West Ham, promotion and trains

by DannyUK

Well, the day that I posted the last update I sat down with my manager Sue.

She said that CS, who is currently working in a Team Leader role in the branch, was going to be covering for the manager in our Harlow branch while she was on holiday.

This was common knowledge anyway, and I knew about it a few weeks back when I asked if I could do the relief there. What ISN’T common knowledge is that it could be a more permanent role. I’m not sure what the whole story behind it is, or whose idea it’s been, but obviously CS now has a golden opportunity to show what he can do.

Where does that leave me? It leaves me to step into CS’s shoes and run a team in Romford. That doesn’t particularly worry me – Hell, I’ve been more or less hands-on within the same team since I moved to Romford at the start of June.

I’ve identified the weaknesses, who needs training in what areas, and what we can do to improve. I guess I just have to stop trying to pass the ideas upwards and take them up myself instead.

All being well I should be able to do a Team Leader role successfully for 6 months and then be more than ready for a Branch Manager role. That is if everything goes well. If it all goes tits up then I’ll have no-one to hide behind and no excuses to make.

I went to watch West Ham play Olympiakos yesterday with CS as we’re both West Ham fans. I told him I was extremely jealous of the fact that he has a chance to be Branch Manager before me, especially at a branch which is doing really badly at the moment (very few new loans being written, a high turnover of staff, only 1 member of staff not handed in their notice, and a large number of non-payers), and where realistically CS can do a part-time Account Manager role, which is the position we all started at, alongside his manager duties and pull the branch up single-handedly.

CS realises it’s a bloody good opportunity, and fair play to him seems to be taking it in his stride. He also passed some advice my way for running a team. I very much doubt we’ll work together in the same branch again – CS is as ambitious as I am, and I know that I’ll have him in my sights as someone to match and then try to beat. I can’t wait.

The West Ham game ended 1-1, and it was a pretty crappy game. For some reason, the Hammers started out with two strikers playing on the wings. Zamora was on the left, and despite doing his best, looked completely out of place. Harewood was on the right, and despite scoring a pretty good goal, it seemed he did sod all for the rest of the game.

Ashton did well and shows why he’s in the England team. The guy is pure talent and we’re lucky to have him at Upton Park. I just hope we can keep the balding striker.

CS got the tickets, so we sat with his mate, Mark, who was pissed as a fart by the time we got there. We then met up with 3 other mates of theirs after the game for a few more beers.

As is always the case with me, I ended up sitting there feeling completely out of place as I didn’t know anyone. The only time I felt I could get involved in the conversation was when taking the piss out of CS (which was infrequently as you can’t run a guy down too much in front of his mates), and on the one or two occasions when they weren’t talking about friends, families, and what they were doing that night.

Come to think of it, the only real conversation I had was when they took the piss out of my rapidly receding hairline and the fact I had 4 kids. Not that it worried me too much. Put a pint in my hand and I can sit and not say a word to anyone, simply soak up what’s going on around me, and not feel bad about being so quiet.

Take the piss out of me and I’m happy to join in, take the piss out of myself and then take the piss back.

Actually, thinking back, the conversation got better when we left the pub. The Central has it’s good points, but being half-empty after a pre-season match with a room freshly painted in that peculiar pub colour of shit-cum-tar which they like to plaster on walls, isn’t one of them.

Getting the train back almost caused me to be late home. CS got chatting to some girl on the tube and ended up stalking, sorry, I mean catching the same train as her.

I’ve still no idea if it was his train or not. Whilst not blessed particularly well in the looks department (though by no means ugly, bless him), he has a natural charisma which seems to ooze out of him at times.

If he followed through with what he wanted to achieve with Tube Bird (sounds like a crappy superhero), then that’d be the second pitch he’d played on in 24 hours, with the promise of a third later in the week. Lucky bastard. I hope the local VD clinic’s stocked up.

When we lost CS at Stratford, me and his two mates (whose names were forgotten less than 2 minutes after I was told them – bloody lager) jumped on the same train. I was heading to Chelmsford, they were going to Rayleigh.

The trains leaving Stratford stop at Shenfield, and the line then splits to go two ways – One goes on through Chelmsford up to and past Colchester, the other goes through Rayleigh and on to Southend.

As the train pulled into Shenfield, I was standing minding my own business when the two mates, who had sat down a couple of seats away, turned to me and said “Dan, what stop do you want mate?” I told them Chelmsford and they replied: “You wanna get off here mate – This train goes on to Rayleigh which is where we’re going!”.

My first thoughts were that they were probably right, after all, I was pissed. Then I thought that they may be winding me up. “Are you sure?”. Yes, they replied, dead sure.

I jumped off the train, and I remember thinking that they couldn’t be taking the piss as if it WAS my train, they’d be staying on it and going to the wrong destination for them.

I walked up the platform and spotted a guard. “Excuse us mate, I want to get to Chelmsford?” I asked, in the drunken way that a day of football brings. He pointed to the train I’d just gotten off. “That one mate”, he said. If I could have raised a single eyebrow, I would have done.

“That one?” I asked.

“Yep” came the reply. The doors started to beep, so I thought fuck it and jumped on.

As the train pulled out of the station, I figured I’d better walk down the carriages and find the two mates of CS, as one of us was definitely wrong.

Unfortunately, I’d gone past a whole train carriage as I’d walked the platform, so I had to wait for the next stop so I could get off and reboard the carriage I’d been on. Fortunately, the next stop was Ingatestone, which meant I WAS on the right train. I jumped off and reboarded and made my way down the train.

By the time I got to where I’d been sitting before, I saw CS’s mates standing at the doors.

“I can’t believe we’re going to bloody Chelmsford.” One said.

“Yeah, and we told Dan to get off the train as well, poor bloke!”. They looked pretty pissed off, so I figured it had been a genuine mistake.

“Alright, lads?” I asked. It was weird, but despite going the wrong way on the train, they both looked relieved to see me and admitted that they’d felt guilty when they found out I’d gotten off of the right train.

They also pointed out, rather loudly, that the “rest of the cunts in the carriage” had just laughed when they realised their mistake.

Looking around, they were right, as the carriage still had bloody big smirks. Still, I was fine and on the way to the right stop, so I had a bloody big grin too. The last I saw of CS’s mates were as they made their way up the stairs towards the London-bound platform.

I got a message from CS this morning saying that he’d had a laugh yesterday, and asking me not to mention his penis-related fun to anyone at work. Probably because he’s knobbing (or trying to knob) two of them. I hope none of them read this blog.

Good to see Legless back by the way. Check his blog here http://legless123.livejournal.com/

I was tempted to write up today the reason that I was photographing torn wallpaper on a Saturday morning, but to be honest, the question is far better than the answer.

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