Thursday, 29 April 2010

Dumb it down.

It's my day off and my assistant manager is calling me. No doubt someone has called in sick, or gone home, or straight up just not showed up. I'm in my pyjamas and listening to Death Cab For Cutie, feeling sorry for myself and looking like shit. It would be so easy to ignore that call and pretend I am asleep, then wait a few hours until they couldn't physically need me any more and call back and apologise, maybe have a nice little chat. But I'm not that kind of person, so I pick up.

Hi, how are you, I'm alright, what's up, cut to the chase. I think of how much I need the money and how I can't turn down a shift vs. how shitty I look and feel and how I've got three shifts tomorrow and could really do with the day off. I think of all the excuses I've ever used and try and think of something new. I hold my breath.

"There's a food tasting in Cross Keys." She knows me too well. The place or the pub? The pub. Will it matter if I'm vegan? I don't know. You get paid for it though. Get to the chopper!

I take a shower and get dressed and you know what? I don't look like shit at all. I set off, still listening to relatively depressing music. I put on Lagwagon instead. They're fun.

When I get there, I sit down with a lovely lady and give her my details. She asks what type of milk I'd prefer and I say soya. Not a problem. But alas! the cereal I am required to taste is a new type of Special K, and that shit has milk in it. I tell her I am lactose intolerant and slowly admit that I am in fact vegan, and she doesn't give a shit. She actually says "Does it look like I give a shit?" as she goes on and breaks all the rules. She says not to make it obvious whilst she eats the cereal for me. She hasn't had breakfast and she is grateful.

So there I sit at a table opposite a delightfully funny woman, filling in a questionnaire based on her answers. "Oh, it's very hard! But crunchy, too. It's not very nice. Yes, it's far too sweet for me. Look, it's gone kind of soggy. Put that down." We go through four different cereals which are slightly different from each other and she concludes that the last one is the best by far. She tells me to circle "exactly right" on all the questions regarding hardness, crunchiness, strawberry taste, cereal taste, aftertaste. There are some really bizarre questions where I have a set of four words and I have to circle the words I am both most and least likely to use to describe the cereal. Sounds pretty straightforward, but not when the words include 'powerful', 'youthful', 'embarrassing' and 'pretentious'. Kelloggs are fucking weirdos. The lady and I laugh at the questions and she admits that they are truly ridiculous. Then we talk about tattoos and she shows me the one on her foot. It was the last thing I expected her to come out with and when she told me about the tattoo she had going from the bottom of her back to her neck I was astounded. She was such a smart and respectable, friendly lady. Wow.

When I finish the questionnaire, I hand it in and get paid a tenner which I use it to buy breakfast I actually want to eat. Fuck you, Kelloggs!

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