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There’s no Live way to buy or trade Crypto. It’s all online in Currency Exchanges. You don’t walk around with Ripple in your pocket, or have Litecoins in a jar at home. You buy it online, you sell it online, and can even spend it online. Most people don’t care about spending it though. They just want to get rich, somehow, and often don’t even know the purpose of the coins they’re invested in. It’s a bit like betting on Virtual Racing in a bookies – a shiny gloss of chance on a predetermined outcome. The truth is the price of crypto can be easily manipulated by what the jargon calls “Whales.” This means a Millionaire/Billionaire or consortium of the same can decide whether or not to influence the price of any given coin by either investing heavily, (Pumping) or selling Drastically (Dumping).
A favourite word in the Crypto space is ” Decetnralization” which means there is no one governing body of the currency – therefore it can’t be manipulated and is valued by consensus of those that determine its value when they buy it or sell it. But how can you value something when you don’t even know what it is? When most people bought Bitcoin they hadn’t a clue wtf it even was. They just saw Dollar Signs going up. And Dollar Signs coming down. So imagine a group of whales get together and start pumping a coin and the word goes out that it’s rocketing. Then everyone joins in and the whale’s money + public money is now flooding in. The price goes up, up and up and when the whale is happy that he/they have trebled their money they sell and puncture the bubble and then it starts coming down, down, down and most people lose money except those that pumped it in the first place and knew what was going to happen. Your only hope is to get in early and sell somewhere in the middle of the Pump (if you happened to know when that is). It’s also not helped by the “Hodl” philosophy which dictates that you never sell your crypto. You Hold on for Dear Life – even during an 80% crash. If you’re really smart you know all about Dollar Cost Averaging which means that you should buy it on the way down because you’re getting it for cheaper than when you bought at the top and when it hits bottom you average your losses and multiply your gains for when it pumps again. I wonder who came up with that idea?
(Study: Pump and Dump Schemes Account for 7$ Million of Monthly Trade Volume
If you’re not a millionaire there’s a whole host of Telegram Groups that run Pump and Dump sessions. You join the group and they wait for it reach a few thousand members. Then, when they have enough “investors” they announce that they’re going to pump a certain currency, at a certain time, in a certain exchange. So, for example, they announce to their 2,000 followers that they’ll be pumping a coin tonight and to log in at 7.55pm. Then when everyone is ready, they shout: ‘Ok, guys, tonight, at 8pm, we’re all going to buy Cardano on the Binance exchange. We’ll pump, pump, pump until it peaks at about 50% profit and then get out. Everybody ready? Let’s go!’ So the general public is looking at Cardano thinking it’s going up in price because it has intrinsic value while in reality it’s getting pumped by a group collective strangers or whales or both. But hey, don’t worry, it’s all decentralised, right?
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Some fella online threatened to kill me if I kept saying bad things about Bitcoin. Went on to say he knew where I lived. “…stop spreading FUD….” he said. Still here anyway so he didn’t do a great job. Meanwhile, the crash continued. The irony being that the more people panic sold, the more the price dropped. Just as demand ramped up the price, the opposite became true in the crash. Social Media was littered with pictures of burst air balloons and exploding dirigibles and plane wrecks and money in flames. And yet there was still some diehards that said everyone just needed to “Hodl” and it would be ok. This kind of thing had happened before. Indeed, those longest in the game were least affected by the crash. Charlie Lee for instance managed to sell all his Litecoin, the token he created, almost precisely when it hit the top. He cited conflict of interest at wanting to develop the project while also being invested. So he sold, coincidentally, at maximum profit, while the rest of the world Hodled. To his credit, he did warn that this crash was likely to happen.
