Joe Ninety – Part three #31

 

The phone rang with: ‘Hey, Mick, you know that guy you hired….?’

‘No?’

‘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.’

‘Yeah?’

‘We really need to get better feedback before we hire people.’

‘We do.’

‘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 does.’

‘How?’

‘He got a call from the office.’

‘On your recommendation.’

‘No. See….’

‘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.’

‘Sorry?’

‘He had an argument with a customer and afterwards he tried to run him over.’

‘That doesn’t sound good.’

‘It doesn’t.’

‘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.’

‘No?’

‘No. See he hasn’t done anything wrong.’

‘Did he not try to run someone over?’

‘He did.’

‘And that’s….ok?’

‘We have to be careful.’

‘Of….?’

‘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.’

‘Tis.’

‘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.’

‘Why?’

‘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.’

‘Sound.’

‘We better go and do a bit here anyway.’

‘I meant to ask you the last day – when do we get paid?’

‘Monthly, usually.’

‘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?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Whenever we can – there’s no set time. Have you something on?’

‘Nah. Just supposed to meet a fella in town.’

‘For lunch?’

‘Just for a chat. He’s going buying an iPad off me.’

 

 

Mick.

 

____

 

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Joe Ninety – Part Deux. #30

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?’

‘Really Where?’

‘At the office. Aloysius is making a speech. So dress smart, right?’

‘Will do.’

‘Too easy, mate. Ta.’

Aloysius was the CEO and he didn’t like:

Bad Shoes.

Smokers.

Stubble.

Loose ties.

Fraud.

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.

‘Mick….’

I left down the food, said: ‘Aloysius.’

‘Can you tell me something?’

‘Of course.’

‘What’s that?’

‘What?’

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.’

‘Who?’

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.’

‘Joe?’

‘Joe…..Ninety.’

‘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….’

‘Eh….’

‘Your man Dermot rang me.’

‘Dave?’

‘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.’

Mick.

Read the original “Joe Ninety” post here.

***

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Social Media – #29

When writing my first two novels the country was changing so fast that by the time they were ready the material could feel almost obsolete. Your characters go to book a flight in a travel agents but when your story is finished, everyone gets their flights online. People don’t call each other on landlines anymore because they all have mobiles and when they get lost, the reader wonders why they don’t just use Google Maps; except nobody had smartphones when you were writing it.

Smart people at the time were incorporating technology and trends into their writing. Their stories centred around MySpace, Bebo, Nokia 3310s, Digital Cameras and The Walkman. Then along comes Facebook, Smartphones, iPods and iPhones and now everyone’s shaping their works in progress to incorporate the modern trends – as if that’s what’s important.

The other problem is that everyone suddenly thinks they’re a marketing specialist.  Jane’s got 5000 subscribers on her e-mail list. Gathered them up using her Facebook page, setting up a Social Media Company. Waste of time, says John, Instagram’s where it’s at. Use ads and Hashtags and grow your followers. Fuck that, says Paddy, you need Twitter. More professional. You want profession, says Mary, you need LinkedIn, that’s where the real business happens. The rest is all juvenile. I hear Snapchat’s good now, says Tom, lots of influencers using it. You want influencers, says Jerry, you need Youtube, only way to go. Everyone’s making videos and setting up Adsense with Google. Get yourself enough hits and your start making money. Real money. No hard work needed, just watch the dollars grow. Simple really, don’t know why everyone’s not doing it. What about blogging? No way, says Joe, not professional. Too much work. Write every day? Are you mad? Much simpler just to use my phone here to connect with people. Here, let’s take a Selfie. We’ll put that up on Messenger now. Everyone can look at it then, see. Like it if they like it. Exposure’s what it’s all about.  Try get something viral. Especially videos. People making big money at that. Just need to be funny and original. Did you hear they have a course now – on Social Media. How to use it. How to utilise it. Thinking about doing one of them. But what are you going to promote? I don’t know. Stuff. It’s easy. Just share and like. And connect. Big money in it.

