Back Under Lock and Key

Welcome back folks, and yes, as the title suggests, my part of the world is back under lockdown. If you’re in the same boat as many of us now, and you want some mindless escapism to pass the time, hit the link above. If you have a Kindle, even getting a sample read from the Lenders Library helps me (and looks pretty on my largely empty sales/reads graphs lol). And if – by some miracle – you do enjoy my shameless journey into this narcissistic, vanity-publishing shaped abyss, be sure to drop a quick star rating or review on Amazon or Goodreads (Kindle ignores anything under 50 ratings by and large) so if you have a spare five minutes that will be your Good Deed for the Day, and you can go about your life with a buoyant, positive outlook on life, smug in the knowledge that your small act of kindness means the world to lil’ old me, and cost you less than the Three Pounds a Month that the charity adverts always ask for!

On that note, I know a couple of followers of the blog have downloaded the book. Words aren’t enough to express my gratitude for that, so Thank You is the best my vocabulary has to offer. Rest assured that when we reach the required level of technology, I will happily have a womb transplant and bear all of your babies. And I’ll even buy the pizza after the night of conception ;)!

But back to sanity, well a passable impression of it. So, we’re back under lockdown and a Second Wave. Sounds like a surfing term to me, or an irate friend who is determined to get your attention. Anyway, we’re in the throes. Sort of. I mean, we’re not under lockdown really, are we? It’s hardly martial law is it? So we have to wear masks indoors, not meet in groups of more than six, or with people outside our households, and we are all swimming in sanitizer.

For agoraphobics, clean-freaks, loners, halitoses sufferers and us in the ‘very ugly’ category of citizen this is a bloody godsend!

It’s true that masks are not the most comfortable piece of new attire, but it’s a small price to pay to keep a semblance of normality still clinging on there. And its not like the cumbersome nightmare PPE that medical people are struggling with. I don’t envy those folks. I have just had 38 hours of mandatory mask-wearing in work, and I’ve come to a new realisation.

I get it when women take a massive sigh after taking their bras off after a long day. This mask business is the closest I’ll get to understanding that particular brand of relief!

So the pubs are very weird now, nothing like any of us pub haunters would recognise. For the most part at least. My current workplace still resembles a pub at least. But it still contains all this sort of thing.

But even this has changed in the last week. Service at the bar is now outlawed, bookings and table service and App Ordering are all quickly becoming standard, masks are compulsory to enter the premises, and the whole place is cleaner than pubs have ever been.

And you know what? I prefer it.

In many ways. The level of control us pub managers now have on the business is a thing of beauty. Obviously you always get arseholes, but that’s an occupational hazard in the hospitality game. Luckily, my new gaff is generally sensible, and said arseholery is the exception rather than the rule.

Not that this was true at the beginning of the post-apocalypse reopening, when Fairweather Friends flooded to fleece us for the 50% Eat Out to Help Out. What a bunch of self-entitled, prima donna cunts many of them were! Some of the comments and complaints these bell-ends made would have made even the mildest mannered of you reach for the Swear Box. Seriously, it would have been comical if we in the pub trade hadn’t all been run into the fucking ground with the workload.

Extra demand, lower staff numbers, alien new work environment, new restrictions to implement – and a 50% OFF ALL FOOD OFFER on top of that? Say it with me – what the fucking fuck!!!

Thankfully, we are now in Drink Up and Fuck Off territory, as the memes will attest to.

Long story short, if I ever meet Rishi Sunak in the street I’m going to kick him right in the bollocks, steal his red Budget briefcase and lob it into the Thames to float with all the other turds. Or maybe I’ll just glower at him crossly and embellish my rage on social media, like all the other keyboard warriors who post complaints on TwatAdvisor like the world owes them something.

But as soon as that all nonsense passed it became actually rather pleasant. No long queues at the bar, no five deep lines of pissheads waving fivers at you. Just a steady stream of punters largely just pleased to get a pint, and a regular soundtrack of the till printer processing App Orders. Now, after the latest restrictions, there’s no-one allowed at the bar AT ALL!

Yeah, I could definitely get used to things staying this way around.

Of course the early finishes will decimate the late-night trade, and traditional pubs like mine will feel the pinch too. But right now I’m making the most of it. I’m getting paid, getting home at a reasonable hour, and controlling entry to my site like the baddest of doorman! It’s far from the worst environment I’ve ever worked in.

And then I get my top up royalty cheques from book sales. At the mo I’ve averaged £5 a month. That’s enough for a whole pint! It’s just a shame that my boozer of choice has just closed due to the Second Wave. Typical.

Ah well, no excuse to not start work on the sequel then. And with a home brew to boot. Cheers!

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