So what now? It was down but not dead. And new coins were appearing almost every day. It was a phenomenon called the ICO – Initial Coin Offering. Not unlike an IPO, the ICO’s were used to raise fund for potential projects and company listings on crypto exchanges. A group of programmers would get together, assemble a whitepaper outlining their vision for the Crypto Community and then have a launch. This consisted of tempting investors with discounted coins – or sometimes free in the form of an AirDrop. It was an unregulated, vague concept where no one was quite sure what was being offered. The truth being that nobody cared what the coins did or how they would be used – they just wanted to see them ascend in price like Bitcoin had before the crash and then go buy a lambo. Talk of “mass adoption” and “bringing down the banks” seemed to be all an excuse to feed the digital greed. Crypto was now an investment for those locked out of the Stock Market by lack of funds or understanding.
So where do you get these other magic coins? The big talk was about a currency exchange called Binance. It listed over 1200 coins at the time (now over 2000) and all you had to was transfer your money in from Coinbase and take your pick. There was a myriad of coins that everyone was excited about. Ripple, XRP, Verge, Tron, Stellar Lumens, Cardano….were the most talked about. They ranged in price from 1 cent to 20 cent and the buzz word was AltCoins – Alternative Currencies. Those in the know called them “Alts” or “Altcoins.” You could trade your Alts and surf the price fluctuations or sit back and HODL. I had €40 left out of my initial €100. So I sent that over using the Bitcoin network. They charged €16 in fees leaving a sum total of €24. Who needs bank fees with deals like that? If I had sent it over the Litecoin Newtork it would have cost about 4 cent. FUD that.
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About 10 years ago everyone was crazy about Poker. Your cousin’s an online expert. Your friend’s making a run for the World Series. Your neighbour’s got a game going every Tuesday night and hey, how come you never noticed that Casino down the road from your house? Game there every Sunday afternoon. €25 Buy-in. Gaming tables and pristine metal poker sets with solid clay chips appear for sale in the shop next door. There’s a tournament Wednesday night in your local pub. Everyone’s an expert. Tells you about odds, percentages, card counting and player psychology. Hey, a good player doesn’t even need to look at his cards, right? And now that fella you can’t stand at work is shouting across the room about how he won €1000 last night on PaddyPower. What a prick. Now he’s in rehab, good riddance.
And here it’s the same with Bitcoin. Everyone knows what’s going to pump and dump. Where it’s going. Technical Analysis. The Fibonacci sequence. Correspondence with world events and stock market volatility. Here comes the Chinese New Year, definitely be a Bull Run then. People in Asia saving their money, religion, year of the monkey, the boom goes on. Hear bout that guy threw out his laptop five years ago? Had some Bitcoin on it. Wasn’t worth much at the time. Could be worth €200 million now. He wants to buy the whole dump where he thinks it might be. What a fool, you gotta be smart with your crypto. Get yourself a diverse portfolio. Don’t be exposed. Join the telegram groups. Keep up to date on Twitter. John McAffe charges $125,000 to recommend a coin. Gotta follow that guy. Up, up, up she goes. Don’t ignore the FOMO. That’s God sending you tips from financial heaven.
And then Bitcoin crashes. The begrudgers are delighted. What did you expect? But of course that was going to happen. Anybody could tell. Now the panic starts. People that bought at the top are getting out at the bottom. Maxxed out our credit cards. Topped up that loan. How we gonna pay that back? If someone had gotten five Bitcoin at €20,000 then they would have invested €100,000. Then it crashes by about 75% and so your savvy investor is now down 75k – in about a week. Queasy situation. Take the hit and get out now. Heard a fella say yesterday it’s all going to zero. Guys at the top been manipulating the price, scam along. Maybe it’ll bounce back? Maybe it’s a glitch? Don’t think so. Jane missed her rent last week, on a warning. One more and she’s out. Kids going to college next year. Can still save half if we’re lucky. Better sell now. Charlie checked his this morning and it’s gone. Something on the Internet. They told him they’d give him free Bitcoin if he signed up. Next thing you know – whoosh! His whole cryptowallet is empty. Then Mary’s phone got hacked. They did it through the phone company. Conned ‘em out of a new sim card. Identify theft. Easy money. No comeback, no regulation. Get out now. It’s all going to zero. See, there goes another €1000. Christ, sell it. Sell it. Sell it. Sell it all now.
