Tag Archives: Work

Subway Stories: That Time I Got Blamed For Famine

No, you didn’t read that title wrong.

So, in Subway, you can get three different sizes of sandwich; the foot-long (over which there was some controversy in America, when customers began to question whether they were actually getting a foot-long sandwich); the six inch (which after ordering, one guy once walked out of the shop after ordering and finding my co-worker had cut it at 5.8 inches); and the kids pack, which is four inches long.

I don’t know if adults are technically allowed the kids pack, but what the heck, I don’t work there anymore. It’s behind me now.

Anyway, this one time, a guy comes in; it’s late, he’s pretty drunk, and asks for the smallest thing on the menu. I try to be nice; I suggest the kids pack; it’s like a quid cheaper than everything else on the menu. He’s all for it.

So I get the bread out; cut two inches off a six inch. And since no one get’s two inches of sandwich, I put it with the other wasted bread.

He instantly catches on to this.

“What’re you going to do with that piece of bread?” he asks me. And I tell him. I’m tired, I just want to go home.

“You’re throwing it away?!” he asks. I already hate him by this stage. But I don’t show it.

He goes on to remind me there are people starving in Africa. A whole continent of starving children. And here I am, throwing away two inches of bread. He looks at me as if asking how I sleep at night.

And then he just goes ahead and says it. That those same children are starving because I’m throwing away food.

He then asked me how I felt about the whole situation. How I felt that I was causing people to starve.

HOLD UP. Not that this is entirely relevant; but you’re a white Irish guy. I’m a second generation African. I FEEL LIKE I HAVE MORE BLOODY STAKE IN THIS THAN YOU DO. Prick.

And I’m making you food. I could just tell you to fuck off. Don’t act like you’re better than me. Drunk, alone and heckling someone who’s making you some much needed food.

So I turned it around on him. I asked how he felt ordering such a small sandwich to force me to cut some bread off and waste it, thereby starving those same children.

He didn’t like that. He tried to glare at me. But he was too drunk to maintain eye-contact.

He tried another retort. I’d stopped listening by this point, so I told him whatever he said was ‘Great’ and asked if he would like any salad in his sandwich.

He shut up after that. The silence was bliss.

Now, on one hand, I understand that it is a waste. But then, if we were to cut some of the bread into thirds, and no one ordered kids packs, that in itself would be more of a waste. Kids don’t want smaller bits of food. They want what adults are getting.

And more importantly, as I’ve already mentioned. If you’re asking someone to do something for you, maybe DON’T FUCKING TRY AND INSULT THEM IF YOU WANT THE JOB TO GET FINISHED. I don’t care if you need to sober up. Try dealing with your drinking problems without being an arsehole, yeah?

You just can’t win.

So that was the time I got accused of famine in Africa. I don’t miss Subway.


Anywho; completely unrelated; this week I’m working on a project researching if it’s possible to make money off film reviewing. Because watching films and getting paid for it sounds quite lovely, am I right?

That’ll be up in a few days. So film buffs, keep an eye out. It’ll feature input from a couple of magazine film editors, provided they actually allow me to cite them.

I don’t know how confident I feel about this. I won’t lie to you.

There will also be less anger and swearing. Probably.

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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Life


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Subway Stories

I’m not sure what time I fell asleep last night, but I think it was around seven pm.

And now I’m awake, and I have to tell you, I don’t think I’ve felt this refreshed in about nine months. Which, coincidentally, is how long I’ve worked in Subway. Which, also coincidentally, I finished working at at 3.30 am on Tuesday morning.

Any time I’ve logged onto this computer, I’ve been confronted by the fact that this blog has slowly been falling by the wayside. And of course, it would be stupid to blame all my problems on Subway. But in a few days, depending on how I feel, I may well put the majority of my weariness, lack of confidence, and general aggression at life down to Subway.

But that’s not really Subway, the job. It’s just making sandwiches, cleaning a shop, handling money and prepping food. It’s easy. It’s an easy job. It’s easy money.

No, the problem with Subway, specifically the one I worked at, is the customers.

Let me lay down the basics for you. The shop opens at 7am, and closes at 3am Sunday (Subway’s so ingrained into me that I can’t write ‘Sunday’ without automatically typing ‘Subway’ first. Little info-bite for you there)through Thursday. Friday and Saturdays, it’s 3.30 am. Fun fun fun.

And in Falmouth, the street Subway is located on, Church Street, has this rule. After 11pm, we can’t do hot food of any sort. The toaster. The coffee machine. The microwaves. They’re all cleaned and shut down.

And you know what tends to make people unhappy? Going to Subway and getting a cold sandwich. Or working a long day and then being denied coffee.

