:48 07/08/03 Tue

In reply to: Willie 's message, on 00:58:27 07/08/03 Tue

Ain't tha' th' trut...

How many times have I seen "withdrawl" instead of withdrawal on a patient chart. When I mentioned it to my co-worker, the keyboard wizard transcriptionist, she in her 45-year-old wisdom replied...

"Well, HOW do you spell it?"

How many boy children are listed in the birth records as Jermey, rather than the intended, Jeremy?

Do it right has been replaced by Get it DONE.

If one thinks about it...the consequences of that have become more tragic than funny.

Date Posted: 10:09:15 07/08/03 Tue

In reply to: Angh 's message, on 07:37:48 07/08/03 Tue
Well I for one can not complain about other spelling. I have my own typos to remind me on how well I do. (LOL)

Willie have you thought of looking work is the fast food joint just to get some form of a pay check. (true it suck as work goes) try to keep you spirts up. I know your ship will come in, it's just when is the question.

Take care buddy

Date Posted: 02:58:40 07/09/03 Wed

In reply to: Frank 's message, on 10:09:15 07/08/03 Tue
I consider you a friend, Frank, so I'll not give my thoughts on your suggestion of working in a fast food joint...

I've decided to ease off on looking for work as it's a complete waste of my time. I have to figure out what I can do that will bring in some money and that I'm INTERESTED in doing any more.

If something comes up in the meantime, so be it.

Date Posted: 12:02:00 07/09/03 Wed

In reply to: Willie 's message, on 02:58:40 07/09/03 Wed
True. Fast food work does stink and any other foul name that can be used to describe it. Well you said writting AD&D Moduals payes and you like doing them. I know I do not have the time to write or understand the new game any more.

Have you thought of being a roving reporter and sell you stories to the local rag? (don't know if this is still done)

One could sell your self as a tourest guide (please do not choke the #### out of the american tourest they tip well)

Knowing you Willie you will think up something and I hope it covers all of you monie needs.

Date Posted: 16:37:53 08/05/03 Tue
In reply to: Frank 's message, on 12:02:00 07/09/03 Wed
Willie...it's me..... the missing link...

If I recommended a book that I've read recently would you ask to borrow it or tell me where to shove it ? I've been looking around lately because I'm stuck in a rut in my job and seeing as I spend more time there than I do at home with the kids it had better be stimulating.... so i've been reading a bit about this whole career-life-job hunt thing.

Frankly you were smarter some 20 years ago than all of the gobshites I'm working with now. There's nothing doing in my neck of the woods at the moment but if you want to call/mail and talk about some ideas then give me a shout. You are able to paint vivid pictures with words - that's a gift and anyone who says differently should consider a career in teaching.... There are businesses out there that need smart people like you. The problem is finding them.... because they're not going to find you that's for sure (if they could find you they'd be smarter than they are now and probably wouldn't need to hire you.... but let's not go down that road.....).

For what it's worth... here's my advice....it's worth what you're paying for it......

Agencies are a waste of energy and time. Sending CVs has limited success. You know what you're good and and what you want to do. I suggest you follow the 'networking' path... tell anyone and everyone what you do and that you're available to do it for anyone who will pay you. If you know of (or can find) a business that might possibly need your skills then try to find out if you know someone (or someone who knows someone) who works there. Once you get the basic link to a real human being who has the authority to either hire someone or contract someone then you talk to them..... not the organ grinders monkey.

Hmmm. Now that I've read some of that back it looks like pure shite. But give me a shout and I'll fill you in on some of the stuff I've learned - I've been interviewing people for a few years and it never ceases to amaze me that I've had to go looking for smart people to hire... they never seemed to come to me... A lot of folks who mentioned to me that they did such-and-such and were available actually got something because I remembered them.... I've read dozens, nay hundreds, of CVs. Can't remember a single one of the bastards. not one. But I do remember this fella Larry Bass who cornered me at a party and told me about his ideas for making videos and stuff. He quietly bought the 'Popstars' franchise for a pittance and produced the series... bastard.... I should have nicked his ideas ;-)

Author: Willie
Date Posted: 01:57:45 08/06/03 Wed

In reply to: Fitz 's message, on 16:37:53 08/05/03 Tue
Hi Fitz,

Well I have gradually come around to the idea that sending CVs is a load of bollocks. I'm at the age when you and I were taking our first employment steps in the 80s when it was considered unlikely someone would be employable -- not far off 40 and toiling around in a shrinking job market.