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People can easily steal your cryptocurrency if you’re not using a secure server or your phone is susceptible to hacking or Malware. To combat this you need an App called Google Authenticator. It sets you up for 2FA – two factor authentication – and will not let anyone access your data unless they have the six digit code provided by the authenticator.
I then downloaded the App for Coinbase. Lodged a €100 into what they called my “Euro Wallet.’ This is like a vault where you can store your digital money before buying cryptocurrency. You then select which coin you’d like to buy and hit “Purchase.” So I selected Litecoin and watched the rabbit hole swirl, then the screen sang “Success!” and there it was. The price at the time had shot up to around $112 dollars which meant, with exchange rates, I had almost one complete coin – as opposed to the fraction of Bitcoin I’d have as it was now trading at up to $25,000 on some exchanges.
You can set alerts on your phone to tell you when the price hit a certain level. I set mine to let me know when it had gone up by €20. A minute later it beeped. “Price Alert!” I checked and it had indeed increased by that much. I thought it was a fluke, but then five minutes later it went again. “Price Alert!’
€160 – Price Alert!
€180 – Price Alert!
I went on to Twitter and got following some enthusiasts. They were all going crazy. Litecoin was “….going to the moon…” Breaking through it’s All Time Highs (ATH) and surfing the “….greatest Bull Run in History…” in the middle of all this was the man that actually created the coin – Charlie Lee. Unlike Satoshi Nakamoto, Charlie Lee was well known, communicated regularly with the public, and kept updates on happenings with his project. He warned everyone to be careful and not invest money they couldn’t afford as the industry was volatile and could easily crash by 80% overnight. People felt like he was spoiling the party and why was he spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about his own coin? And so the party went on, broke €300, then €350….and so on.
Meanwhile, the Irish Media were running out of cliched analogies. The Wall St Crash was wearing thin, and even the Tulips didn’t have quite the same ring anymore. The best the the journalists could do was “….tax on stupidity….” and if something is too good to be true….
Then Warren Buffet’s quote got them out of a hole for another while when he said Bitcoin was similar to rat poison. All in all in didn’t make much difference because the planet seemed on fire with impossible dreams that were anecdotally coming true.
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Bitcoin now hits €20,000. Most of the world is in a frenzy about it. Families are remortgaging their houses to buy some. Others have maxed out their credit cards, got overdrafts, borrowed, begged and stole from friends. Bitcoin Billionaires are emerging form basements all over the world. Seventeen year old kids with gorky glasses and acne are suddenly driving lamborginis around accompanied by impossible girlfriends. But now everything is possible. There’s a real estate agent in Florida accepting bitcoin for condos. You can use it to buy a Tesla too. And how bout those savings? Making too little interest? Put it all into crypto, double your money in a week, treble it by Christmas. It’s not going anywhere – except up. The technology is here to stay. This is the most exciting thing since the Internet hit critical mass and I bet you wish you got in early there? Bought some Google shares? Some Facebook? Or back further when you could have caught Microsoft and Apple for less than a dollar? Well, here you are. Here’s your chance. Get it now, gonna hit a million, buy yourself an island. No more banks, no more debt, no more worry about the college education, losing your home, repayments on the car. Behold the answer, decentralised, democratic, and oh so simple.
In Ireland, the media had moved from talking about Tulips to the Wall Street Crash. Now it was all about the spit shine boy, giving stock tips to the customers as he cleans their shoes. Apparently this was a bad sign and the insinuation was anyone buying Bitcoin was part of a lower class of human that didn’t know a scam when they saw one, or were too blinded by poverty to not get involved. Pontification aside, people still bought in.
I discovered Coinbase around this time. There was a beautiful simplicity to it. If you can’t get your head around all the talk of satoshis and blockchain, and AltCoins and and FUD and HODL and people constantly talking about “….going to the moon…’ then Coinbase offered a simple straightforward solution. At the time it listed only three cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin was the daddy at €20,000 and Ethereum came second with Litecoin the third and cheapest. If you wanted to buy some you load up a picture of your ID, register your Visa/Mastercard and then purchase. You got a $10 dollar sign up bonus and it was possible to buy as little as $10 if you so wished.
