Friday, 22 August 2008


Get it? It's funny/racist because Dominico is Italian. He's also the craziest colleague at my new place of employment. Don't get any ideas, he is in no way a counterpart to Brian: for a start, he's actually likeable, in his own way, unless he happens to rub you the wrong way when you're just not feeling like being rubbed at all.

Okay, that was a bit homo.

Dominico is:
  • about 60, or something
  • an absolute maniac of a driver. I think he was born before speed limits, common courtesy, or respect for your own life and/or the life of others had been invented, though, so that's sort of an excuse
  • incredibly grumpy about 95% of the time, and an insane jester for the other 5% (it's hard to know which is worse)
  • full of shit
  • the laziest person I've ever worked alongside. Maybe when you get to a certain age you just stop giving a shit, but he's lax in taking the right stuff out, curt over the phone, and just plain ignores customers sometimes. The reason he's still employed - as far as I can tell - is that he and Ali (the owner) go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back, and it's kind of got past the stage where he could ever be fired. Fair play to him, I guess.
So, it's about 5:30 and me and Rosie (Rosie and I? Whatever) are just kind of slouching around at the front desk, when who should come in but everyone's favourite Italian.

"My friend," he says to me, "how are you doing today? Have you the money you owe me?"

"Nope," I say cheerily enough, "and I never will, so, you know, get used to that."

He shrugs, the one sane man in a world gone mad. "The kids today," he imparts to Rosie, "what can you do?"

(Note: I did not owe him penny one)

Rosie giggles and shrugs back at him, and Dominico peers at her a little closer. "Hmmm..." he says, shakes his head, and then looks again. "Have you put on weight?"

(Note: the last time Dominico had seen Rosie was less than 24 hours ago)

"What?" she snaps, giggly no more.

"Eh..." Dominico gesticulates a little, shrugs, then turns and walks out the back. On the way, he gives me a little wink, and I manage to avoid smiling or winking back. It's pretty funny, though. Had Rosie put on weight in less than a day? I cannot say.

Maybe she had.

But that was not important. What was important was Dominico's sharply delivered diss, and Rosie was smarting. For the next forty minutes or so, as the only person in the room with her, I was on the receiving end of a vaguely-aimed tirade which started out being targetted at Dominico, then at me (?), then at some ex-boyfriend, then at basically everything, as far as I could tell.

So I'm staring into the distance, cursing Dominico for setting Rosie off (Rosie is lovely normally, it's just The Kingdom of Grease and Shit will do things to certain people's temperments), and it hits me like a lightning bolt thrown by some kind of genius god (maybe a combination of Zeus and Einstein? Zeusstein? Eineus? this isn't going anywhere).

"Look," I say, pushing myself to my feet like a general rising to survey his troops. "If Dom pissed you off, you've just gotta piss him off."

"Piss him off?" Rosie looks doubtful and a little surprised, stopped as she'd been in mid-rant. I honestly have no idea what she was talking about at this point because I'd stopped paying attention like nearly a half hour before (as an aside, it is amazing how you can browse the internet on the electronic tills).

"Yeah, piss him off. Come on, it's Dominico, it's not exactly hard to get him going."

She grins. "Yeah." And we kind of bow our heads and whisper excitedly, in a way that makes it clear we are hatching an ominous and brilliant plot, but at the same time makes it impossible to discern our actual words.

What is the plot?

You just don't know.

About two hours later Dominico get backs from doing a drop, parking - as is his way - across two spaces and heading through the front door.

"Did you just go to 9 The Crescent?" Rosie asks him as he walks around the front desk.

"Eh..." He shrugs. Shrugging is kind of Dominico's thing. It's also because he's never paying attention to anything, so it's not an affectation kind of thing, he just genuinely doesn't know anything. Even where he went like a minute ago (this is perhaps part of the reason why you should never get in a car driven by Dominico).

"I'll check for you." She examines the computer screen. "Yeah, you did. And they just called. Guess what? You forgot the cokes."


"You. Forgot. The. Cokes."

"No! Come on, no. No. No way."

"Come on, man," I chime in, offering him a what-can-you-do-the-world-sucks shrug as I do so. "It's not that far, right?"

"You take them then!" he retorts.

I laugh. "Yeah, not gonna happen. They need me here. I'm an important part of the operation."

"And I'm not?"

"You're like sixty years old!"

Dominico gives one of his trademark grunts and waves me away impatiently, before stomping over to the fridge and lugging out two of the big cokes. He storms out the front doors without so much as a farewell wave; as he does, Rosie flashes me a radiant grin and moves to the doorway.

A few moments later and Dominico's car comes roaring round out of the car park, and Rosie runs out to the roadside, gesturing wildly. I see Dominico clock her presence; I even see the moment of decision in his eyes as he wonders whether or not to ignore her. In the end, something must misfire in his brain, because he actually pays attention and stops the car.

"Did you take regular cokes?" Rosie asks.

"Yeah, coke, you said coke, I take coke!" Dominico is proper steaming now, all waving his hands round in the air like some kind of demented preacher-come-pizza-guy.

"You could have checked the receipt!" Rosie retorts hotly. "It's Diet Coke."

"Can you get them for me?"

"On the phone," she replies after a moments' pause, then runs back inside and starts talking into one of the receivers.

Once Dominico's got his cokes and buggered off, Rosie puts the phone down.

"I'm off now," she says, flashing another lovely grin.

"Okay, see- wait, what? You're fucking off?"

"Yeah, this is my early night," she says, as if that was fucking obvious. It wasn't. It wasn't fucking obvious.

"Right, great. So, uh, so just who d'you think's gonna take the fall for this one, huh?"

Now it's Rosie's turn to shrug. "Hey, it was your idea."

She's got me there. It was my idea. But it wasn't an idea I expected I'd have to deal with the repercussions of. Damn it, the best ideas are ones you never have to face the consequences of. But, as is my way, I was outmanouevred by a female co-worker.

Such is life.

Oh, in case you're crazy or something, there was no missed coke on the order: it's just Dominico never checks the receipts, so he never knows either way. And yeah, someone had to take the fall for that particular incident of playing-pranks-on-60-year-old-men, and yeah, this time it was me. Apparently "he's going to get me" and "he's going to really get me" so, you know, I'll keep on my toes.

He'll never get me.

Old dudes can't run, right?

(NB: This is the second part of today's double update. See below for the first part.)

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