What's interesting to me is that there has always been a particular pigeonhole into which particular jobs and skills "fit".

The classic one is a tale I told on here some time ago:I phoned a number in search of an advertised Receptionist's job and was finally told "But we're looking for a girl." I wasn't asked one thing about any skills whatsoever.

So I'm taking what I know from this useless quest for gainful employment and trying to do something with it. Many of the email addresses one sends the invisible C.V. to have their own server but have no accompanying Website. The best they have is one of those "This site is reserved for a customer" pages. If I can't get the fuckers to let me answer their phones, maybe I can get them to allow me to make a Website. We'll see.

What bugs me most is that I was doing all this job-hunting shite 20 years ago and I got no-where then. I don't really expect to now either.

Author: Angh
Date Posted: 13:06:49 08/06/03 Wed

In reply to: Willie 's message, on 01:57:45 08/06/03 Wed
Sitting in the local yesterday talking to a local fella, Harley rider, electronics tech, egg seller. He is also active in the Vietnam Vets MC Club so we bought a couple t-shirts and ordered a dozen eggs with the promise to bring egg cartons we've been saving for him.

Another fella...logger type bellied up to the bar and before I left, the leathered up biker/egg man (Wayne) had a job doing something for the logging outfit, I disremember what, but it ain't loggin'.

All he said to the fella was,"If you hear of anything going on, I'm looking for work and I'm a working mother fucker."

Wayne LOOKS like yer typical scooter trash, but somehow he presents as a standup pillar of integrity.

Now...I do CVs for a little money, and have a whole list of people who GOT jobs on the strength of the persona I created for them...but CVs as a be all end all doesn't work anymore, because the HR person isn't reading them. There's just too many of them coming through the door.

I've got a great CV, but am packing too many years, and won't do a lot of stuff for the money they offer these days.

Fitz...I enjoyed reading your post...some real sensible shite there.

Author: Frank
Date Posted: 16:15:57 08/06/03 Wed
In reply to: Angh 's message, on 13:06:49 08/06/03 Wed
True the CV is not worth crap.My wife sent out hers to god knows how many and no takes.

She also tried the mail offers to get her own companie going and we sent out 5000 flyers and not one taker.

I like and think their good and how I landed my job by going to job fair. (might be called something diffrent in your area Willie) One goes and talks to a real person who can hire and knows what their looking for. Some time they just take names and to get back to you but don't thats crap and a waist of my time. I now ask then if they are actively hiring or just taking names. If they dodge the question I walk saying I am look for work and not playing games. This is how I got my job I am in now for 13 years.

I truely think it is just luck and how you present your self will lead to one getting a job. Again do not give up hope and Fits is right on the mark that you are one hell of a writer. Have you tried the local rags or did some volentering work for the local paper? It is a way to get ones foot in the door. You did write for the tourest board rags maybe they need a new writer with your flair for words to revive their old tourest pamplets.

Chat with you later.

Author: Willie
Date Posted: 02:24:18 08/07/03 Thu

In reply to: Frank 's message, on 16:15:57 08/06/03 Wed
This morning I applied for a job with a Rosary Beads manufacturer. I applied to them last June without any response for what I think is the same position on offer.

My next application was to a Press-Cuttings company who are offering a princely sum to mount, fax and email cuttings to clients. I would have about €200 per week after tax if hired.

I'm not practicing my breath-holding skills on either. As for writing, it's all well and good having a skill in something, but being skilled in something you no longer want to do makes it kind of irrelevant, no?

Date Posted: 09:57:30 08/07/03 Thu

In reply to: Willie 's message, on 02:24:18 08/07/03 Thu
Well then maybe learn how to be a bartender. It seam to me they are alway are in demand. (S)Good luck with these two slots and I hope one come though for ya.

Author: Angh
Date Posted: 12:20:34 08/08/03 Fri
In reply to: Willie 's message, on 02:24:18 08/07/03 Thu
I had a job packing garden hose once. It went well until they decided I'd make a garden hose winder, on the machine that stood ominously in front of the extruder where the garden hose was spit out for processing. The winder was foot pedal operated, and if one forgot to let off the pedal upon completion of the wind, one would be launched over the top of the machine. I didn't get bucked off the machine, but it DID bang my wrist hard enough to make my hand swell like a Michelin Man. I was sent home and never went back.

Now, counting Rosary beads might be something I could do.