It’s a stupid rule. But you know what? Us workers? WE DIDN’T DECIDE ON IT OURSELVES, SO ORDER YOUR SANDWICH AND FUCK OFF.

Of course, I never said that to a customer. I like to think for the most part, I was polite to the customers. Even the ones I wanted to stab.

But the store gets a lot of shit from it.

I’m just painting you a picture here. I feel like over nine months I’ve amounted too many complaints/stories from working there to fit into one post. Maybe it’ll be a recurring theme. Maybe, with each post, I’ll chart how much better I feel, both physically and mentally, and come to a conclusion on whether or not I’ve made a mistake by resigning.

I’ll give you a hint, I (probably) haven’t.

But I felt an introduction was necessary, so you understand how our Subway works, so you’d understand before I begin aimlessly raging at all the people I’ve served.

One other important thing to mention. I obviously didn’t hate all the customers. I’d say there were a third I was indifferent about, a third who I genuinely did like and will probably miss talking to, and a third who… well. I’ll get to that in future posts no doubt.

But for now, I’ll say this: I am free.

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Life


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Two Years of WordPress

Well, this is depressing. I have this site set to come up whenever I open chrome for the first time and today I was greeted with a ‘happy anniversary’ from WordPress.

Two years this blog’s been going. That’s older than some of my nieces and nephews.

I think.

I don’t actually know if I’m honest with you. I’m only their step-uncle.

But what I do know is that I’ve had a crisis of faith over the past few months. My desire to write has been dulled; I still get ideas, but I never get round to putting them to paper. They just sit in the archives of the notes on my phone, untouched and dying away.

Or at least that was the case over the winter (we’re out of winter now, right?)

But in chatting to my neighbour about life and travelling, I’ve been reinvigorated to make that my goal once again, rather than just resigning myself to a miserable existence has I had been doing for the past few months.

Unfortunately, that means working more, which whilst worth it for the money, is tiring and sometimes frustrating. I’ll try and fill you in the next few days.

In other news, it was Brian‘s birthday yesterday, so a belated happy birthday to him. I didn’t manage to see him, but he never made it back to Scotland in the end unfortunately. He’s survived the whole Christmas period out on the streets, and never once lost his resolve. He’s a better man than I. It’s not a sad ending to his story though, because this time next week he’s getting his own room nearby. So although it’s been a rough road for him, for now, he’s getting his happy ending to his story.

Now I just need to focus on what sort of story I’m going to tell for myself, because apparently, two years ago today was the day I properly started making an effort to become a writer with my first ever post, The Dude Abides.

Let’s see what happens next.

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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Life


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The Professional Writer, part two.

The course induction continues to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Our final project for the week of creating a radio show is coming together, as we named the show Something to Declare: Stories of Arrival. As previously stated, it will air on Source FM 96.1 FM on Friday, at two o’clock. Please tune in.

For said show, I have prepared a piece about my dog, Raggs, but I’m obviously not going to post that here, you can wait for that, you eager beavers, you.

Instead, I present to you two more warm-up exercises in the same vein as the ones we did yesterday, as well as a final exercise that the lecturer presented to us by ordering us to ‘tell the story of your shoes’.

Words: Flowers, Milkshake, Awful & Wine

Story #1: 
“Those flowers look awful” Jeff argued. I looked down at the flopping mulch in my hand and agreed, although not out loud. I couldn’t give him the satisfaction. God, he’s such a bastard. He knows I’m really trying here; why can’t he just let me do things my way.

But nonetheless, I continued on with my plan. I was to meet up with Sara later in the afternoon, where we would go to her favourite milkshake bar, and then indulge in her favourite pastime of wine tasting with some cheese bites.

“That’s also an awful idea” Jeff chimed in. “Cheese, wine and milkshakes? Why on earth would anyone consume those three things in quick succession? I mean wine and cheese, sure. But then adding milkshakes into the occasion? That’ll just make you feel sick”.

I ignored him and continued out the door.

A few hours later I met with Sara and presented her with the flowers. She looked at them disheartened.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Those flowers” she admitted, “They look awful”.

This wasn’t going well. Maybe she should be going out with Jeff instead of me. The pair definitely seem to think alike, and then they could sit in a little room and critique all my ideas whilst I went out and find someone who may actually appreciated dying flowers and sickening mixtures of fluids and cheese. That’s the dream, and maybe one day I’ll get there.

