Monday, 4 June 2007

Black eyed Neil

Neil is a very odd character. Mostly around pay day he goes missing for a day, often not phoning in sick. Then when he does come in he has some kind of injury, or black eye. The one time he came in with two black eyes and bruising across the bridge of his nose, so he looked like a panda.
He was okay with it on that occasion and told us all he’d been hit by a cricket ball, while playing cricket. We weren’t sure whether to believe him. People had lots of other ideas, the funniest was that he’d been watching Fight Club, and started his own one up. Lately though, it’s become a common occurrence and this week when he came in with a black eye he just told us, after a while, that he’d been beaten up. Other times he has been missing for weeks at a time. On other occasions he has gone to the pub on his own at dinnertime and forgot to come back to work. Obviously the boss has had words with him. The company has even paid for him to have therapy for his drink problem.
There are two theories. Firstly is because it’s pay day, and he does have a problem with his drink, he’s just going out and getting so drunk that he’s collapsed in the street and possibly beaten up. The second theory is that he’s in debt to someone who he shouldn’t be. We’re not talking about the Halifax, I can’t imagine Howard from the Halifax adverts coming round every pay day and kicking the shit out of him if he’s not paid enough to cover his loan. He must be in debt to some loan-shark who, either goes round to see whenever pay day comes round (at his mom’s house), or he must go and meet him somewhere. I’m assuming he must up the payments every time, or he’s not paid enough wages to cover it. I can’t believe he doesn’t get the police involved. I suppose the company have a limit on how much they can interfere with his life.
It’s a serious matter, and some of my colleagues do worry every time pay day comes, if Neil will turn up for work the next day, or what condition he will be in if he does turn up. It is a matter of some amusement for the rest though. They always want to know exactly who has hit him and why, and even make up their own scenarios. The latest one of these is that his mom hits him if he doesn’t give him enough housekeeping money.

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