Big money in what? You end up with 50,000 social connections and not one customer for your book, or CD, or Film or whatever you’re trying to promote. It’s a crowded space, made worse by ease of access. Every lunatic is doing it and there is no unique selling point. An e-mail blast to 2,000 people is worthless if you’ve never met any of them, or if you don’t bother to respond when they ask you a question. Worse, when you do respond you simply send a link and say: ‘Here, read this it should answer all your questions.’

You’re much better off with a mailing list of 100 people that are interested in your work and whom you can connect with on a meaningful level. That’s your unique selling point. Human interaction. And there’s no point at all if you’ve got nothing to talk about. No book finished, no Poetry written, your film’s been in development for the last five years. Where has all that time gone? Taking Selfies? Sharing links? Retweeting? Connecting? Building your Client Base? Reaching out? Establishing a presence? Vloggng?

 Have you tried writing yet?

 

Mick.

 

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Applying for Funding – #27.

 

Good few years ago, was looking for funding. Couldn’t find the application forms. There was a contact address for the Arts Officer on the site. Figured that was a good place to start. 

Sent him an e-mail and two weeks later he hadn’t replied. Called the number and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail. 

Another two weeks and no return call. 

I went to his office and asked: ‘Is he here?’

They looked at me sorta strange, and went: ‘Eh…what time is it?’

’11.30.’

‘Hmm…yeah. He wouldn’t usually be in until after lunch, depends on where he was last night…’

‘Was he workin last night?’

‘Well, he might have been launching something….’

‘Like a Spaceship?’

‘Like a new local project or something…’

‘So you think he’ll be in later?’

‘I don’t see why not. What did you need him for?’

‘There’s no applications forms on your site. Is there any physical ones here?’

‘Oh, you’ll have to talk to him about that.’

‘Can I leave a note on his desk?’

She frowned. Pulled out a contact form, said: ‘Try this. He might be in after lunch.’

I filled it out and left. Lunch came and went. 

No call. No contact. Rang the office again. No answer. Left another voicemail. No reply.

Went back the next day. There was a fella at the counter with a Bluetooth headset on his left ear. It looked like there was something growing out the side of his head. He kept touching it to make sure it was still there, like it was somehow responsible for his balance. 

He looked up and saw me coming, then pretended he hadn’t, and got busy shuffling some papers. There was a bell that said: RING FOR ASSISTANCE. 

So I rang it. 

He looked up all surprised, touched the Bluetooth and asked: ‘Are you alright?’

‘Fine thanks. Is the Arts Officer here?’

‘Hmmm…I don’t think so, I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks actually…he’s usually here in the afternoons there, but….let me check.’

He looked into the distance and said: ‘No, see, the light in his office is off…he’s not in.’

‘Do you’ve any idea when he might be?’

‘I wouldn’t know.’

‘He works here, doesn’t he?’

‘Yeah….but, depends on the head from the night before, you know yourself. What did you want him for?’

‘Application forms, for funding.’

‘Are they not on the site?’

‘No.’

‘Well you’ll need to talk him about that so.’

‘Can I leave a note for when he gets back?’

He frowned then. Whistled through his teeth. Looked at the wall, went: ‘Note, note….note…I suppose you can leave a contact form?’

‘Thanks.’

Filled it out again. Left my name and number and why I called.

 

Days and weeks passed and heard nothing. Started to think he was dead or sick or didn’t exist. I asked around and got his mobile number. Rang that and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail and he didn’t respond. 

So I moved on without funding. Produced the Plays myself. 

One night, about a year later, I met him in the pub, surrounded by funded Artists and said: ‘You never got back to me.’

‘Who are you again?’

‘I left contact forms on your desk. And e-mails. And voicemails and…’

‘What were you looking for?’

‘Funding.’

‘Oh, of course. Of course. I remember now. Call in to me on Monday.’

‘What time?’

‘Say around 11….or make it 12 just in case. Are you having a drink?’

‘No.’

‘See you Monday so.’