Based on the principle that you buy a fraction of the currency, rather than a whole coin, it made sense to buy Litecoin as it was far cheaper and you’d get more for your money. In the last few months it had climbed from $4, to $45 and was now trading at over a $100. Litecoin was capped at 84 million – meaning there’d only ever be 84 million of them in circulation. The experts made the analogy of Gold and Silver. Bitcoin being the Gold with only 21 million in existence and almost completely bought up or “Mined” the next obvious boom would be in Litecoin. The key word here was scarcity. If something was going to run out, and the whole world wanted some, then the demand and price would inevitably skyrocket. It was so obvious even the spits shine boys could see it coming. All you had to do was buy some and wait.
The Irish media wouldn’t shut up about Dutch Tulips. It was a Pyramid Scheme a few hundred years ago, presumably something to do with Tulips and everyone getting financially burned. Every time Cryptocurrency was mentioned on the radio or television, the broadcaster would come back with: ‘It’s a bit like the Tulips that time….’
Meanwhile, Bitcoin was now up to to over €18,000. There was a time less than ten years ago when it was worth a cent so you can imagine the amount of people that cursed the current lack of Time Travel. Their only option was to invest now and catch the train going forward. Enthusiasts claimed it would hit $50,000. Some said half a million. John McAffee, of Anti-Virus fame, promised to eat his own penis if it didn’t hit $1 Million in the next five years. It was all very exciting.
Tim told me more about Bitconnect. It was mostly about referrals and getting a dividend from the amount of people that came in after you. It appeared all the money went into a big pot of Bitcoin somewhere and as the price went up – everyone got a share of the profits. Obviously, the more people that invested, the more Bitcoin they could buy and the higher the profits for everybody. Those on the top of the ladder, who had the most referrals and invested the most, got the largest piece of the pie and so on down the line.
‘Your initial investment is ring fenced and is always safe. So you don’t have to worry.’ He said.
But I researched it anyway. After wading through a myriad of online pub talk about the Tulips I eventually found some sage advice. Bitconnect was indeed based on a pyramid structure and was under investigation by authorities in the US for contradicting a colourful amount of SEC and Financial Rules. Worse still, key people in the company were going missing, Social Media stories abounded about ‘….difficulties withdrawing funds….’ and people like MasterCard and Visa had logged the IP address and were refusing to allow purchases go through.
The diehards said this was all “FUD” or Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, spread by those that wanted to bring Bitcoin down. They screamed all over Twitter and Telegram that Bitconnect was the future and everyone just needed to “HODL” another crypto term meaning – Hold on for Dear Life – a reference to the wild swings and fluctuations traditionally associated with the unregulated Crypto market. I think the main issue for the supporters was they got commission for referrals so a lot of people had recommended a lot of people who had recommended even more people who were all getting commission from each other which now seemed impossible to access.
In light of the drawbacks, I refrained from investing in Bitconnect and held off for another while to see if there was anything less cryptorisky out there. Eventually I found Coinbase and that’s another story. Meanwhile, Bitconnect was hit with a Cease and Desist order, went bust, and everyone went broke. Bit like the Tulips that time.
Tim said: ‘I tried working with Dogs Trust for a while.’
‘How’d that go?’
‘Not great. Hard to get bank details off people. Then I dd the thing with the catalogues.’
‘It’s when you drop around catalogues to people’s houses and then come back a week later and ask if they want to buy anything….if they do you get a commission on the purchase.’
‘Did you make much at that?’
‘Not a lot. Hard to get people at home and to close them down when they are. Then I set up an online shop with Shopify and I was dropshipping from China. I used to design custom made t-shirts, mugs, biros and hats. It went ok for a while then it just got too competitive. Bitcoin’s where it’s at now though.’
‘I heard that. Apparently it’s going up in value.’
‘It just hit $14,000.’
‘So you need $14,000?’