I had a temp gig once, counting syringe needles...100 to a packet. That was easy enough, and I was fast enough counting that I could do it twice to autocheck myself without them noticing. ROFL.

Writing to spec would be an awful thing, like an endless Comp 104 class. I'd rather the inspiration hit you because you care deeply about something enough to put it out there.

So...will stop nagging about your writing. *S*

Author: Willie
Date Posted: 06:27:27 10/16/03 Thu
Was out and about today at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) which is, as we all probably know, a snobbish reservation on the Southside of Dublin where the horsey set usually congregate to rub fetlocks.

A certain organisation had sent for me and 800 others to sit a "written examination", the purpose of which is to thin out applicants for an Administrative job.

First-off, most of us arrived at 8.40 for the 9.30 "registration", which consisted of us finding our names and numbers on a list, the clerk checking that we were identical to our photos, and sitting down on a chair at a desk these latter items made for a dwarf. An anorexic one at that.

I guess the 9.30 start probably meant a 10.00 examination, and so it proved to be.

A tall, thin, greying countryman made his way to the microphone and said:

"Nolph, welfome ebbly n. Nay zam doo ar. Irr s NUMERICAL REASONING..."

We nodded our comprehension at that part.

"Ec e ape. Ple il ape ou."

He looked around him. There must have been a few puzzled faces down the back, because, to be sure (I suppose), he said:

"N est on?"

There were none.

Does anyone know why a painter would want to know why he's five-elevenths of his way through the job after three hours and thirty-five minutes?

Author: Willie
Date Posted: 01:05:12 10/10/03 Fri
We think it's been about a year since I started actively searching for work. Yesterday I received the three-month contract from **** and their "Pre-Employment Pack", which amount to a number of manuals and a great number of forms to submit to various departments. The gist of all this is that I've been offered work as a "Clerical Officer (Word Processing)" beginning at 9.30 a.m. on Monday 20th October.

Regular income... The mind boggles...

Author: Angh
Date Posted: 01:46:01 10/10/03 Fri
In reply to: Willie 's message, on 01:05:12 10/10/03 Fri
Tickled to death for you. *S*

How civilized to give you a chance to exhale, make arrangements if needed, and celebrate a bit before you have to punch in the first day.

I really hope you'll enjoy the job my friend. With your wit I'm sure we'll get lots of interesting tidbits about the experience of hiding from the enemy in plain sight.

At best there's no fear the bureaucrappy sand will wear away at your edges. At worst...if you hate it, take comfort that companies really prefer that you already HAVE a job when you come looking for one. Odd, but it's true.

Congratulations...eat your veg...and never let 'em see you sweat.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Just a thought

Blogger is as slow as this tonight:

"Willie, there's a six-foot seven inch tall irate customer at the counter who wants to talk to you especially, about the letter you sent him."

"I'll be right down."

Yes, that slow.

Anyway, while I type this offline and wait for all the little virtual salmon to thin out in their swim up my Internet connection, a thought has occurred to me.

Do you remember your Irish education? Do you remember all the lessons in the Irish language that never sank in? Mornings of verbs and Irish conversation?

Okay then. Do you remember the teachers visiting each other in the classrooms, and speaking Irish to each other so that the kids wouldn't know what they were saying?

Any connection between non-comprehension and teacher attitide coming to mind?

Just thought I'd mention it in passing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The eighth plague of Egypt

"I'm tired looking at the box of chocolates. Bring it into work."

So I dutifully obeyed. A two-pound box of Cadbury milk chocolates. General, ordinary sweets are something no-one eats among my workmates, until one actually goes looking for one. Then there are none left. Obviously they evaporate into the air or something, quite spontaneously.

"I'll be given out to by the Weight Watchers woman," was one complaint I heard. Nonetheless, the hand went into the box and made a selection.

"Who brought them in?" was the accusatory tone of another. It was accompanied by the sound of rummaging.

Yesterday I looked at the discarded box and wrapping. One whole day they had lasted, which is something of a record.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm green and purple

"Use less energy" the radio expert is saying on RTE this morning. There's a programme on about overhauling old houses and making them more energy efficient.

I'm doing my best to comply with the advice. It has taken me three hours to get socks on my feet and a pair of boots laced on from all the energy saving.

I was awoken rather rudely at 8.30am by the cat attacking my foot. This is at least the third time she's done this. From her point of view, she is minding her own business when a bare interloper about the size of herself starts impinging on her space. So out come the teeth and claws. The day started in our house by a loud "Jesus Christ!", the thumping of a cat onto the bedroom floor in flight, and the throwing of a pillow in her general direction.