Monday came. He wasn’t there. Rang him and left a voicemail. E-mailed and he didn’t respond. Filled out a contact form and left it on his desk and never heard anything. 

 

Mick.

 

**

Fisherman’s Blues.

Fisherman’s Blues – is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€9.99

 

 

  

Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.

€11.99

Truman Town Founded, First Play, Sunday Morning Coming Down – #26

It was raining in Galway. Imagine that. The light rain of morning welcome, caffeine from the clouds. Monday coming fast. Car in Tonery’s car park since Friday evening. Was on the way back from some party in some house, some couch, some estate somewhere. The plan was to go back to Ballinrobe and it was sketchy after that. I’d need to get the car but I’d have to pay to get it out of the car park. Worse still, there was no petrol in it. Sailed her up on fumes and save the money for drink. Great plan at the time.

Now I had €1.80 and a dead phone and no way home. Walked over the Salmon Weir bridge towards town. Some fella asked me for money and I gave him a euro and kept going. Probably thumb down the Headford Road til something happened. Walk out through Woodquay and hitch from Tirellan. Might get lucky. Someone going straight down. Howya, Micky, late one? All that.

Came around the corner and spotted the Town Hall. Wheels turned, cogs spun. Play in my hard drive, been working on it lately, had it up to scratch. Had sent it somewhere, to someone, been waiting months for word back, word back from who, couldn’t even remember. Dublin maybe, or Belfast, or Cork? Was it London? Didn’t matter because I knew in my heart and soul it wasn’t being read. It was a coffee coaster somewhere, another door jamb, another bitter intern’s early lunch on an unread slushpile. And how are ya passing the time waiting, Micky? Talking to the rain?

Walked up the steps of the Town Hall, pulled back the door. Enquired about putting on a production. Just so happens, man that can help is here today, maybe have a chat, see if there’s some dates.

Got there, he asked: Got any experience? Yeah, worked with some companies, big companies, small companies, courses done, and Masters too. Just cut ties with a fiction agent. Hmmm….there’s a date here. About eight weeks from now. We’ll give ya five nights and a decent split. It goes well, maybe we can do more. What’s the name of the Play?

Sunday Morning Coming Down.

What’s the name of the company?

Thought fast, said: Truman Town. Truman Town Theatre.

Got a cast?

Cast?

Yeah, you need a cast.

Yeah, Cast. No problem. I can find a cast.

Ok. Go find a cast and get back to me.

Back outside, the sky showed mercy. Small mercy, ready to rain again, Needed to find a cast, small cast, six person cast, then maybe a set and try learn some directing. Eight weeks, I’ll have a show on stage. Like that – no more waiting, no more rejection letters, just a date in the future and the will to actualize. Fuck me, I’m going to light to place.

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****

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Fisherman’s Blues, Writing Block, Pissed off Parking Meters….#25

People often say – “…I read Fisherman’s Blues and it goes fuckin’ mad in the middle….”

And it does. Initially it had been built around the telesales scam in England but then I came home and said fuck it and went cracked altogether.

I’d been wanting to explore stuff like modern Irish life, West of Ireland madness, nihilist boom time existentialism. This was going great until about page 70. Then it slowed down. Don’t know why. Wasn’t too sure how to proceed. The voice felt like it was getting whiny and indulgent and who wants to read that?

I was driving an Opel Astra at the time. 1995. Great car. Never let me down. Bought it off a couple from Lithuania in Ballinrobe for €650. They were moving to England. Taxed and NCT’d and twenty euro petrol in the tank. Couldn’t go wrong.

Drove a lot. Thought a lot. Drank in between but still no way forward for the book. Amateurs and shite talkers would call this a Writing Block. Say there’s no point continuing until the block unblocks. They wouldn’t write anything at all.

But I always think it’s important to keep the mind going until the moment comes.

So I wrote short stories, had them published here and there. Won a Poetry competition worth 25 English Pounds and spent it on a round of Jaggerbombs. Big Shtuff.

