Ed Hunter: One of Those Days, a Tail of Woe

Welcome back friend. I’m going to take the rather floaty assumption that if you’re reading this it’s too late. You’re already a Recruiter.

And as a Recruiter, you’ll know just as well as I do, sometimes things go well. Really well.

Everything you touch turns to gold. You don’t change any of your methods. You do nothing differently whatsoever. In fact, if anything, it feels like you put less effort in. But you make more placements, more money and please virtually everyone you talk to.

You’re heralded in the office as having the Midas touch and piss deals.

Today was NOT one of those days.

06:30 – I wake up to my alarm and I’ve got 23 emails in my inbox.

Two stick out instantly.

The two candidates who accepted offers yesterday have stopped by to ruin my day before it’s begun. They’ve both thought about it and “it’s just not for them.”

It’s not even half six and my day’s ruined. I went to sleep on target with £45k billed for the month. I’ve woken up behind target wondering how I’m going to afford all the things I’ve just bought off the back of the offers being verbally accepted. Still, at least their reasoning’s easy to appease and makes perfect sense… after their 5th and 7th interviews respectively.

06:35 – After a brief period contemplating changing my job title on LinkedIn to Fire Fighter, I throw my duvet up in a huff and it’s off to the shower.

Except it’s not.

I stand on a glass in the middle of the floor. It shatters and a two inch shard enters my foot, right in the centre. It hurts. A lot. I hit the deck, naked and start a series of expletives that get louder and more fanciful as I move towards the crescendo. I really do have an eclectic range of swear words up my sleeve but there’s so much feeling in the word TW*T. It’s nice not to forget the classics.

My anger’s now targeted at both the floor for some reason and the two short-sighted morons on email. As I push my nose into the former forcefully, still naked, and start to punch it, my flat mate walks past. He pops his head round the door.

He seems sincere but he’s smiling…

“Had another deal fall through?” he smirks.

06:45 – I make the shower, only because of the seeping blood, I’m sat down. Unable to reach the temperature dial, my right foot’s out the bath and I’m doing a less than half-arsed job of washing myself in tepid water.

07:29 – I grab a seat on the tube but then notice a lady walk on behind me, so stand up and ask her if she’d like to sit down.

“I’M NOT PREGNANT!”She shouts, which pretty much floors me.

Everyone looks over. Every woman incorrectly assumes I’ve asked ’cause I think she’s overweight. Every man feels my pain. I dive off at the next station to change carriages but keep my head down, thinking everyone in this carriage knows what a pr*ck I’ve been next door.

07:59 – I get to the office after a quick diversion to the local coffee stand. He gets my daily business because he doesn’t ask for my name just to humorously misspell it and offers the choice of just four coffees. This diminishes my need to eye-roll in Starbucks waiting for the pumpkin spice extra skinny latte to be made for someone inexplicably called Wigbert Rafferty III. Which they spell correctly, just to further piss you off.

08:03 – Gill from Accounts notices me 4 paces behind her in the reflection of the glass on the front door. I know she’s noticed me, she knows I’ve noticed. Does she hold the door? Does she b**locks.

Luckily I’ve anticipated this because I’ve met Gill and she’s the kind of person who makes children cry just by looking at them. I transfer my umbrella to my left hand and catch the door. 1-0 Ed.

Except, in the process I knock the latte out my hand which dutifully spills onto the floor.

Gill’s seen and lets out a knowing smirk as the lift doors close. I momentarily ponder a cable fault that sends the vessel hurtling to the basement, killing everyone in it, in a huge ball of flames. In this case, that’s just her. Although, as it’s a daydream, I include my housemate, the two candidates and the outspoken chubster from the tube.

08: 30 – The morning sales meeting’s a delight. There’s smiles all round as everyone pledges a deal with a smile on their smug little faces. So… because I’m senior in the business and lead by example I lie and pledge two.

Trying to turn this morning’s email naysayers into happy starters will at least give me something to do when I’m back from the meeting first thing.

“Good news Ed, look forward to those” says the boss “by the way, you know you’ve got blood on your shirt?”

09:00 – I’m making myself a tea as Gill weirdly wishes me a good morning. She lingers, seeing me head to the fridge and waits until the door’s open.

“Ohhh, I think I used the last of the milk. Sozzz”

I’d be willing to bet she poured it down the sink after latte-gate knowing I’d be in to make myself one.

09:15 – I step outside for the meeting and hobble down the road with the pain now searing through my entire foot.

I’m half way there and the heavens open. It’s rain of Jumanji proportions and I’m half expecting a crocodile to float past. A large part of me wishes it would, just to put me out my misery.

Have I got my stupidly over-sized branded umbrella I brought in especially? Course I haven’t.

09: 36 – Naturally, I’m late. I get into the reception and shake off like a wet dog. Luckily I know the client’s on the 5th floor so they won’t…

oh Hi Geoff!” 