It's raining this morning. Earlier it was damp, but not workmanlike. Now there is real workmanlike rain. It's falling completely vertically and is making little rustling noises on the black bags of empty beer cans we plan some day to recycle.

I took down the last of the gazebo yesterday. I had stripped off the cover some weeks ago with the vague notion of putting it back up whenever the weather improved enough to warrant it. Naturally when there was no wind, there was little sun. And when there was sun, there was no heat. So the skeleton of hollow metal poles was left there, generally in the way and looking like the remains of some skinny but rangey beast. Now the unbroken view of three thousand leaves of dandelions sucking up rainwater is a distinct improvement.

A phone call last night asked if I could help with a computer problem, so I shook off the energy saving and got enough clothing and footwear on so I can go to the guy's house later and look wise. At least it will get me out. As I've not met the man before, I have naturally put on my most purple of teeshirts and a matching purple tartan shirt. I may not be able to fix his computer, but I will at least put the sight out of his eye.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pub Grub is alive and well

Over the holiday, Herself and I had the pleasure of dining out more than once. We're not foodies and we don't do the posh restaurant thing. Our local, The Old Mill, is quite good for carvery at dinner hour, but our travels usually meant that we missed this and had to rely on the "waitress service" alternative. This doesn't differ much from the carvery, and in fact has some advantages. No queuing. Also, while the Mill's grub is good and comes in generous amounts, I've always found the veggies to be on the chilly side. It's difficult to keep food hot when it's been pre-cooked.

The waitress service comes with a set daytime/evening menu but there's plenty on it. The 8 oz sirloin appears still sizzling on a small platter of its own on a bed of sweated onions and mushrooms. Chips make up the rest on a side-plate. Although it looks smallish, there's enough in the whole to make a decent meal. And it's been made on the spot, so everything is piping.

We did the Burger King visit this holiday too. The drive thru on the Belgard Road produced a semi-defrosted bun between whose halves over-chilled salad bits sucked the heat out of a wafer-thin piece of beef. This was called a "Whopper". The fries, so thin they could do nothing but go cold and hard, scratched about in their cardboard.

Somewhere in between, we found two pubs serving sandwiches in a way that doesn't seem to have changed much in the past thirty years. Delaneys, in Firhouse, displays the sambos in wrap, then performs surgery on them with little plastic skewers in the shapes of sabres. This took me back to my childhood, as my father used to bring these home. He obviously drank in Delaneys too.

The other pub, The Coach House, in Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, served up our sandwich orders on huge white porcelain platters and provided a good sized teapot.

Both Delaneys and The Coach House had one extra ingredient served on the side of the plate which caused me some small surprise. The contents of a bag of cheese and onion crisps.

I'm not a foody but I've obviously been watching the wrong food programmes on the telly. I haven't seen the freshly made sandwiches being arranged nicely; the few leaves of exotic lettuce, the sliced greens, the onions being arranged as an optional salad or garnish. The chef, I know, went to some trouble to stir up a light vinegrette and drizzle it over this. But at what point does the waiter say:

"Open another bag of crisps. A customer wants a chicken salad sandwich"?

Are they being served as "Traditional Fare"? Any thoughts?


"We could go to Skerries. Then maybe on to see Oliver Plunkett's head in Drogheda," I suggested. I was perusing one of our new roadmaps.
"I haven't been in Skerries in years," Herself said.
"And I've never seen yer man's noggin."

We found that Fingal County Council love roundabouts. You can't travel any length of good roadway there without meeting one.

"Go straight."
"Where those cars are going?"

"Er... go right at the next one."
We sped down a carriageway lined with new apartment buildings.
"This one isn't on the map. Must be new. Can we turn around..?"

We decided that "Head for Belfast" was the new motto, and so despite some car-horn honking and (presumably) shouts of "Bloody tourists!" we loped into Skerries without any major incident.

The town itself is mostly untouched by the major redevelopments of places like Malahide, another coastal town an hour down the road. The houses all appear to be occupied and generally they look unaltered. Like most seaside towns, the houses huddle with their backs to the sea, small windows looking into the main street.

Although we looked briefly at the harbour, our main interest was in visiting the beach. Sand dunes of the finest quartz sand led onto a popular strand with plenty of families enjoying the warm if overcast weather. Herself, born on the coast, naturally took a short paddle in the water. We sat under a dune and watched a swallow dipping low over the strand to catch flies. A sure-fire prediction of rain to come.