Also worked on some journalism and taught some writing classes. And drove some more.

The break came one evening about 6pm. I’d been editing all day, working on a Play, getting it up to scratch. The voices echoed in my head. The conversations, the nuances, the inflections. Poetic lyricism of the language. The vast ocean of meaning; roaring in the silence of all the unsaid.

Not too sure how I ended up going the wrong way round the roundabout. One minute I was listening to the radio, cruising along, next thing there was flashing lights, lunatics running out on to the road to flag me down. A foreign lad on a bike, paused in disbelief. It was hard to know whether to keep going or try and turn around. Trucks were grunting somewhere to my right and I was starting to get a premonition of cops. I did the sensible thing and hit the brakes but that didn’t help. The roaring and flashing and beeping just got louder. Then I put it into reverse and there was a big tin bang. Cuntish, probably hit something. Hope it wasn’t that foreign fella’s bike. Checked out the rearview and saw the pissed off face of a parking meter. Not too bad. Hope I made shite of the fuckin thing.

Put her in first again and inched forward, trying to avoid the white Mazda that was after braking six inches from my headlight. Your man inside was looking out the window pure thick, like I was doing this on purpose, or his ignorance was going to help.

I played it cool, gave him the one finger salute off the steering wheel and moved forward. Behind the Mazda was a queue of incredulous cars parked in a zig zag dramatic fashion. Worse still, it was raining and it was dark. People were rolling down their windows and shouting things like: ‘You’re going the wrong way!’ And: ‘This is a fuckin roundabout ya clown!’ Can’t bate Irish people for sound advice in a crisis. It took a few minutes but eventually we all got unjammed and the cops didn’t come and I got home.

And I knew how to continue Fisherman’s Blues

Mick.

Fisherman’s Blues.

Fisherman’s Blues – is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€9.99

Buy Fisherman’s Blues directly from Amazon here.

Bouncing Cheques and Crimewatch Outside, Photoshopped Pyramid Scheme. Fisherman’s Blues Research. #24 –

The blinds were closed, the doors were locked, and Crimewatch were outside. They were investigating reports of a bogus time share company in the south of England. Sharon said it was all hype, orchestrated by a few disgruntled customers, and it would all blow over. It usually does.

Meanwhile, the plan was to keep selling, keep doing your job, don’t be distracted. They got the phonebook out and “…organised new leads….”, further away, where the news hadn’t reached. By now, most of the other reps had been fired or left. They couldn’t handle the pressure, weren’t happy with the media attention, or the increasingly aggressive groups hovering at the front door.

The crux of the customer problem appeared to be money. More specifically, a deposit paid for an apartment in Spain. I read this some time later when the story eventually broke.

The people we’d been calling had been awarded a free night in a hotel down the road. Once they accepted, they were given dinner, some wine and a complementary plastic watch. A condition of accepting the overnight stay was they attend a seminar on some investment opportunities. Once there, they were presented with a dream story on Foreign Property. New developments. Get in early. Mutual funds. Pooled resources. All they had to do was commit £4,000 today and wait for it to quadruple in six months time. They were also given exclusive access to the apartments – pending availability.

However, it turned out the apartments weren’t available. A problem exacerbated by the fact that they didn’t exist at all. The whole thing was pure fabrication – A photoshopped pyramid scheme. £4000 for a short night in a cheap hotel and a free plastic watch. How are ya fixed?

Worse still, the cheques started bouncing. Which meant we weren’t getting paid. Sharon said they were having accounting problems with the bank and it would all be resolved soon.

Time to hit the road here, Micky. I was about to hand in my notice when Frank arrived. The man above it all. He was from Northern Ireland. The others spoke of his reputation in morbid tones. Had I looked him up on Google? Did I not know this was how it worked? It was simple. Set up a company under Limited Liability, run it to the ground and claim bankruptcy. Then set up again the following year under a new name. New entity. Everybody wins except them that got burnt outside.