‘No. You can buy as much as you like. It’s like gold. You don’t have to buy a whole bar. You can buy an ounce, a nugget, a kilo, but in Bitcoin’s case it’s digital. The denominations are called Satoshis which are worth a fraction of cent.’
‘So you can buy what, 10 dollars worth of Bitcoin?’
‘Exactly – and when Bitcoin goes up, your 10 dollars goes up accordingly…..people think you need thousands. You don’t. There’s people that invested $100 in Bitcoin in 2010 and it’s worth $75 Million now.’
And so the conversation went. Tim was an entrepreneurial type for sure. He went on to tell me about many more businesses and jobs he’d tried from Alarm Systems to selling Electricity, Insurance, Tourism Start-ups and Disruptive App revolutions awaiting the right investor. However, he’d found the key with Bitcoin and was eager to spread the good news. Although he was talking in Dollars, I preferred Euros as we’re in Ireland, and I asked him how much he was making.
‘€50 a day. Passive income.’
‘It’s a site called – Bitconnect. You invest your money with them for a specific amount of time and they pay you a daily return based on your investment.’
‘How much have you invested?’
‘And how much have you made back?’
‘€750 so far – and my €2000 is still safe. I can withdraw any time.’
That night, I went home and did some research. Bitcoin had arrived sometime in late 2008 or early 2009. It coincided with the financial crash and was apparently founded by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. By all accounts, the founders name was a pseudonym for a person or persons that didn’t want to be identified and it’s still unknown to this day who he/she or they were. Also, there had been previous attempts at creating digital currencies before but they had ultimately failed due to poor technology and lack of mass adoption. Bitcoin had an advantage at this time because the majority of the world was now connected to the internet, making it easier to create a digital network, and publicise it’s existence. The recent crash helped too as there was a growing distrust of banks and financial instituions and people wanted a safe, decentralised place to store their money. Effectively, Bitcoin promised to cut out the middleman – the bank – and allow regular people to trade, move and spend their money without paying high transaction fees. It also abolished the waiting times in sending your money to other countries. Suddenly you could send money to another country in a matter of seconds instead of hours or even days, and for a fraction of the price.
Intrigued, I messaged Tim and asked: ‘So where do you start with buying Bitcoin?’
Seconds later he replied. ‘I’ll send you a referral link to Bitconnect.’
Mayo Arts Service, Mayo County Council
Write Now 2018 – a speed dating writing event for Mayo writers.
Write Now 2018 is an initiative of Mayo Art Service. This event affords Mayo Writers the opportunity of 20-minute speed dating type mentoring slots with a Poet, a Playwright, aScreenwriter, a Short story writer, a Novelist and a Publisher. Write Now 2018 takes place in Castlebar on Saturday 1st of December.
There are three elements to the event. The day starts off at 11.30 with the writers’ speed dating event, which is followed by a networking opportunity and the day concludes with an open mic.
This is an opportunity for established or budding Mayo writers to come along and gain the expertise of our mentor panel of writers. Each writer/mentor has various writing requirements for their session which are outlined in this document. Those wishing to attend the mentoring slots can avail of mentoring from two of the writers/mentors.
This is a free event, but booking is required to avail of the mentoring speed dating slots. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, with limited availability so please book your slot as soon as possible
Saturday 1st of December, Castlebar. 20-mins Mentoring slots: 11.30 -3pm Networking Opportunity: 3-4pm Open Mic (for participants): 4 -6pm
The line-up of professional writers/mentors are;
Date: Venue: Time:
Saturday 1st December 2018
Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, Castlebar.
Mentoring Speed dating slots run for 20 mins segments from 11:30 – 3pm
Followed by a Networking opportunity over finger food 3-4pm
Followed by an Open Mic –4 -6pm
Those attending mentoring slots can book a 5 mins segment to read (limited availability). All welcome to attend Open mic but performance is reserved for those who availed of the mentoring slots and the Writing Mentors.
