‘Right everyone wrap it up , lets get down the bar, don’t make me pull the plug’. This was unusual for a Friday afternoon. We’d normally arrange an after-work drink then eventually vacate the office at 7:30pm at the earliest if and only if a client’s website had not failed which they inevitably would once the D word was ushered. It was 17:15, the work day was not even over and we were being told to finish up in the same fashion we get told to complete our work , this was a trap, this was definitely a trap!
The coast was clear ( no sites had failed since the invitation to drink was made public ) so every man vacated the premises to reconvene down the local bar. Alcohol had prevailed over technology….but at what cost?*
I sipped my lime soda and joined in where I could with the table conversation which was dominated by one of the managers and the Big boss while everyone else , the I.T staff, laughed at their jokes and made the occasional contribution. We weren’t a captive audience , the majority are just shy.
The manager in question is South African with a very direct manner. Want some insensitive truthes dished out, no problem! During this works drink he told us how he’d once stopped an employment test when he’d observed the first three questions answered incorrectly. To this bold African it was pointless for the enthusiast candidate to continue so he let him know during the test. Apparently the guy’s face was a picture. I’ll bet!
The group split after the first drink. Some went onto seek out food while I walked into the city center with my Polish work colleague a recent starter who has rapidly settled into the office environment. We went for another drink at a bar on the city’s harbourside. Our chosen waterhole a bohemian place with outside seating perfect for people watching, live music and local beers served in glass handled pint glasses which somehow makes everything all right…
Armed with another lime soda I sat with my companion while he gave me some insight into his homeland. A mixture of pride of his motherland and loathing of its corruption. Accompanying his local ale were his hand rolled cigarettes which became more enticing as I became increasingly convinced a beer and a rollie would be the perfect way to end the day.
Its nearly 6 months since my last cigarette and alcoholic drink and am finding nicotine still has a hold on me, not a particularly strong hold but a hold nonetheless. Hopefully I can always remember how I felt as a smoker toward the unfiltered end of my addiction, how sore and sluggish I’d got. That way I won’t find myself devolving into someone I was unhappy to be for so many years.
I don’t get that burning shoulder pain any more, or that awful dry coarse feeling when I breathe , the coughs that hurt my ribs and gave me a sore head Oh! the sore head that was pretty much constant. For goodness sake why would you pay for all that!! Lack of energy, lack of exercise, lack of get up and go and lack of pride. Smoking was far worse for me that I would let on and looking back I now regret kicking myself all too often rather than taking it on the chin thereby admitting I had a problem and addressing it. Nay mind at least it was Friday.