Really, Mondays should mean nothing to me. I have not had a job since 2005, and I cannot even get myself an interview for another one. It isn't a lack of education that holds me back. Call me conceited, but I fancy that if you read a few entries on this blog, you will be able to observe that I haven't totally lost the capacity to correctly place the semi-colon. Mind, if you hate split infinitives, you'll probably already want to murder me. Well, Latin ain't English, kiddo. The problem I have with Mondays is that I have nowt to do of a weekend (or a week), yet every Monday marks the recurrence of that day on which I have most evidently nowt to do.
Today it was made doubly empty. I am unemployed, and I have been unemployed for nigh on a year. After that length of time the government gives up on you. So last Tuesday I went to see my advisor, and she rang up G4S, those chaps who screwed up security for the Olympics, to make me an appointment. You get palmed off on the private sector, you see. "Jolly good," they said, "We'll see him on Monday at 10am." She warned me this would take about 2 hours, and let me know that they'd send me a letter confirming this. I ambled homeward.
On Saturday we received a letter. Almost inevitably (even though this is 2012), my dad and I share a surname. Somewhat less inevitably, we share a forename. So a letter sat on the table, awaiting Dad's return. He was out at a school reunion. When he got back, he had a look at the letter, and I had already gone to bed. It said that the appointment was at 2 o'clock on Thursday and would last about an hour. It wasn't the same day, the same time or the same duration, and the original letter had warned me not to absent myself from proceedings or I should forfeit my benefits, so the only safe thing to do was conclude that I had two meetings on two different days, each lasting two distinct periods. So I rang these folk up earlier. Several times. I got no reply, so set off on the eleven-mile (or so) drive to the appointed centre.
Obviously, the appointment for Thursday was the right one. I wish to thank the Chancellor for so wisely selecting an oblique way of allowing the Treasury to partially offset petrol taxes. On arrival, after it had been established I was there on the wrong day at the wrong time, the lady who met me, having inquired how far I had come (which left me feeling somewhat as though I was attending a bare-bones Royal Variety performance), bestowed on me some money, doubtless paid for by you taxpayers (I hereby thank you all), to partially offset my travel costs. What could be better than wasting your money (by government decree) on a Monday?
Some may think my tongue acid. Perhaps they didn't just partly fund a futile trip that could have been forestalled by a smidge of common sense and a short telephone call. I shall let you know how this Thursday thing goes. Let us hope that no alterations to time or date are commanded.