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I got my money


October 2009, Cork City Ireland —

Stiffed a few quid — an industry standard...

I got my money today from Paul, my former employer at the bakery in Blackpool.

After I called in sick on Wednesday, He'd been texting me every day not to come in. That was conspicuous, expecially at the weekend. But I didn't want to go in. There were too many... I don't know what... uncertainties, and some treatment that had become explicitly troubling, a bit of the knife behind the back of a man with a friendly face.

Anyhow, I got my money today.

On Saturday, Paul had arranged for me to meet him "to talk" at 3. I was there, he was not, and I left. Well, I tried to call him first — but I was getting ready to leave when I did that.

It's a long walk out there, to northern metropolitan Cork City. It takes me an hour. And, really, I did not expect him to be there when I arrived. He had from the beginning been presumptuous about my time, and it was a huge part of the problem that I had when I was working there.

So I walked back to my apartment on Ballyhooly Road. But on the way there, I decided to go downtown (city centre) and see if I could talk to the woman who'd given my number to Paul. It was devious, yes, in one way. But I felt I had to do something immediately, and not something that Paul would expect, like me gettin pissed off about it and spoutin' off something stupid. He never did call me back, by the way, nor text any response to my voicemail — until this.

I asked for Sheila, but the girl there said Sheila's in Dublin. She asked me if I wanted Sheila's number but I didn't. I explained that I wanted to talk with one of the bakers, and that I was worried that I wasn't going to get paid. What's he like, would he do that, etc. ...

I know. Devious. I didn't feel too great about the whole interaction, but the young lady was entirely friendly. Indeed, she rang me about a half-hour later. She said something like she'd talked with Sheila, Sheila had contacted Paul, and that Paul was at his bakery at that time. She even told me that Paul told her that I was to meet him there at 3.... I told her I'd been there, it wasn't necessary to explain to her... she was only trying to help. I thanked her for calling me. Really appreciate that. Thanks. Then a couple of minutes later Paul calls me.

He's sort of perplexed. Incredulous, a little bit. He tells me that he's at the bakery at that time. I told him — you know, in a friendly way — that that's just information to me now, because I'm back down in the city centre. "I know," he says. He'd gotten that call. I told him that I'd like to meet up and get some money.

He said he'd sort me out on Monday. (I don't know what he wanted to "talk to me" about on Saturday if he didn't have any money....)

I told him how many hours I'd worked, and his reaction sounded like he didn't believe me. Maybe it was the strange, rising-pitch-at-the-ends-of-words Cork accent. In the moment of slight emotional turbulence, Paul started to go at me about me going to the English Market stall, and how I don't work for them, etc. The wind was blowing, and traffic and everything and that accent I couldn't really hear him specifically (it's true.) When I said "sorry? ("excuse me" in the local parlance,) he said okay look meet me on Monday.

Today, I apologized to him for embarrassing him like that.

And I got my money.


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