Please contact the Arts Service to book places via:
Email email@example.com Tel: 094 90 64367/094 90 643
Poet Geraldine Mitchell is a Mayo-based writer whose most recent collection of poetry, Mountains for Breakfast, was published by Arlen House in 2017. She is a Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award winner and the recipient of Arts Council and Mayo Arts Office awards. Her previous collections are World Without Maps (2011) and Of Birds and Bones (2014).
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Poet Geraldine Mitchell should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit three poems to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November and Geraldine will select one to work on during the mentoring session.
Playwright Mick Donnellan is from Ballinrobe. His Theatre Company is Truman Town Theatre. He has written and produced six Plays which sold out nationally and to great acclaim. His most recent Play Radio Luxembourg was bought by a London film company (Dixon/Baxi/Evans) and adapted for the screen.
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Playwright Mick Donnellan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit a max of 10 pages from your play. Playwrights should have a synopsis ready to discuss during the mentoring slot. Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.
Screenwriter Pierce Ryan has written two feature films and several award winning short films. His latest film is Black ’47, a revenge western set during the Irish famine. Pierce’s previous feature film was the romantic comedy, Standby, released in 2014. Amongst the awards won by the short films written by him are the 2010 IFTA and 2006 Celtic Film and Television awards for best short film.
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Screenwriter Pierce Ryan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit the first 30 pages of a feature screenplay. Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.
Short Story Writer Geraldine Mills is an award-winning short story writer published nationally and internationally. She has published three short story collections. She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes to include: The Hennessy Sunday/Tribune Emerging Fiction Award and the overall New Irish Writers Award.
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Short Story Writer Geraldine Mills should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit a short story you are working on to a maximum of 2000 words (not a synopsis). Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.
Publisher Mariel Deegan is General Manager of New Island Books. New Island commissions in the areas of both crime and literary fiction, and general interest non-fiction, particularly history, biography and memoir, and humour. They aim to give a platform to promising debut writers like June Caldwell and Oisín Fagan, as well as providing a stable home for established authors such as Dermot Bolger, Julie Parsons and Carlo Gébler.
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Publisher Mariel Deegan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit 15 pages of your work to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.
Novelist Mia Gallagher is the critically acclaimed author of two novels: HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006), awarded the Irish Tatler Literature Award 2007, and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland(New Island, 2016), longlisted for the 2016 Republic of Consciousness Award. She is a contributing editor to the Stinging Fly and in 2018 was elected as a member of Aosdána.
Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Novelist Mia Gallagher should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit 15 pages of a novel in progress to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.
The phone rang with: ‘Hey, Mick, you know that guy you hired….?’
‘The Joe guy….is his name Minty?’
‘Joe Ninety – but I’m not sure that’s his real name….’
‘Yeah, anyway. We checked up some of his references.’
‘We really need to get better feedback before we hire people.’
‘So can you be sure you’re sure before you recommend someone…?.’
‘I didn’t recommend him.’
‘It says here you did.’
‘That was a mistake….’
‘But he has the job now?’
‘He got a call from the office.’
‘On your recommendation.’
‘Did you know there’s a court case coming up against him?’
‘No. He didn’t mention it.’
‘His old boss told me.’
‘What’s he up for?’
‘He tried to run over a customer.’
‘He had an argument with a customer and afterwards he tried to run him over.’
‘That doesn’t sound good.’
‘Why’d he try to run him over?’
‘The customer thought Joe had stolen his daughter’s iPad.’
‘Right…and did he?’
‘We don’t know. That’s why there’s a court case coming I guess…’
‘So we can fire him now?’
‘No. See he hasn’t done anything wrong.’
‘Did he not try to run someone over?’
‘We have to be careful.’
‘Unfair Dismissal. He hasn’t done anything wrong with us, yet.’
‘But his references are bad.’
‘We usually check them prior to giving someone the position but in this case he was given the job before we had the opportunity.’
‘So what’ll we do?’
‘We’ll need you to shadow him for the first while, make sure he’s being compliant.’
Later with Joe. He was dressed in black pants, dirty runners, black shirt, white tie. Three day stubble. He said: ‘Great day.’
