Whilst some may have used the vac to detox on debauchery, mine instead pleasantly supplied a collection of disasters which aided me in my constant journey closer to becoming a parody. This involves interpreting the whole ‘sitting by the ï¬re’ Christmas vibe in a hip and nouveau way by accidentally managing to set alight two items of my clothing at a party, with a single tea light.
Constantly running from those damned dignity police, I am thus happy to head back to Oxford. But ï¬rst, I have a deadline. Because, yep. You are subjected to me once again, and all the pain that comes with it. I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not. At least you don’t have to BE me. And so I begin to discuss my last week. Must. Appear. Cool. And. Edgy.
The problem? In my last week or so, the friends who haven’t already moved on from Base-Camp to cooler places, stream back to their respective unis. I wave my handkerchief sadly, and return to my posh and non-edgy work establishment. To the burn of 8am-until-ï¬nish shifts and a boss who hates me (though, on requesting work for January, I am told, “We would LOVE to have you back, sweetie.” The email gives oï¬€ such strong undertones of sickly bullshit that I throw up a little in my mouth.)
The objective and unquestionable hate began sadly on my ï¬rst shift last April. On learning that I am at Oxford, she turns her head sharply away. It turns out she was at Brookes. I learn too that her husband left her for her best friend (do I look like her best friend??). The psychoanalysis is exhausting. Fellow workers laugh in bemusement at the way she treats me, demanding me to unveil the grand reason why. I woefully sigh. If only I knew.
But ï¬nally – my last shift. My mind is kind and nudges me. I remember that I’m not delving into hell for the, err, hell of it. I’m getting money! I imagine $$$ swirling like snowï¬‚akes (admittedly, it’d be more useful if they were £££, but that wouldn’t be so cool, bae). The week’s payslips arrive. Work Friend nervously sifts through the envelope, and then bites her lip. “I don’t think you’ve been put back on the payroll.” I wade on. As the shift draws to a close she hands me a discarded £6.20. “She may eventually pay you, but you’ll never get your tips.” I clutch the money tightly in my hand. When I unclench, an angry 20p-induced dent remains.