Saturday, 1 December 2012

Collecting Debts The Sunday Before Christmas

Ahhh...I remember it as though it was only yesterday.
I was a fine model of a man - twenty years younger than I am now - setting out on my career with Provident Personal Credit.
Section Manager in the Dover office, bursting to do well, and wanting promotion like I have never wanted anything before.
My manager was an Irish chap, and after he had sold me the job, he told me that I could go far.
And just what did this wonderful job entail? Well, in a word - or two - collecting debts.
Trudging the streets of Dover, Aylesham and Folkestone, late at night, when most other people were sat at home finishing their evening meals, and getting ready for an evening in front of the television. Trudging the streets. Dodging the rain. Laughing at the threats aimed my way. Dodging the rain. Wondering why I wasn't at home. Trudging the streets. Taking all of the insults. Wondering why I wasn't in the pub.

Behind these windows were some very violent people. Aylesham ex-miners. Unemployed. They had borrowed their money - and they weren't going to repay it. Evil people with aggressive dogs. And then there were the foul-mouthed kids who would attack you with stones as you walked up their garden path. And then there were people like Bob and Brenda - two hopeless parasites - who showed warmth and kindness, by offering me poor-quality lager, if I didn't bother them too much about the arrears on their massive debt. Bob and Brenda. He was unhygenic and she was fat. And then there was their dog...
Of course, I soon lost interest in my marvellous job, and decided that sitting in a pub, getting drunk, was much better than trying to collect debts from people like Bob and Brenda, the Sunday before Christmas, when the debtors of Dover, Aylesham and Folkestone had other things to spend their money on.

And so, some twenty years later, nostalgia got the better of me, and thinking of the awful lager they offered me, and their stinking home, I decided to make space for Bob and Brenda in my very first book.

See Bob and Brenda in "Dave Cooper Is Unemployed" - An Ebook for Kindle, by Luke Ryman.

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