Words: Profiteroles, Smoothies, Pencil, Reincarnation

Story #2: 
This was a bizarre feeling, and one that I didn’t fully understand. The day before, I had been in the desert, the sun scorching down upon me, thinking of smoothies and profiteroles and what life might be like if I were a chicken. Things had become dire, the heat had become too much. I didn’t think I would make it. And I didn’t. I dropped dead right there in the desert, the heat and dehydration had become too much for me.

What followed this was a series of blurred senses, the wind brushing against me, what seemed to be soil encompassing my lower half, and after long periods of time, the feeling of a part of me falling off as the world grew colder. I could not witness any of these things happening, for I no longer had eyes. As far as I could tell, I didn’t have much of anything. No body. No real mind. Just a vestige of my soul having undergone what I can only assume to be reincarnation, and found myself in what I now have decided is a tree. Because it wasn’t truly yesterday I died, but instead many years ago, and my mind has been struggling to remake itself ever since.

And just when I finally was coming to terms with my new existence, something even more strange happened to me. I now believe myself to be a pencil, caught in the grubby little hands of a preschooler.

And finally, The Story of My Shoes:
Who does this guy think he is? Just because he got me fifteen percent off, doesn’t mean I’m a lesser pair of shoes. This jerk. This is clear abuse. If I had a mouth, I would scream the largest range of profanities at him that I could muster. It’s outrageous.

I was there when he was speaking to his new boss, the guy clearly said ‘comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty’. I remember it like it was yesterday. Come to think of it, it may well have been yesterday; being a shoe, you don’t have much of a mind for time-keeping. It’s a depressing existence.

It was bad enough when I spent my life in a boxes, eagerly waiting for someone to decide I would be the one they would insert their feet into.

And now here I am; olives, lettuce, pickles and jalapeño’s being mushed into my once perfect suede skin. He used to be good to me. He would scrub me down most days of the week. But I’m pretty certain I’ve only seen that brush once since we came to this new town. God, I hate him. If I had a body I’d punch him right in the face.

I’m not a pair of Subway shoes. This is not where I belong. I’m meant to be worn on nights out and to special events; I’m a good pair of shoes! I don’t deserve to spend my nights being caked in the reject ingredients from some drunk students sandwich.

But I’ll find a way to get back at him. One day, when he needs me the most, I’ll catch my zipper on something. Yes, that’s a beautiful idea. Perhaps I could take it a step further? I could catch on something deadly, and teach this punk that you don’t wear £75 shoes to work at Subway.

Maybe when he’s lacking a couple of limbs I’ll have a break from this horror. Maybe he’ll give me away to a new owner; someone who will treat me right. Someone who knows my true value. Not this prick. This idiot who claims to be a ‘reverend’, ‘sandwich artist’ and ‘professional writer’. He’s so full of himself. God, I hate him.

Taking his limbs is definitely the best course of action. Maybe it’ll teach him some humility.


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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Life


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Cowboys and Cameramen, Part 3: The End (of University) Before the Beginning (of my Life)

So my final year has come. I’ve got my timetable (sort of), a set of responsibilities that I know need to be filled (sort of) and one last year to fix up my rather lacklustre grades (sort o– no… wait, that last one’s right).

I realise now that the past two of these posts, whilst sort of (eh, did it again) being about my dissertation, haven’t really actually come to any conclusive points about said piece of work. Well, a lot has changed since that happened, and now the work has already begun!

Travelling to America gave me a good feel for what American culture was like, and allowed me to form some basic perceptions of American masculinity and how people react to varying ways of life. It also left me with a bit of historical knowledge on my chosen topic. “What is that topic?” is a question that I realise that thus far, I have failed to answer.

So, here it is! Or, here is something vaguely similar to it, because although I know the topic, I haven’t settled on a definitive wording of the title.

So, here it almost is! How Have Perceptions of Masculinity In American Contemporary Film Been Informed By– Nope. Lost it.

How Do Stereotype’s Revolving Around Masculine Behaviour In Contemporary Cinema– Nah, that’s even worse.

How Does Masculinity in Contemporary American Cinema Draw It’s Roots From the Old West? That’s good enough.

So yeah, ‘Cowboys and Cameramen’, as the title suggests. Film and the Old West; the module’s I’ve enjoyed the most throughout the past two years. And how am I going to start preparing for this monumental task? Well, last night I watched and took notes on Brokeback Mountain (which was pretty good, and very moving, if a bit long. It also made me wish I’d bought my Stetson back to Leicester) and in the next few days I’ll be getting started on the Twilight Saga. Jealous?

