(Written: 12:45~, Wednesday 9th September.)
It was essentially my last proper shift at the chip shop today; I have a lunch with Marco tomorrow, but lunch shifts being an utter doddle and Marco being a boss rather than a co-worker I don’t count it as work work.
And you all know the cliché of retirement irony, that something always comes along to fuck you up, so that your co-worker can say to the goggle-eyed rubberneckers clustered around the splattered grand piano or the meteorite crater or the burnt-out hulk: “Damn shame, it was his last day too.” I know it, too. So when a tramp stole my phone it was devastating, but not particularly a surprise.
The big guy, the one with the earrings and the orange and in the filthy green camouflage gear and the occasional dog and the Foul Ole Ron-level smell, who buys saveloys drowned in vinegar, took it from the counter while I was turned away grabbing a pickled egg for him. My lovely, running-sweet, perfect XDA that I got from Tsi for £50, with my not-so-lovely-but-serviceable Orange sim card and my Oyster card slotted in the same wallet and my big, un-backed-up contacts list. And the worthless, stinking cunt took it from under my nose. I should have been suspicious when he didn’t try and haggle like he always does. A minute later, I felt the urge to text Tom, and couldn’t find it. I went to the chip shop phone, dialled my number, heard it ring in the handset but not in the shop. I called the police and told them. They took details, called me back later, took the same details again and said that because he’d taken it from over the counter, it was a non-domestic burglary rather than a theft, whatever difference that makes to me. I called Oliver and told him that it’d been stolen and to tell the family not to bother trying to contact me. I told Luke and Csaba, and they commiserated and suggested the things I’d just done.
I made myself my long-planned Leaving Burger, of beef and chicken and bacon and scampi and onion rings, and ate it morosely, and shook hands with Luke and said goodbye for probably the last time, and remembered that in my phone among the unfinished writings and loopy text exchanges were a scatter of passwords and bank details, as well as my name and address and email and national insurance number and a few other rather important things.
I called home, asked Nick to cover me for an hour; Mum didn’t particularly want him to on a school night, but Dad interceded on my behalf. As soon as he arrived I sprinted back home and got online. I had the phone and sim card cut off, ordered a new SIM card and asked Oliver to look around for a new machine for me to buy (having a bro who’s top dog around xda-developers.com has, let’s be honest, its uses.) I changed the scatter of passwords and swapped around a few email addresses. I sent off a message on Facebook to a few people I’d texted earlier in the day, warning them I’d be out of touch. I went back to work, saw Nick bored behind the counter of an empty shop. I gave him my thanks, put a tenner in his palm, and sent him home.
And oh, the rest of the shift ran slowly. There was a drunk girl who wouldn’t stop talking about Edinburgh and of occasional customers right to the end, but some good food at the end to drag home. Csaba’s wife showed up at the very end, and till was just a shade over.
I said goodbye to Csaba, wished him well in his 3d course and everything he did, and ran downhill through the night all the way home.
And now, of course, with characteristically brilliant timing, the worthless piece of shit Orange Livebox goes down again, in the kind of bemused I-think-I’m-still-connected way that usually indicates it’s going to be fubar for a month.
A panda car pulled up opposite the shop around half twelve and a policeman got out and came in.
“Hey. Are you Jeremy?”
“I’m Jeremy too.”
“Hello, Jeremy. What can I do for you?”
“Is this your phone?”
The dumb, stinking fucker had just walked straight up to a cop and said “I found this how do I use it lol”, and, the cop having been alerted, was answered in the classic fashion “You’re nicked, sonny.” And I had my XDA back. Wiped, because the battery was down flat, but the documents I have backed up, most of my contacts are still on the sim (need to get Toni’s new one and Hovercraft’s back on there). He appears to have chucked the leather case with my Oyster card in it, both of which need replacing, but that’s not so much of a cost. Called Orange and got the block on phone and sim lifted, and was told I can post back their replacement sim and get my money back.
Jeremy the cop and his colleagues had apparently been trying to get something to pin on this particular crook for some time, so he was quite happy when I opted to press charges. The beggar bastard was already in the cells, the CCTV footage couldn’t any clearer indicate his guilt, I aided in the lengthy paperwork and signed half a dozen places and he shook my hand and walked out into the sun.
And the mercurial bastard Livebox is working again. Easy go, easy come.