Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…enjoying being unemployed

I’ve had a week off work so far and it’s been brilliant. With the festival on in Edinburgh it’s a bit like just having a holiday and I’m not sure it’s fully sunk in that I don’t ever have to go back to that office. I’ve seen a few people from work over the past week and that adds to the feeling of still being there, especially as I’m still close enough to the loop to empathise with their complaints. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that not being in an office is much better than being in an office.

Monday

Pretty much every day this week started with more of a lie in than a working week, which is quite nice but perhaps not all that exciting. Around midday I met up with Ellie and went to see the Amazing Bubble Guy’s show. He doesn’t lie in his name – it’s amazing and contains many bubbles. I hope when I’m his age I’ll have his same enthusiasm for bubbles still.

After that we went for lunch in the Bedlam Theatre which I’d never been to before and I lost our game of backgammon. She recommended I go see Out Of The Blue, an acapella group who we’d seen doing a song on the Royal Mile. I went to this with Robin and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to find Bad Boys but it doesn’t seem to be online anywhere.

After that I met up with Ellie again and a few other friends in a coffee shop before heading home to do what all unemployed people should do – watch Neighbours and Hollyoaks. Before I started working these were two things I would do every day but then the office routine stopped this. A lot of people used to tell me Hollyoaks was rubbish – it’s amazing how wrong they were at the time but also how much foresight they clearly had.

In the evening I went to see Dave’s band. Although I technically could’ve done that while still working, I probably would’ve used the ‘it’s a bit late on a work night’ line and not gone otherwise. Despite the venue being hot and uncomfortable I’m glad I went and also that I had extra recovery time in the morning.

Conclusion: Mondays not at work are better than those at work.

Tuesday

Tuesday I decided I should take up another favourite of the unemployed: scratchcards. I bought my first of this session of unemployment and I won £5. I can see this being a regular hobby and my biggest source of income.

Fresh from becoming slightly richer I had lunch with Paul, someone I may not have seen for about six months, and then went to a free show in a youth hostel; a touching story by a man talking about losing his wife to cancer.

I went to the Hearts – Elgin game in the evening and because of my new schedule I was able to get to the pub a bit earlier than normal to catch up with Alex.

Conclusion: Tuesdays not at work are better than those at work.

Wednesday

I claimed my £5 winnings. What a day. The woman behind the counter looked shocked when I asked for the money rather than buying more scratchcards with it. Clearly I have something to work on. I ended up spending it on a beer and a hot chocolate – Chocolate Soup’s amazing hot chocolate – which I think is a terrific prize.

My shopping spree didn’t end there. I spent some of my own money on things for my trip abroad. In Mountain Warehouse – where I twice got confused for a shop worker (possible future career?) – I got myself an amazing bag and a brilliant jacket. I don’t normally say things like that, but these items are truly spectacular. The jacket is waterproof but skinny so it folds up into hardly any space at all. The bag has secret compartments all over the place and loads of straps and a waterproof covering and and and…

I then went with Robin to see the only showing of “A Young Man Dressed As A Gorilla Dressed As An Old Man Sits Rocking In A Rocking Chair For Fifty-Six Minutes And Then Leaves 2” which was incredible – the whole crowd seemed to get together to have as much fun as possible which was funnier than a few of the actual shows I’ve seen so far. Afterwards I went to see Alexis Dubus (and saw him naked) and if you remember well he’s cool because he has my name on his website (or he has my name on his website because he’s cool). I also saw the most beautiful woman I’ve seen in a long time handing out flyers on the Royal Mile.

Today was the first time I thought of something I missed about the office: I had to buy my own apples.

Conclusion: Wednesdays not at work are better than those at work.

Thursday

Caught up with Stephen, had lunch in a nice new coffee shop. It’s good that I’m being shown all these nice places now.

Having been buoyed by my recent good luck with free shows it was only right that I went to see a complete stinker: Good Laughternoon at Whistle Binkies. The name was the best bit. There were three comedians in the line up, one was quite good but the other two were terrible. It really was bad. To cheer myself up I bought another scratchcard on the way home – they didn’t have any of the kind I bought last time but I already felt committed so bought another kind. Got home, scratched it, won £2. This may be my new career.

In the evening I met up with some ex-workmates (I enjoy typing that) and we went on a ghost tour with a beautiful and beguiling guide. We then spent the next few hours getting drunk on cheap vodka and poledancing with strangers. Again, I would’ve gone home long before 3am if I had to go to work, so kudos to the couple who stayed out (and started throwing up) so late.

I went home and headed up Arthur’s Seat for perhaps the last time but was disappointed to find my camera had run out of battery power.

Conclusion: Thursdays not at work are better than those at work.

Friday

This is the day when I most appreciated my lie in. People working at nine were both foolish and impressive. I left the flat to escape the new tenants who were going to look around and went back to the coffee shop Stephen showed me for lunch.

I then went to see three quite good free shows – a girl and a guitar who sang some mildly amusings songs, another comedy-music act and then a magician. I made a new friend at one of the shows and he wants to be friends forever, rather than just leave it as a nice conversation with a stranger which I expected it to be. I again saw some ex-colleagues – some by design, some by chance – which goes to show that I wasn’t right about never seeing some people ever again.

Conclusion: Fridays are better not at work than at work.

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6 Responses

  1. Mels says:

    “I made a new friend at one of the shows and he wants to be friends forever, rather than just leave it as a nice conversation with a stranger which I expected it to be”. Hahahaha – how this made me laugh. I’ve had this a lot in hostels recently, including one French woman who told me the past is the future and the future is the past. I’m still contemplating this. Not long until UK departure – whhhooooooooooooo.

  2. Oliver says:

    Hostel buddies are the way forward! I can see them becoming my BFFs over the next year or so. I hope I meet your French friend!

    This man has yet to request my friendship and I’ve done nothing of the sort, I’m not sure if this means he’s forgotten my name or if he’s waiting to be home before getting in touch. He lives in the same city as my parents, which I conveniently forgot to mention when he told me where he was from. What odds that I bump into him before I go?

  3. Mels says:

    The odds are probably uncannily high. When you want something to work it doesnt and when you want to avoid something/something then a sure as the Virgin Mary is a Virgin, you will bump into them. I never did see the French woman again – thanks goodness. She also said Zucchini zucchini zucchini a lot – she picked zucchinis for cash. You are likely to meet her near Hervey Bay. There are also a lot of whales here and I preferred them much more.

    Argh – I sneezed and now can’t see out of my right eye properly. Is this normal?!! Argh. I just moved house yesterday – I now reside in a big, lodge type place and feel a bit like a student.

  4. Dave w says:

    Ha ha ha, you lived the dream! You did pick the best month to be unemployed though.

    Still, this is why I made sure I was at the airport 12 hours after finishing my job. There was a William Hill across from my flat like a bullet with my name on it.

  5. Jemma says:

    “In the evening I met up with some ex-workmates ”

    “so kudos to the couple who stayed out ”

    Is this really all I am to you? 😦

    • Oliver says:

      At the time, calling people ex-workmates and ex-colleagues was my favourite thing. It made me feel so good.

      Also, you didn’t have a blog back then so I had nothing to link your name to so didn’t bother mentioning you. If I’m even speaking about you.

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