And so, the last day of not having to organise my own food was upon us, boo. I made up for it with the most spectacular breakfast, staggered out of the hotel and was slightly disappointed to find the Bossman had not forgotten his promise to take me to the hydro plant, because I wanted to sit on my arse for about the next three weeks while I recovered. God, I was so jealous of everyone who worked at the hydro plant. It must be so rewarding, having a Useful job (that doesn’t involve answering to the general public every fifteen seconds).
And I got a lift right to my home and everything, which needed to be rewarded with a slap-up meal (I am personally living off frozen pizzas, if anything) so now I am broke. And I see that the mountain of someone else’s dishes that I did before I left has returned. I do hope, I am not being expected to do the damn things again. Ah, once again I fail to manage people’s expectations.
But I have a serious deadline coming up, and while the hammer falls after my long weekend away blacksmithing, (haha see what I did there) it has only just occurred to me that really, I might have the shakes like anything after belting hot pieces of metal for three days, and I should get that shit done, like, now. So I had a nice quiet afternoon drawing very small dots and discovering things I never knew about Women of the Reformation Period, ice and solar flares.
And so bright and early Tuesday it was back to work to try and fire through a week’s build-up of work in two whole days, argh, and while I reckoned I was up to the challenge, it did not help when I was informed almost immediately that in my absence there had been an emergency, and someone had gone through to look for something in my office and declared it ‘a bombsite’ and I was most miffed because seriously? It was really tidy! really! Look, I’m totally defensive about it!
On the other hand, come Tuesday evening I finished that commission piece (which took far too long, but its for someone I like and I’m getting paid so I took extra special care over it). Woo, go me!
And come Wednesday morning, I very carefully carried it into work. And though it was the 13th (dun dun DUN) nothing bad happened to it at all. Odd, I thought. Something will probably go wrong, I thought. Anyway, I thought, it is now two weeks till these new lodgers are piking up on my doorstep, and the current one hasn’t said anything about having any plans, like he said he might ten days ago, so it is high-time to get this in motion and confirm everything. I shall send a quick email.
At which point all hell broke loose.
I got an email back saying that despite giving his notice out of the blue on the 29th, and even saying it was for a calendar month, he was flat-out not leaving on the 29th, and wanted to leave on the first of July instead. Okay, fine. There will be an overlap then. Could he stay on in the studio instead, if I made that all nice?
No he couldn’t, and furthermore he did not want extra people in my flat, because it’s too small, so they will just have to not come, okay. Besides he has already turned a blind eye to my lies about the number of people in it. Apparently.
Shit. A) They have a plane booked, I told him this ten days ago, they can’t Not Come till later. B) Dude, we are outside the notice period you gave, surely you aren’t actually trying to lay down the law about stuff happening after you told me you were leaving, C) What is this about extra people in the flat? D) Shit. Shit shit shit shit SHIT.
E) no really, what is this about extra people in the flat? All I could really think of was, if it turns out there are a number of circus midgets living under my bed and coming out to bother him during the day, I am going to be SO embarrassed.
On asking for clarification, however, it turns out he is well miffed because the Bossman has apparently not been over on a strict ‘me in Edinburgh one weekend: the Bossman here one weekend’ rota, and he reckons ‘there is a ratio of 1:2 not the 1:1 he has been promised and also long weekends were involved’ (the Bossman works for himself, and doesn’t get long weekends?). Well, okay; I’ve been ill and had to cancel some plans, so yeah some of that may be a fair point. But JESUS, I had no idea I was supposed to be bound to a strict schedule here! (Also, if it’s gonna be like that, another thing I said was that it is not my job to do all the housework, and guess who has done all the housework, eh, so there’s a ratio for ya, pal.)
Right, do NOT respond any further, just sit and think it through and calm down.
Having a flakey about all this meant my work for the day was rubbish, and neither of these things improved my mood; in fact, I couldn’t decide between ‘since he never signed the damn lease I gave him, show up with the balance of his money and sling him the hell out’ and ‘pony up a coupla ponies and tell him he can have a hotel on me for his last weekend as long as that will save on FUSS’.
cowardice common sense prevailed, as it usually does – bottom line, I know nothing about this bloke except that he hasn’t signed the lease, which I did not press him about because I felt kinda uneasy about it, and lo the one time I asked him for something he’s gotten really angry (and started calling me a liar, to boot, which I am still enraged about). Who knows what he will do next if I push it, and here’s me at work and him alone in my home with all my stuff. Most of which is cheap, but which I don’t have the funds to readily replace. And he already killed me lifetime companion cactus and clearly thought nothing of it.
Dammit, the craven path of conciliation beckons me again. I shall try and sell this to myself as ‘being awesomely diplomatic’, and pretend I am not disgusted that I am not gonna go in there all Braveheart. So I got in, discovered he had gone wherever he goes between the hours of four and six, cleaned all the stuff that I cleaned before going to Pitlochry but which had gotten dirty again, and spent the balance of my time reading up on alpha personalities cos I figured I had about half an hour to try and learn to fake it. I also figured I really didn’t need caffeine, but I was out of juice, and gin would be an even worse plan than caffeine, so I owe the Bossman a gingerbeard. My bad.
