The Day Jobs

I moved to Sweden after a twenty-something newly qualified lawyer in pastel coloured trousers explained the alphabet to me.

It's fair to say that me and day jobs did not mix.

I once got trapped in the window of a Vancouver Gap store whilst trying to update the display. Apparently, I pin clothes to mannequins quietly, and so everyone went home and locked up the shop not realising I was still there. I was rescued after pathetically miming my predicament to several passersby before someone realised the problem. They actually called the police, which seemed a tad dramatic but I was free, which was the main thing.

I showed up, slightly drunk (it was my sister's birthday and I'd arranged a bucks fizz breakfast... then drunk most of the bucks fizz) to an office temp gig in the City of London, to discover that I'd been fired the day before and nobody had told me. I assumed the other PAs were looking at me funny because, well, I was pished, and escaped to the kitchen for a strong cup of tea. There, my mobile rang. It was the agency asking what the hell I was doing there.

If you've never tried to tiptoe back through a very formal office pretending to be invisible to gather your things and make for the door, except that you're still sloshed so naturally bash into every desk you pass... well, you haven't lived.

My career as a casting assistant came to a crashing halt when I told an actor he looked like a Dick. In my defence, it was the name of the character he was auditioning for, but he was so thrown by what he took as a random insult that he forgot his prepared speech and complained to his agent.

To be fair, it hadn't exactly been glittering since I accidentally gave out the wrong room number to a casting session. The director sat all on his ownsome wondering why no one was showing up to audition, while several actors attended what they thought was a very realistic, immersive improvisation workshop. It was an AA meeting.

My lasting legacy as a daycare teacher is a group of now nine-year-old Swedes who, when commanded to stop, yell back hammer time.

I gave up being a kayak tour guide when I found tourists who only mentioned they couldn't swim only once they had toppled out of their kayaks and were now helplessly floating away, unbearably annoying. The first yoga class I taught came to a crashing end when I demonstrated a downwards dog, my top flew over my head and I, well, I couldn't get out of it. I've never been so frightened in my life.

So it's really for everyone's good that this publishing thing works out.

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