‘You’re just jealous because I showed some initiative. Admit it. Some of us have what it takes – don’t I?’
‘Well, it’s easier for a girl to succeed at interview. I bet they saw things your way just looking at your tits and your legs.’
‘Sexist pig,’ she said. She waited because she could hear Craig’s dad talking to him, asking him what job she’d got. He was shouting at Craig telling him that if ‘Dolly Daydream’ could get a job it just showed how useless Craig must be.
When Craig re-joined the conversation, he told her what his dad had said.
‘Oh, I heard, she said, ‘Tell him that I heard him call me Dolly Daydream. I won’t be sending him a birthday card.’
‘Do you think that they’d employ me?’ he asked.
‘I shouldn’t think so, Craig,’ she told him, ‘There was just a note in the window saying that they wanted an assistant. Now they have me that’s probably all they need. It’s only a small shop after all.’
‘When do you start?’ Craig again.
‘What’s the pay like?’
‘Don’t be nosey. Better than minimum wage anyway. Before you ask, I also get sick pay and four weeks holiday after I’ve been there six-months – if they keep me on after that probationary period.’
‘What about the hours?’
‘Well,’ she hesitated, ‘they’re a bit unusual because it’s a shop.’ She paused again, I have to think how it works. Hold on.’
She rummaged round in her bag for the note she’d scribbled earlier with the details.
‘Right,’ she said, ‘thirty-nine hours a week. I’ll be working Monday through Saturday 8:30 to 4:30 with an hour for lunch and Thursday afternoons off. They’ll give me time-and-a-half for any overtime they ask me to do. Satisfied?’
‘Jesus, Mel,’ he groaned, ‘Saturdays? Really? Do you have to?’
‘Wrong attitude, Craig, for someone who wants a job,’ she said, ‘It’s a shop. People want to buy things at weekends. I’m lucky that they don’t open on Sundays – and it might come to that.’
‘When am I going to get time to see you then?’ he pleaded.
‘Craig,’ she said, ‘I’ll be home before five every day normally and I will have Thursday afternoons off – and all-day Sunday.’
‘Yes,’ he argued, ‘but my job behind the bar is almost always evening work. Can’t you get another type of work?’
‘So, which of us do you think should change their job, Craig?’ she asked. ‘My permanent, full-time, thirty-nine hours with holidays and sick pay or yours with whatever hours they say they need you a couple of nights a week? What do you think? Really?’
‘I know what you mean, Mel, but I am trying.’
‘You’re just going to have to try harder then, Craig. I’m going to be meeting a lot of male customers who have loads of money to spend on cameras. You’re going to have to up your game if you don’t want me to see you as a long-term loser.’
‘Christ, Mel,’ he said, ‘Is that a threat? Surely you’re not that shallow? You know that I’d top myself if I lost you.’
‘It’s not a threat, Craig – and I don’t like emotional blackmail,’ she said, ‘but I do want you to get real. We were never going to be able to afford a place together at the rate you’re going.’
‘Can I see you tonight to talk about things?’ he asked.
‘Sorry, Craig. I’ve promised Stacy that I’ll meet her and we’ll have a drink together to celebrate. I’ll see you tomorrow I’ve had my tea.’
‘You mean that you’re putting PC Plod Stacy Jackson before me – your boyfriend? That’s not very nice. Where are you going with PC Plod? Shall I come and join you?’
‘Not tonight, Craig. It’s a girls’ night together. Stacy and I have been mates since even before I met you. Stop sulking and stop calling her PC Plod. It’s not nice of you.’
Craig was clearly unhappy, but Mel wasn’t the kind of person to break arrangements with her friend without good reason and she thought that Craig was becoming a bit of a drama queen.
Today’s image is the last of those from the evening of sunset photography on Crosby Beach, Merseyside. Tomorrow, I’ll start a series of shots that I took this week on a canal walk. When I was packing my gear away on Crosby Beach, I noticed the illuminated cranes at the container port in North Bootle. It was getting quite cold and I needed to walk a kilometre or so southwards, but I felt that the effort was worth it for this image along the beach.
I continued to use my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera and the same Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. The EXIF data were: shutter speed 8 seconds @ f/8 and 70 mm. The ISO was 100.