The Phlebotomist’s Rollercoaster


Here’s the story of hate, happiness, and hair.

I think it’s abundantly clear that one’s hair is too long after one bends over to eat one’s cereal and, on the way back up, one’s hair is left wet and smelling suspiciously of milk. How do women cope? I mean, there are many things a woman goes through that men simply can’t relate to, but the difficulties of having ridiculously long hair? Yes, I can sympathise. I still ate my cereal. It’ll take more than a few strands of floating hair to put me off my Weetabix. You want to know how long it had got? Imagine a line across your back where your shoulders are. About four inches below that. Of course, mother duly obliged when I asked her to cut my hair for me. And I can assure you, a 65-year-old woman with arthritis and sewing scissors heading straight for one’s neck, is just a little unremittingly terrifying…

Now, one might say that I should’ve gone to the barbers. But my hair was too far gone. If my ugly mug takes one step into a barbers, they immediately start to quiver. “No! It’s too much! We can’t take it!” I’m probably banned from most local barbers. There’s probably a picture of me with a huge red cross through it in them. So I’m left with the salons.

Now, I know most men love a salon. That’s a true fact, ladies. I know it doesn’t seem that way, but we do. Because most of them are occupied by friendly, young, blonde haired, bright blue eyed women. The reason we say we hate being in one is because it’s a slippery slope. ‘It’s just a salon’, you tell yourself. Next thing you know, you’re in the local clothes shop standing outside the changing room with one arm full of rejected clothes and the other with ‘maybes’. Where the ‘certainlies’ are is still a mystery to men…

Now, one may say that it would be ludicrous to hate being surrounded by lovely young ladies, but I have some issues with this statement. Firstly, whilst blonde haired, blue eyed girls are gorgeous, every man has a preference, and for me, the darker the hair, the darker the eyes, the prettier the girl is. There’s a sense of mystery and allure, I think. Secondly, I have a huge amount of anxiety in the social department. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. Take it literally. I just fall apart in the presence of most women and in most public situations, meaning the salon is the perfection concoction of utter hell.

It’s not like any other profession, is it? The whole salon malarkey. “Do you want a cup of tea whilst you wait?” No. Ta. Ma’am. “Ooh, you have lovely hair!” Uh-huh. Rightio. And you want me to do what this information? I can’t take a compliment. Nobody ever compliments me. If you compliment me, it means you’re up to something. And what you’re up to, is usually up to mocking me. I was walking to the bus stop a couple weeks ago, my hair blowing wildly like an ‘80s pop video. A group of young boys, about five or six of them, around eight or nine-years-old, surrounded me and started singing ‘You Sexy Thing’. I mean, that’s a compliment, but the hidden meaning was about as obvious as an innocuous whistle after a discrete fart.

Ah, well, you know what they say. The kids these days, they love a bit of Hot Chocolate…

The salon is also very expensive. A good chop will cost around £80. £80! For a bloody haircut! Good gravy, that would’ve got you a lot further in the olden days than a haircut. I’m pretty sure that’s how much it cost the Victorians to build the Moon. That’s a true fact, as well. A hobo told me so.

So I asked my mum to do it. She’s very good at it, although it is, to be frank, terrifying. I mean, she cuts my dad’s hair, what’s left of it, and on the last couple of occasions, she has cut his left ear. And his neck. And a couple of his shirts. And his right ear. All you can do is laugh. Because she keeps pulling faces at you and telling you amusing stories. Like the story of that young kid at the school she works at. He fell through the bike shed. It’s in the middle of an empty field, so how one can ‘fall through’ a Perspex panel at the top is anyone’s guess. It was the only panel left, too…

I suppose life could be worse. I have a nice new haircut and I didn’t get hurt! Incredible, really, when you consider my track record. Could be worse, readers. Just take a look at this review I found this week of a company in an advertisement for a job:

Redacted has got to be the worst company I have ever worked for. Do you enjoy working every weekend? Getting up at 4am to work two and a half hour shifts? How about taking orders from people who don’t have two brain cells to rub together? Enjoy getting lied to on a daily basis? Hearing endless gossip about colleagues and then wondering what they’re saying about you behind your back? Then redacted is the place for you! There is such a lack of care and responsibility by this company you are literally treated like a slave. In all redacted stores, there is a warehouse, which is the most disgusting place I have ever been in. The smell of rotting food and all over types of pungent odours will have you playing guess the smell with fellow workers. Avoid this company like the plague.’

Oh, come on, who doesn’t enjoy a game of ‘guess the smell’. Lols…

I do object to his use of the word ‘literally’. If this company literally treated people like a slave, I would be a smidge concerned. I’d certainly send a very strongly worded telegram to the council, at the very least. Plus, I’m fairly sure the plague has been eradicated – oh, no, wait, several Americans caught it last year. Forget that one. But I also question this reviewer’s understanding of biology. I’m not great at it, either, but I don’t think brain cells work by ‘rubbing them together’.

I had fun job searching, this week. I saw a job advert for an ‘experienced phlebotomist’, which, sadly, has nothing to do with falling or bottoms, much to my chagrin because I would’ve been perfect for that because I’m often falling on my arse. I’m glad it said ‘experienced’, as well, because this is somebody who takes blood for laboratory testing. Who’s applying for that without any experience? I also saw a job advert for an ‘experienced econometrician’. ‘Econometrician’, to me at least, sounds like the type of person who revels in the pain of others during sexy times…

I’m still having no luck on the job front, guys. I once did a course where, at the end of it, several people from the class would be given a permanent warehouse role. There was a mock-up of a warehouse that was entirely realistic. We did lots of stuff in there. The course was physical. Demanding. Lots of hand-eye coordination. A fast paced environment. Lots of big machines. Really complex and fiddly tasks. So, so tough. There was a blind person in our class. I mean, I’m all for equality, but a warehouse job… for a blind person? By themselves? A bit tough. He really struggled with it. Completely blind. Bless him. He couldn’t manage at all. And at the end of the course? He was picked for the job and I wasn’t. What a world…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s been a tough week, not necessarily for I alone but for the community as well in my little town. And I was thinking about the tears I’ve shed, a lot of them in recent weeks, whilst I was sat on the toilet with mum cutting my hair. And during that, I was thinking about that guy reviewing that company he hates so much. Yes, it’s funny, but I was laughing for the first time in ages. It’s very easy to forget that in the midst of tragedy, there is always hope. That tragedy doesn’t mean the laughter dies, too. It’s just put on pause. And it will play again. Of course it will. Life is a rollercoaster. You just gotta hang on for dear life…

Oh, and yes, I did redact the company name in that review. I had to, readers! I might get done for libel. Or slander. Whichever one it is. So I hope you understand why I can’t tell you that the company was Aldi.

Oh, shit…

American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker, Frank Zappa (1940-1993), was once asked in an interview: “So, Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?” To which he replied, “You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Post Every Sunday
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