“Hi Ed, get caught in the rain?”

“Well Geoff, you’re utterly wasted here in HR aren’t you. You should be working for Special Branch mate. And with insights like that you’d probably make the top quicker than you could say ‘you’re not on our PSL'” I think, aggressively.

“HA! yeahhhh I did” I pathetically offer, imagining him in the falling lift.

10:09 – Luckily despite being a sarcastic tw*t Geoff’s actually a decent bloke and doesn’t mind the now see through shirt with spots of pink. After I tell him about my morning, he chuckles. He knows Gill too.

10:25 – The reason for his meeting request, I now find out, is to make my life just that extra bit worse. They’re changing how they work after the recent takeover and…

“You’re not on the PSL.”

I’ve placed 8 people into this business in the last year. But the new boss has come in and doesn’t want to pay Recruiters.

Geoff thanks me and wishes me a good day. I can’t tell whether that’s sarcasm or not but at this stage I don’t really care. I walk out into the rain welcoming the guaranteed drenching to come.

12:00 – Lunch.

I picked up a soup en route home from the meeting but notice Gill camped out in the kitchen so decide to head to the pub.

I email my new Resourcer Phil to say he’s booked in for off-site training. And it’s his round.

12:45 – Despite the recent email from the boss about people taking too long at lunch I’ve ordered a Pizza and am half way through my third pint. I’m not trying to get drunk per se, I just don’t mind it being a happy coincidence from all the beer I’m definitely going to drink before I go back.

13:15 – No sign of the pizza.

I ask at the bar if there’s any sign and the guy looks at me like I’ve just asked to borrow his wife. I’ve got to set up a phone interview at 13:45 so tell him to forget it, gulp my fifth pint down and hot foot it back.

I’m now pretty pissed. Starving. And have two messages from both candidates who’ve somehow managed to time their calls for me being out the office. I quickly return the calls but unsurprisingly hear voicemails on both. The overdubbed ‘We Are The Champions’ on the first candidate’s now feels like a personal assault and the second candidate’s overly chirpy recorded message just compounds it.

14:45 – The boss swings past the desk and notices the visibly impaired ‘dream team’ doing nothing of value.

“Look, I know you were in the pub at lunch. And it sounds like that telephone interview went as bad as it could have done. But you’ve also got those two deals in so I’ll let you off. Just pick up the phone for me and pretend you’re busy for the office’s benefit.”

I grimace. He notices.

His expression turns from ‘forced acceptance’ to ‘riled’ but luckily just walks off. I’ll savour that b*llocking for later.

16:30 – Jenny asks whether I’ve got time for a quick chat in the boardroom. Jenny’s been with us for 5 months and I’ve got high hopes for her.

She’s bright, astute and fought tooth and nail for a split fee last month for basically printing off a CV. She’ll go far.

“I’ve decided to hand in my notice Ed.” Before I have a chance to go on the offensive and blow smoke up her arse she tells me she’s going back to Uni to do a PhD.

“It’s been great, but it’s really not what I want.”

“It’s not what I want either you selfish idiot but I’ve confined myself to a lifetime of misery, so you should too!” I imagine myself saying.

This will provide a lovely top layer for the shit sandwich later with the boss. Only I’m sure I’ve got the process wrong? Isn’t the shit supposed to be in the middle of two good things? Also, with the PSL info and the deals falling out, there’s technically three shits. Maybe four?

Hmmm… make it a club and stick it on the slate. It’s the only thing I’ll be eating today by the looks of it.

18:00 – By all accounts the boss has given me a pasting. It’s not the fact the deals aren’t there. It’s the way I responded to it and I’m banged to rights. Due to a mixture of ‘can it get any worse’ and the banging headache I’ve now got, my mind’s elsewhere.

The foot’s gone numb but I can’t bring myself to take my shoe off. It’s still squelching. That can’t be good.

We finish on good terms after I tell him about the contact my Resourcer added to the database called Willie Nelson. Another one for the famous names list.

18:15 – I’ve been trying to think of something that will cheer me up since 9am. The only thing I’ve thought of is entering the room I was banned from earlier in the year and exacting retribution on Gill.

After a quick Google search for ‘How do you weaken lift cables?’ brings up nothing I print screen her desktop and save it as her background and sign her up to about 13 newsletters online. My favourite being a weekly instalment about dealing with senile loved ones.

She’ll know this was me. She’ll blame me too, as soon as IT Support have finished laughing at her. I’ll just politely point out the fact I’m banned from Accounts so…

“How could it be Your Honour?”

19:30 – I make it home safely without being arrested for ABH and smile at the fact I’ve got a day off tomorrow. Yes… I’m now at the low point of relishing a day surrounded by illness and death in a hospital waiting room as a welcome change to a day’s recruiting.

It’s not the despair. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.

21:00 – I crack open an 18 year old bottle of anaesthetic and settle in.

Recruitment huh?!