To make things slightly more tricky, when the guy came in, he was sporting the worst haircut I have seen since I was nine (alas, that one was my haircut). Seriously, did he do this himself with the aid of a puddle or what?
But I sat him down and kicked off well; I said, I was really sorry to hear that he felt like that about the Bossman being over, and I had no idea he felt like that until I got his email today. I explained that it hadn’t been intended as a strict turn-about rota, merely an average, but that I had in fact had surgery twice (look, it involved scalpels and blood and stitches and pain, I know it was ‘just’ teeth, but I class it as surgery, and plus, it got Borked) and not had sick time or anything and we had actually cancelled some plans so the Bossman could come help me out instead; and all of this is true, dammit. And also, last weekend, next weekend, and the one after, I am away, so does that help at all? And I felt I was handling it with sincerity and Aplomb!
Until he said he didn’t know why I was taking everything so seriously and, From the expression on my face we were discussing nuclear armageddon; which I did not find terribly helpful. (And ooh, why is it I only think of smart-arse comments when I’m desperately trying not to? As it was, only strength of will prevented me snapping, Oh yeah? From the look of your hair, the talks failed!)
Well it turns out he reckons he was feeling forced out – despite my saying up front, oh, I did not know that was your plan, well then you can stay too then – and he said the problem was not actually the number of people in the flat at all (er, WHAT?) but my behaviour, which was, Outrageous and has never happened to him before – well, actually it has happened to him before, and more than once, but that’s beside the point. Oh dammit dude, stop giving me openings like this, it was very hard not to say AHA I WONDER WHY or anything.
Instead, I said I was sorry, I genuinely thought that when he gave a month’s notice for the 29th he meant it. And hey, here’s this guy wanting the room from then, sight unseen and everything, so if I took him as me next lodger, that meant the current one isn’t getting constantly asked to clean up his room and have it presentable. (Not to mention, and is he going to be in tomorrow between five and half past when someone’s said they’re coming round, and does he mind if I show the room when he’s not there, or does he want to be there, and all sorts of high-speed three-way-talks-nonsense with someone who wants a reply today, and someone who takes ten days to not get back to me about anything.)
At which point, it turns out it wasn’t even until today, after I emailed him back, that he bothered looking at the calendar and realising what day of the week the 29th even is… Oh right. I think I see. Does Not Think Anything Through And Has Kneejerk Reactions, perchance?
Why should the world revolve around this other guy anyway? he kept saying. Erm, because based on all the information you gave me, it was a plan that fitted everyone’s plans perfectly?
Anyway. A hell of a lot of Apologetic Mode on my part later, and we have agreed that he is fine with keeping the room till the 1st, for free, and the new lodgers will take the studio, which they are okay with, again for a reduction of a coupla days’ rent, and I just devoutly hope that now he doesn’t kick off at them, because they are just wee young things and this might be their first time in Scotland – it will certainly be their first time in my pad, and I really don’t want them greeted by a raving madman who terrifies them, because I would just die of the personal dishonour.
Once again, the Bossman saves the day – he is going to use his root canal on the 29th to heroic effect and come over and Be The Muscle. Which is how we met, indeed. And almost a year to the day previously! It’s like… some sort of giant coincidence!
So it is fixed. Touchwood. But it was far from my proudest moment, and also, I desperately need to work on my gameface. And general demeanour. I am sure if I could just project an attitude of calm superiority (the sort where you don’t put people’s backs up and get chibbed, that is) then I would have a much smoother path through life. Then again, it’s awfully hard to depict calm superiority when all about you are losing their heads and you’re fecking frazzled all the time – and the nice relaxed feeling from the weekend there? LONG gone!
I think, I will pretty much just avoid him till it is time for him to leave. Problem is, this is what I always do when I’ve got someone in my flat who doesn’t like me being there – this guy basically let that slip today – and so far this seems to be pretty much everyone I’ve rented to! (Dammit, if you don’t want to share a flat, don’t go looking for accommodation on a site where the hint is in the URL, I AM JUST SAYING).
With the Talks over, I had go through to pack, fling myself into bed, get up at the crack of dawn on Thursday and run off to water the allotment before work, drag a massive suitcase two miles to the office, prep for Hellday and wait patiently for whatever today’s shitstorm of You Cannot Get The Midday Train Till This Is Done would turn out to be. This time it turned out to be… the industrial doctors’ strike next Hellday, for which all the clinic numbers need to be cut. Anything to do with me, this is not, but apparently the uberboss and my consultants aren’t talking to each other – so despite there being a phone and email at both their desks, I spent all morning trekking up and down the hospital bearing messages from my email, and barely escaped in time.
In conclusion: goddammit, I know I have piled a bit too much into my own life here, but I am sick of lurching from crisis to crisis. And I am really sick of having people in my home who treat me like I’m some sort of prime nuisance. If this next lot are cut from the same cloth, I am gonna have to seek alternative methods of making ends meet, just for my own sanity.
And so, no doubt, begins yet another chapter of hilarious failure on my part…