But of course, the start of the new year isn’t just about my dissertation. It also involves Fresher’s Fortnight, new Societies, and perhaps even a new house! Coming back to Leicester, I was excited to get involved with all of these things. But since I got here, I’ve been out once, and we only ended up at the Fresher’s event due to a last minute decision; I’ve signed up to several new societies, including Curry, Real Ale, Creative Writing and the one I’m most excited about, Mountaineering, but due to my current funds, unless I get a job, I won’t be following through one any of those (or eating, for that matter, which is a shame really, because I kind of like eating); and finally, the energy supplier for our new house, which I had to sign up to myself just to change suppliers (which, although I understand why, is still pretty F—ing stupid, especially considering that they) have taken my name down wrong when I set up my account, which means that they subsequently took down my e-mail wrong, which means I didn’t get any of their messages saying our bill is overdue, which means that I didn’t realise sooner that they’re trying to lump us with about £80 worth of the last tenants bills…

Those bastards.

But throughout all of this; the dissertation, Fresher’s Fortnight, Drinking, Societies and Bills; one thing keeps moving through my mind. A powerful driving thought that could control the very direction in which my life turns…

I really suck at being a student.

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Life


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Kitchen Complaints, Part 2: Man vs. Dishwasher

Here’s another reason why I turned away from my old plan of being a journalist. Deadlines. I like writing, and I get all my work in on time, but when the two come together, I fall short; the end of part one made the claim that part two would follow later that same day.

That was a week ago.

But whatever. Here we go again.

Doing As I’m Told

I’ve been pretty lucky with my employers. Everyone says that you can’t get on with your boss, but for the most part I’ve been pretty gifted with friendly employers who tend to treat their employees like people, rather than their lackeys.

Not all of them, mind you; there’s been several irritating incidents when I’ve been talked down to as if I’m a child, when really, I’ve not been doing anything particularly wrong.

I like to think I can admit when I’ve made a mistake. Which is why my biggest employment-peeve is when someone else has a slight misunderstanding, or makes a mistake, which then leads to me taking the brunt of the telling off.

I mentioned how in one of my previous jobs no one would wipe down the plates when they dropped off dishes and leftovers at the sink. Well, at said establishment, there was a system. When you brought your plates in, you’d wipe off the leftovers into the bin (which no one did), and then stack your plates in the correct size-dictated pile (also something no one would do), so the whole organisational process would flow that little bit smoother.

And as the new guy, who was left with the brunt of the washing, I would usually be sent back to the scene at the exact moment when the manager would walk by, and ask me why I hadn’t stacked ‘my’ dishes in the correct order, despite the fact that I would have literally just got there. The condescending tone would return to their voice, and the urge to smack them upside the head would re-enter my mind.

I didn’t do that of course. And luckily as time went on, I did more shifts in their subsidiary cafe than I did in the main restaurant, meaning I had less contact time with my manager.

The Scientifically Made Sandwich

Specifically though, I like order when it comes to a job; it gives me an set of objectives, and something to try and stick to whether others do or not.

My current job, in the deli, also has a system. You take orders, make said orders, check for customer satisfaction, and exchange currency. When you’re not taking an order, you clean. Whether that be the shop or the dishes, there’s always something to do.

It even shows in the way I make sandwiches apparently. Yesterday someone asked if I took science, because she believed the way I constructed my sandwiches was rather formulaic.

However, at my other job, which I kind of feel a bit bad complaining about at the moment since I’m typing this post out from behind the counter, there seems to be no order.

It may be because I’m still pretty new here, but from what I have seen, I couldn’t sleep easy if I ran this place. Again, that’s not a jab at the management, they’re perfectly good people, I just like a little bit more organisation than they do (which anyone who has seen my bedroom will probably find ironic).

On my first shift, the only extra task I had was some lamenating, so I took it upon myself to clean up the shop. I found the spare alcohol was in no particular order, meaning restocking the shelves took ages because I could never find the bottles that were missing from the shelves amongst the jumbled mess. That had to change.

Then there was the fact that the biggest clock in the shop, and the only one visible to the customer was off by 15 minutes. That was next on my ‘to change’ list.

Then there’s the fact of washing up. I’m fine with washing up. It’s basically my other job. But for some reason, rather than just cleaning up after yourself or as a team as we do at the deli, the responsibility of dishes around this place falls to the shop keeper.

This is irritating for three reasons:
The first is that I don’t actually use anything here that needs washing, so I’m purely just cleaning up after others, who just leave stuff all over the place. I found a bowl that at some point contained pasta under the counter. How long it was there, I do not know.

The second is that as the shopkeeper, it helps if I’m in the shop, not the furthest point away where I can’t see who’s coming and going, which is where the dishwasher is.