"Sorry. I can make you tea or coffee, but no sandwiches," the genial barman told us. "The EU tells us we have to have a full kitchen installed before we can serve a sandwich."

He pointed us good-naturedly in the direction of a bar and restaurant across the way called "Tommy Bahamas." After two pints and two inch-thick home-made burgers in the spotless (EU approved, no-doubt) restaurant, we didn't feel much like seeing yer man's head, so we braved the roundabout system and made for home. If we ever win the Lotto, we might look for a house in Skerries.


It's always embarrassing to get lost in your own country. I remember a few years back going on a drive around the eastern end of Tibradden and being astonished how the familiar winding roadway turned suddenly into a new, well-appointed piece of tarmacadam sprinkled with roundabouts and how at one I directed Herself to take a right turn and ended up someone's driveway.

I have an excuse in Wicklow, though, as despite being only a few miles down the road the county is one in which I have been driven more times than I have been called upon to navigate. Nevertheless, our trip to Glendalough ended up being a magical mystery tour of the first order, mostly due to my own unpreparedness. A map would have been handy. A good map. Instead, I had three A4 sheets hastily printed from a "navigation" site on the Internet. They might have been of use if the were a better scale. Also, I had only recently changed the print cartridges and hadn't gone through the necessary nozzle cleaning steps, so at least one vital, but short roadway had not printed properly. This would have a definite effect on the car mileage by the time we were finished.

"Mind the sheep," I said.
We were in County Wicklow rush-hour traffic, which is to say there were two cars in front of us at a distance of about fifty yards and nothing behind us for ten miles.
"I see the sheep."
We imitated the car in front, slowed down and went around the sheep whose head was busy in the ditch cropping grass from between huge plants of heather.

The roadway wound around the bogs and dipped, rollercoaster-like, into sudden minor valleys. We crossed a bridge barely wide enough for the car.

After a few miles I said: "There's a beer bottle."
"You're not at work now. Stop looking for litter."

"Now," I said, looking at the faulty map. "I think we take a left at this junction..."
We dipped down into the side of the valley of Glencree. On the map, Glencree Reconcilliation Centre should be on our left. Naturally, it was now on our right. It was about five miles before we found a spot wide enough to turn around. Not to worry.

We sped back to Sally Gap and regarded the crossroads.
"Maybe we should follow those cars," Herself said.
"That sign says 'Laragh'. I'm pretty sure that is on the road to Glendalough," I countered.
We took the higher road.
We entered a landscape of huge granite boulders. The mountains were as bleak and bare as when the ice retreated a hundred-thousand years ago. Amazing, but completely alien and unfamilar.
"You know, I've never been down this road before in my life?"
"And I'm pretty sure that green valley just disappearing eastwards is the one we should be in."
"What does that sign up ahead say?"
"Where's that?"
"Haven't a clue."
"Shall we turn around?"
"It's about ten miles back to Sally Gap, I reckon."
So we turned around. I found out later that we might have been three miles from Glendalough coming from the west if only I'd had the nerve to keep going.
When we finally came to Glendalough in the early afternoon we'd been driving for four hours. This is much longer than necessary to get there. But it was worth the prolonged search for a car-parking spot among the other tourists. Apart from the monastic ruins, the forest and lake still have a primeval feel to them. The area seems only barely tamed, wildness and wilderness only just below the surface of the 21st Century. I've been to the lower lake now two or three times. On my next visit, I hope to visit the upper lake, about a mile to the north-west.
After some lunch we turned for home. Herself was anxious on the mountain road (the road we should have come by in the first place) with its sheer drops, and the car hugged the white line all the way down. At Sally Gap we took a confident right turn into fog.
"There's the beer bottle again."
"I was just thinking that."
Civilisation at last.
I've bought maps. Lots of maps. The car is full of them.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New security feature at ATM?

I was getting cash out of the ATM in Firhouse a little while ago, and mindful of the recent bruhaha about false fronts and card readers and general fraud I was feeling quite contented with the familiar spat-upon screen, slashed machine frontage, and hacked off pieces around the card slot when suddenly a disembodied voice said:


I said, "What?"


I said, "It's me!"






I tapped the numbers into the machine and took my cash.


"Still me."


"Going now. Goodbye!"


"No, really."




I got back into the car and said to Herself:

"I think they should do something about that bloody pigeon."