Chapter 19

I had met a girl and we went out for a brief time, but that hadn't worked out.  I developed a friendship with her brother.   I invited him to dinner at Fife house on Fife Avenue.  I decided to invite a couple of girls and we would go somewhere.  It had over thirty people staying there.

During dinner, I spoke to every girl at every table to see if they would go out with me and they said no.  A friend of mine said, those two girls over there,  I think I know them.   One was at university with him in Cape Town.  I walked down and noticed the one on the left looked alright. When I got there to pick them up, I didn't know which girl I'd chosen, as they had changed their dresses.  One had been wearing pink and one green.  I had wanted the green one.

So, we got together and went to a disco.   There were shining lights and it was thick with smoke.  Everybody smoked as it was patriotic to smoke homegrown tobacco.  From there,  we walked home.  Glenda and I didn't wait for her sister and my friend.   I asked Glenda what kinds of things she liked and she said quizzical things, like Mondo Cane.   It was about how the world was deteriorating.  In parts of the film,  they showed the Arabs being slaughtered in Zanzibar.  The Indians chased them and slaughtered them in the sea.

We walked though warm puddles for the rest of the evening, just walking around.  Salisbury Park became the place we would go to after that.  There was a mock-up of Victoria Falls.   We used to talk and talk.   Religion, politics, families.  We both had enough in common to be able to talk about it.   We really were both Rhodesians by that stage, so we shared a kindred spirit and had read the same newspapers.   Every now and then we would go out to my parents place out in Ruwa.  Glenda thought Ruwa was a long way to go from anywhere.

We got engaged after six weeks.  We then drove to Bulawayo, I'm not sure why, but it must have had something to do with her parents.  There, we picked up a passenger and headed back to Salisbury.   So, we drove back to Salisbury and we dropped back our passenger.

We went back to Salisbury, and some time later, we got a phone call from Glenda's parents.  They were in a towering rage because of something I'd done.   I'd been talking to them while I was in Bulawayo, and the old man made some comment about job security.  I said that doesn't matter for me.  I'll just get another job.  In his world, people don't just get another job.  He said i was giving myself the sack.  Then, they took it in turn raging at me, her mum and dad.  I said, "Okay, so we won't hear from you again."  I put the phone down.

One day they showed up at Glenda's flat.  By this time I'd already asked her to marry me.   I can remember the old man sitting on the balcony with a beer.  I said, "Ahem, about Glenda….."   He said, "That's okay, don't worry. " But, things were not okay after that."

I just couldn't see any sense of a situation where daggers were drawn all the time,  but that's what happened.   It didn't change until Jenny was born.  Glenda's mum used to call her Tammy and feed her sweets by the bucketful.

The next thing is that I promptly lost my job.  I was working as an accountant at the breweries studying for my C.I.S. - Chartered Institute of Secretaries.   I had studied on my own.  I felt I needed a bit more real experience with office work.  I was an apprentice printer before studying for my C.I.S.  I had got myself a job at the Rhodesian breweries.   They would ring a bell at ten o'clock in the morning,  and they would push three beers at you to say what you thought of them.  I had the two jobs and the study course, which was too much.  I couldn't deal with it. I was in charge of wages for the African workers and the bank sent the wrong amount of money.  It was five hundred pounds short.  Then, the bank phoned back and said they'd found it.  It hadn't been my fault,  but that hadn't  helped my situation.

The company also used a very complex costing system that had to be done in an exact way.   It used the Kalamazoo system, but my two supervisors kept telling me to change how I was doing the adding up.  It was on very thin paper and when I rubbed out what I had written,  it wore a hole to the other side.  Then, I went to report to the management, and the door was closed so I pushed it open with my foot.  I then saw I'd kicked a hole right through the door.

After that, I got my marching orders.  I was one exam away from getting my C.I.S., but I had kept failing the accounts exam, although I had passed on all the other subjects.  I went back to printing after that.
Post a Comment