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.’