‘Will you be helping me for the first while, Micky?’
‘I will. Did you try run someone over in your last job?’
‘Who told you that?’
‘One of your references.’
‘I didn’t try run him over, I just nearly hit him as I was leaving the house.’
‘Did he not see you coming?’
‘He did, but he wouldn’t get out of the way.’
‘He was trying to stop you leaving?’
‘I think so.’
‘Dunno, Micky. I was busy. Had sales to do. Was in a hurry.’
‘Is there a court case coming up?’
‘Yeah, next month. I might need a day off for that.’
‘We’ll see what we can do.’
‘We better go and do a bit here anyway.’
‘I meant to ask you the last day – when do we get paid?’
‘That’s a dose.’
‘Tis. Are ye stuck?’
‘Eh…I’m not too bad. I’ve a few things lined up. What time do ye take breaks?’
‘Like lunch and all that?’
‘Whenever we can – there’s no set time. Have you something on?’
‘Nah. Just supposed to meet a fella in town.’
‘Just for a chat. He’s going buying an iPad off me.’
Was working in Sydney a week later when the phone rang with: ‘Hey, Mick, what do you think of Joe, should we give him the job?’
‘Who’s this? Dave?’
”No, it’s Tyler. Dave’s on Annual Leave. So what do you think?’
‘About Joe? Hmm…I don’t think he’s the right fit.’
‘No? That’s disappointing.’
‘It is, but I think long term it’s better to wait for the right….candidate.’
‘Ok, I’ll feed that that back, thanks. You knows there’s a meeting Friday?’
‘At the office. Aloysius is making a speech. So dress smart, right?’
‘Too easy, mate. Ta.’
Aloysius was the CEO and he didn’t like:
Which is precisely why I didn’t recommend Joe for the job.
Friday came around. Everyone turned up, shook hands, talked shite, the managers ate all the profiteroles while everyone waited for Aloysius.
There was a hush when he arrived. Dear shoes, scarf, ted baker glasses. Well trimmed beard.
A girl with a clipboard tried to get his attention but he brushed her aside with a practiced hand.
I was in the corner, trying to make the best of a soggy ham sandwich in a red napkin, when I noticed him coming for me.
I left down the food, said: ‘Aloysius.’
‘Can you tell me something?’
He was pointing out the window. There was a BMW, an emaciated tree, a parkbench. Hard to know which one to go for until he said: ‘Him.’
I focused again, there was a fella standing at the wall. Took me a second to recognise Joe. Leather jacket, blue jeans, no tie. Cigarette in one hand, picking his nose with the other.
‘Oh.’ I said. ‘That looks like Joe.’
‘And why is he here?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘He told them at the desk you gave him a job.’
‘I said not to hire him. I had him for an observation – but that was it. Talk to Tyler.’
The girl with the clipboard arrived, her name was Hannah and she said: ‘Tyler’s gone. Dave’s back.’
‘Then there must have been some confusion.’
‘I think there must.’
Hannah said: ‘Dave offered him the job.’
‘Christ.’ Said Aloysius.
I looked out the window again but he was gone. Thank fuck.
But next thing I heard: ‘Howya, Micky….’
There was Joe beside me. ‘Joe! Howya….’
‘Thanks for giving me the job….’
‘Your man Dermot rang me.’
‘Him ya. Starting tomorrow, am I out with you?’
Hannah said: ‘Joe, can I talk to you for second…?’
‘Howya, darlin….them are nice legs.’
Aloyisus said: ‘Excuse me, where the hell do you think you are?!’
‘Howya gettin on, sir. I’m Joe. I was told to start here today. Dick rang me yesterday.’
‘You mean Dave?’
‘Him yeah. Said to come early. Something important happening.’
‘Oh he did, did he?’
‘Said there’s some fella going making an important speech….’
‘And who might that be?’
‘I don’t know. I can’t think. Some beardy fella with a quare name…..where’s the jacks in this place, Micky? I’m dying for shite.’