As I suspected I had a call from the Frenchman today, offering me the job. Typical, two job offers and both for jobs I really don’t want. The call came when I was in the office so Mac heard everything. Listening to other people’s private conversations is one of Mac’s favourite pastimes, he doesn’t even pretend he’s not listening in. The whole time I was lying through my teeth and saying I’d just this minute been offered my dream job and what a shame I would have to turn the Frenchman’s wonderful opportunity (to stand in West Quay trying to flog mobile phone contracts to people who thought I was a nutter) down, Mac was making faces at me.
The phone was hardly back on the cradle before Mac was sitting in the edge of my desk.
“The Mad House are advertising at the moment, you’d be brilliant at that.”
“A call centre! What gives you the idea I’d be brilliant in a call centre?”
“Well, you’re good at talking.”
“Yes, I learned at a very early age.”
“On the phone I mean, you have a lovely phone manner.”
“I worked in a call centre before. It was awful. I hated it.”
“It’s a good job though. I used to work there.”
“Really. The money’s great, lots of bonuses, great fun.”
“Right, great fun as in having pins stuck in your eyes while someone shouts at you down the phone. I don’t think so. You were a hairdresser once too and, before you start, I’m not doing that either.”
“The trouble with you is you’re just too picky,” and he flounced off in a huff.
When I got home I checked my emails in case one of the three million or so prospective employers I’d applied to had made any offers. The hairs actually stood up on my arms when I saw one from The Mad House. How spooky was that? For about a tenth of a second I thought Mac had applied in my name and then I read the email, apparently they had seen my CV on Monster.com and wanted me to apply. My finger hovered over the delete button. Memories of being chained to a headset, the pressure, the nasty customers, the beep as another call came through and the sick feeling it caused in the pit of my stomach. Call centres are awful places.
Still, it was a huge coincidence. I’m a great believer in fate and serendipity, maybe someone was trying to tell me something. In a moment of madness, before I could change my mind, I filled in the online application. I spent the whole afternoon in a cold sweat wondering if I’d made a terrible mistake.