And so on Friday last week, my work placement quietly came to an end. I bought doughnuts and tiny cakes for the office, handed in my badge and gun (clocking card and mobile), shook a few hands and that was it. I think I shall miss it; it's been an interesting way to waste a year on the slow trudge to expiry.
Mostly I shall miss the ludicrousness of the health and safety culture, which in my final week saw the installation of small flashing orange beacons on all furnaces. These are supposed to activate every time the furnace door is opened, to alert operators whenever hot metal was being handled. This is despite the fact that:
- By "hot" metal, I mean molten metal - filled moulds come out of the furnace at temperatures exceeding 1000°C, and radiate an intense heat that can be felt from many metres away.
- They also glow bright - and I mean BRIGHT - white/orange. Can't easily miss 'em.
- The only people at risk of injury should molten metal be spilled are the guys that are handling it; and they know that molten metal is being handled, because they are handling it. So a little beacon to warn them that molten metal is being handled is a tad redundant in this respect.
- When they handle molten metal, they use A FUCKING FORKLIFT TRUCK WITH A FLASHING ORANGE BEACON ON THE ROOF AND A CONSTANTLY BLEEPING SOUNDER TO WARN OPERATORS THAT THEY MIGHT GET RUN OVER IF THEY DON'T WATCH WHAT THEY'RE DOING
I shall also miss playing boardgames in a kitchen bigger than my living room with my amusingly Catholic housemate Ruth. Of course, we've promised to keep in touch and visit and stuff; but this probably won't happen, because I'm rubbish and she's still not allowed to be friends with other boys - despite being in the "off" part of her on-again/off-again relationship with the insanely paranoid and jealous Sam. Sigh.
On the plus side, I no longer have to spend hours driving to and from Exeter each week, I now have full living room privileges, and I get to spend more time in my own home with my not-even-remotely Catholic flatmate Charlie Cat.
The new school year doesn't start until the last week in September; so I'm filling the time between now and then by working as many extra hours as possible at The Big Gay Department Store. It's helping to remind me why I wanted to get out of retail in the first place. To do the job well does require some skill, and frankly I'm bloody brilliant at it; but forty hours a week of pretending to give a freshly minted fuck about other people and their dreary existence is a bit much. So I'm attempting to break up the tedious monotony of constant consumption by subtly(ish) working rudeness into my flawless salesman's patter. Already this week I have managed "I've never seen so many knobs", "Would you like me to wrap your dangly what-nots in tissue?", and "Ah... Balls."
Meanwhile, the Beastmans have been absent from this shitty blog for too long now; so here's a Giant.
By my reckoning, Giants are the worst thing you could possibly take in a Beastmans Team. On paper, they're full of destructive potential; my head fills with images of my foes fleeing in terror from this great striding behemoth, bellowing with rage and crushing the enemy underfoot as arrows bounce off his steely hide...
...whereas in practice, the Giant will usually swing his club ineffectually shortly before falling over in his attempt to run away from a bunch of peasants armed with sharp sticks and colourful language.