The third and final problem is the fact that once I take things out of the dishwasher, I’m never entirely sure where to put them. After locating the cutlery, I noticed there was nowhere for forks. I asked a colleague where I should out them.
She just laughed at me and said “You could probably just put it wherever you wanted and no one would say anything”. Which, obviously, was not what I wanted to hear.

The Titular Dishwasher

Now I realise it might sound like I’m complaining about rather menial things, and not appreciating the simplicity of the job I’ve been given. And that is true. I am complaining unnecessarily, but there’s a reason, and that reason is the titular dishwasher.

It’s been broken ever since I started here, and probably quite long before. The top shelf is literally hanging off its hinges, ready to break at any moment. This also makes loading it rather difficult, as, with things not connected to the pulley system, you run the risk of breaking everything every time you pull a shelf out, or push it back in.

Still, as always, today I persevered, only to find that since I was here on Tuesday, it’s been broken even more, as now it doesn’t even close. So everything has to be washed by hand. But it just so happens that this week in particular, everyone else has done even less washing than usual, leaving more dishes for me to do. Not only that, but the boilers broken, so there’s no hot water to do the dishes. Add to that the usual fact that the dishes and cups are still half full, grimy and dotted around the place, and you have a series of trivial little matters that this morning I was too tired to be dealing with, and thus have subsequently put me in a foul mood, not helped by the fact that all my jobs are otherwise done and there’s no customers to take up my time.

There’s only so long I can faff around on my phone without feeling guilty.

Heart Radio’s music choices are currently the only thing keeping me calm enough that I don’t head out to find a sledge hammer so that I may finish my grudge match against the dishwasher.

This isn’t over.

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Life


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Moving Plans, Moving Places (or ‘Kitchen Complaints’)

There is no conceivable way that I’m going to finish writing about every season of Doctor Who before tonight. I’ve only watched halfway up to series three, I’ve only posted about series one, and I’ve not even finished writing about series two. It’s just not happening.

This isn’t me giving up, however. I’m not rescinding my previous declaration; I’m just altering it slightly.

Thing is, when I decided I was going to write about Doctor Who, and drafted my ambitious ten-post series, I was still living in Llanfair, freshly back from America, and bored out of my mind. Since then, I’ve moved house, got a job, been spending more time with certain groups of friends on and off, attended family functions, and got another job.

I haven’t been this busy in at least two years (although truth-be-told, I’m not that busy now. I only work a few days a week). And so obviously, something that I decided to do when I was anything but busy no longer has its place. As I said, I will get back to that, but that’s not what this post is about.

What is this post about? Well, I’m not sure really, but criticisms of what’s going on in ones life can always make for amusing reading, so I’ll go with that.

And what do I have to complain about? Work, I suppose. I’m grateful for it, obviously; I’m desperate for the money. But there are always those little things, aren’t there? The little touches about the workplace, or tasks handed down to you that you just can’t bear.

My first new job, working at a delicatessen, has left me pretty well off, if I’m honest. The only actual complaint I would have would be my declining amount of hours each week, and that’s partly my fault anyway.

So instead I’ll complain about something much more futile that really has nothing to do with how the establishment is run at all: the leftovers I have to dig out of the sink.

The Muck Hole

Yeah, the muck hole. I think the chef/my-sort-of-boss at the deli thinks I love washing up. I don’t; it just kills time quickly, and there’s always some of it to do. Plus, you can’t make a mistake washing up, like you can with an order. It’s peaceful, relaxing, and after you’ve been in the hot steamy kitchen for over an hour, stepping out into a cool breeze makes it feel like you’re entering paradise.

The biggest downside is, of course, that by this point you stink of all the dishes you’ve just had to clean. And the reason they smell so bad is because no one ever wipes them down or empties them! Its not that hard! There is a bin right next to the sink! (This isn’t particularly aimed at my current workplace, this is something I’ve found in multiple jobs). And then, there are the people who not only don’t wipe, but dump all their metaphorical shit in the sink, and then walk off.

I swear to god, two weeks ago, I dug out the contents of what I can only imagine was a whole chicken and bacon sandwich, just crammed into the plug hole.

Or mushrooms; mushrooms are bad. I like mushrooms, but I can only take so much of them when they’re cooked and on my plate. When they’re soggy, flaccid and feel like a butchered slug, I have no intention of touching them. Unfortunately, I have no say in the matter, because its my job.

I have a load more to say about this, but as I’ve been typing I’ve come to realise that this needs to be split in two, lest it become too long for anyone to bother reading, which I fear it may be already.

So today’s my first solo day in the aforementioned second job. When my shift is over, I’ll be back with part two, and a host of new complaints, I’m sure.

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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Life


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