Series 3 : Chapter 1

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January 9, 2015 by helenwaldron

An unwelcome musical interlude
It was more cramped than usual in the tiny room they called their office and the reasons for this were (firstly) that work continued to be quiet and (consequently) that there were three of them in almost permanent residence. There was Speakeasy back from his holiday in Andalusia and cheerful as ever, there was Writewell, who was seriously regretting not having had a holiday this year, and Harald Sakony, who didn’t have a job at the moment and had taken to hanging out with them in their office to make him feel like he was doing something.

Writewell wished Harald would hang out somewhere else. Every day he turned up seemed to make him more of a fixture. Writewell had taught legal English and was afraid that there really might be some law of common practice, which could strengthen his right to be there the more often he came.

Sakony was a would-be musician with the same artist’s mentality that many English language teachers possessed, but, it was becoming increasingly obvious, with none of Speakeasy and Writewell ‘s business skills.

“Get him out of here,” hissed Writewell at Speakeasy behind the large cupboard they called their filing cabinet. “You brought him here. He’s your pal.”

“Oh, I don’t think it’s me he’s interested in,” smiled Speakeasy. “I think he’s in need of a little female attention.”

Sakony had certainly made himself at home. He was sprawled in their best chair, with his feet up on the large wooden table they called their desk, strumming his guitar. He was attempting an incredibly tuneless, but soulful, version of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.”

“Shouldn’t you be teaching your designer now, anyway?” asked Speakeasy.
“Yes, it’s funny,” replied Writewell. “His driver just cancelled it in my Outlook calendar. For the second week running. And they haven’t paid my bill yet.”

She sounded worried.

“Happlon Group hasn’t paid yet either. You were right about getting in the bills on time, but it hasn’t helped.”

“And Cosmecremes are taking their usual time with their bills. They’ll pay, but they always take up to six months for the paperwork to be cleared in the various departments.”

They both taught at Cosmecremes, which was one of their most important clients. It was a large, penny pinching bureaucratic organization, which didn’t pay particularly well and expected Speakeasy and Writewell to know of every frequent internal process change. You could never be sure whether payment took so long there because of the complex workflow processes in place, or whether the company was calculating down to the last nano-cent the savings they could make through late payments to their suppliers.

“I’m sure we’ll be alright,” said Speakeasy. “Tell you what, though. We could pay Happlon a visit. I need to say goodbye to Henning and it might be a good way to drum up new business by showing our faces there.”

Sakony had finished “Wonderful Tonight” and, after a moment’s silence, with no reaction from either Speakeasy or Writewell, he upped the volume several decibels and launched into a version of Elbow’s “One Day Like This.” He managed to be both shrill and raucous at once, which showed he did have a style of his own.

“Can’t we go now?” asked Writewell.

“Right you are,” answered Speakeasy.


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Helen Waldron

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Teachers as Workers

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