Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My distinguished career (continued)

… so then I went on to my second job. A friend of mine used to work in a little kiosk which sold the leather work of an informal consortium of crafters. She was a fantastic sales lady of the ‘Oh my heavens, did she actually say that?’ school.

‘This’ she would tell prospective buyers ‘is a f***ing good pair of shoes. You won’t find a better f***ing pair of shoes. Just try them on! They’re f***ing comfortable – and f***, they look nice besides the fact that they’ll f***ing last you for years. Hand made! Just look at the f***ing stitching!’

They say sex sells. I don’t think this is what they meant. Anyway, she had to leave to do something else, and I got the job in her stead. It was in a dark little arcade which had a row of tiny glass kiosks down the middle of it: two paces to the door, and about a pace and a half from side to side. It was like being in a fish bowl.

My bohemian employers had no idea of keeping stock, and I was the one to introduce this innovation. Other than that, they were perfectly happy that I should turn up for a day of shoe-selling barefoot with rings on my toes and bells in my hair, burn incense and play the guitar most of the day. So I did that. The shop had never made more money, so everyone was happy or at least happy-ish in a hippy-ish sort of way. Far out, man!

In the end, the head of the ‘consortium’ skipped the country to Israel with a culpable homicide charge over his head, pocketing the rest of the crafters' money and failing to pay me for my last month’s work.

He’d been telling everyone who’d listen – even complete strangers - how he was going to abscond, but when the police arrived to question him and confiscate his passport, he decided it must have been me who reported him because I’d refused to continue taking deposits from clients for shoes to be made and openly expressed my disapproval of his plan.

I was very angry about my money, but I heard a year or two later that he had committed suicide, so perhaps I was better off than him after all.

I learned some things from this job:
A city job without any sunshine is not for me.
Sometimes you’re better off than you think you are.
And it’s a funny old world, isn’t it?


  1. "They say sex sells. I don’t think this is what they meant."

    Made me grin.

  2. It is a funny old world for sure. If you listen close enough, people have a way of telling you exactly who they are. And you listened to this man- and you were right- he was a cheat. He even cheated himself out of his own life. At least he won't have to go to prison on that homicide charge. Oh well.
    And I laughed about the hippy part!! Groovy.

  3. that's crazy, but I like crazy!

  4. Thanks folks!
    Glad I made you grin, PT!

    PAMO: you're so right: 'By their fruits you will know them.' BTW: about your worst job: I missed the opportunity of exclaiming 'Holy Shit!' and am now kicking myself!

    Karl: Crazy man, crazy! It helped my guitar playing no end too.

  5. HA! I'm glad you got that in M.M.!! I really did LOL!

  6. I hope the person that sold you your guitar said "you won't find a better F****** guitar"