I met him in the back office. He wanted to talk to me because I was Irish and had been selling well, and he heard I was leaving. He was sitting behind a desk scattered with paper punches and biros. Black hair, paunch. White vest. What did I make of England? Where was I from in Ireland? All a joke isn’t it? Am I getting paid alright?

I told him my last cheque bounced, anything he can do there?

He said he can of course, and how much was it. I told him the figure and he took out his wallet and counted out some cash and handed it over. He asked if that was alright. I told him almost, he was three pound short but it be grand. No, he said, not at all. And he reached into his pocket and took out three pound coins and handed them to me. Will that do, he asked? Twill, I said. What about the rest of them outside, waiting to get paid?

Fuck them, he said. We Irish look after each other. Let me know if you’re looking for work again any time.

Mick.

Fisherman’s Blues.

Fisherman’s Blues – is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€9.99

Buy Fisherman’s Blues directly from Amazon here.

Fisherman’s Blues material, Foreign Property Scams, big lads with tattoos goin throwing shlaps #23 –

 

Jamie and Amanda announced they were having a baby. Everyone clapped, oohed and ahhed over the scan, and then they were brought into the office and fired. Not hitting the target. No job, folks. Been coming for a while. Pressure from headquarters. Pack up and get the fuck out.

They came back from the office and she was crying and he was trying to comfort her and then they left and everyone got back to making phone calls.

We were given a sheet with a list of leads, but it was fairly obvious they were photocopied from the phonebook. The job was to call to numbers and make appointments. Four appointments a day was the target. Evening shift – 4-8pm. I was hitting ten a night, so no worries there. Making good dusht. Polite English people loving the Irish accent. The others struggled, asked me for advice, listened to my pitch.

Chris spent most evenings up top calling back the clients and confirming their appointments – today’s version of a Quality Check. The essential thing was to book them in for a free night at a hotel down the road. Tell them they won a prize, selected from a pool of lucky winners, filled out a questionnaire at the local Supermarket and here we are now returning the favour.

Most of the customers were delighted. Can’t believe this, just got married, now a free night at a hotel? Wow, just gets better and better. The ideal clientele, according to Chris, were the retired. They had money, no mortgage, looking for an investment, a night away, lonely at home, some trust left in the way the world used to be. You call them up, said Chris, and if the husband answers you tell them the wife filled out the questionnaire, and if the wife answers you tell them it was the husband. Sometimes the wife or husband had died years before, but other than that it worked out ok.

Above Chris, was Sharon. Super bitch altogether. Did all the firing and loved it. Well in with the big knobs. Pants suit and predilection for chocolate at her desk. Take too long advising the new lad beside you and she’s shouting down, wondering what’s the story. Calls recorded, see. Time spent on presentations, numbers of calls made. Leads used, divided by sales should = x amount of conversions.

Conversions were calls made that resulted in booking an appointment (free night at hotel) and approved by quality check after.

As far as I could tell, they were selling something else down at the hotel when the guests arrived. Some other crew down there pushing new properties abroad or something. Not much more information divulged for now. Take your cheque, make your commission, don’t ask questions.

Soon people starting turning up outside. Randomers peeking through the window, hands cupped and squinting to see what was going on. Sharon had to lock the door and only allow people in or out that worked there. When asked about the gathering crowd she’d shrug and reply the were unhappy customers. After a while an odd journalist started to arrive, asking us questions as we came in. And one or two big lads with tattoos were looking for managers to go throwing slaps. Not the best atmosphere really. Wasn’t long before there was cops asking questions and Chris and Sharon would spend most of the evening answering questions or making statements. Mostly they’d defer to the headquarters, and a man called Frank.

Have you met Frank? Asked Charlene.

No, I don’t think so.

Oh, you’d know if you had, she said. You’d certainly know if you had. You’re a writer, aren’t you? She asked.

I am, I said.

Good, she said. You’ll get a book out of this place for sure.

Mick.

Fisherman’s Blues.

Fisherman’s Blues – is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€9.99

Buy Fisherman’s Blues directly from Amazon here.