Sunday, 27 September 2009


I resigned on Friday. Not officially, I just told them I didn't want to do the job anymore. Nothing too fancy, nothing official. No paperwork.

I was working as a spy, for two weeks. Although the first week was 'training', so that probably doesn't count. The training was fun. The company paid for everything (apart from my fags) and we got to drive cars around really fast and play with the expensive video cameras we'd been given. We were given vans too. I didn't really hang out with the other people much, what with being a former record shop employee built like an African racing snake and them mostly being ex-army nutcases who would only talk about football. The flight from Glasgow to Bristol was fun- if you don't like going on a plane, you're an idiot- the seven hour drive back home (on my birthday) less so.

My first day as a 'Covert Surveillance Operative' was in Manchester. I hid in the back of my van and stared at a door for eight hours, occasionally pissing into a Volvic bottle. I returned home at about 9pm, to an e-mail telling me I had to be in Fraserburgh for 7am the next day. After a couple of hours of sleep I was on the road again, undertaking a thoroughly joyless four hour voyage in the dark rain up the motorway, with only Radio 1 for company.

Arriving bleary-eyed and yawning,my boss immediately asked what was wrong, and enquired as to whether or not I was 'some kind of lazy cunt'. Once again I sat myself in the back of my van and stared at a door.

I'd like to make it clear that when I took the job it was explained to me that I'd be 'carrying out surveillance' on big businessmen making ridiculously over-ambitious insurance claims, yet it turned out to be normal people, just trying to get by. I was starting to have my doubts.

After eight hours of nothing much happening (many things may have happened, but I'd lost interest by then and spent the day reading a book) I was finally able to drive back to Glasgow.

Joy of joys, Wednesday's job was in Kirkintilloch. My boss even had a picture of the person I was supposed to be spying on. He looked like a kindly old gent, and I decided right away that I was absolutely not going to film him, or write down anything that he did or whatever. If he's claiming an extra bit of insurance then good luck to him. He took his dog out so it could have a shite, which he tidied up. Lovely old fella.

Somewhat unbelievably, Thursday's victim was a Glasgow resident. At some point in between my bouts of frenzied masturbation and facebook-updating (the phone I was given had internets on it) Mr McWhinnie (for that was his name) jumped in his car and drove off. I radioed this thrilling development to my boss, and promptly drove off in the other direction. If the guy wants to go to the shops, then I'm not fucking following him- depsite that supposedly being the main part of the job. I drove back to where I was and took a picture of my stuff:

Returning to the same 'plot' for Friday's observations I'd already decided it would be my last day, so spent my eight hours thinking about the easiest way to announce my departure to my knuckle-dragging, always-furious boss. This seemed to be a lot easier than I had thought it might, with my boss accepting my decision immediately- and probably gratefully. He told me I'd need to return all my cameras and the van. Obviously.
I asked when we should do this, and he told me 'Now. You'll need to take the van to Manchester'. Five hours later, I was at Piccadilly Station, awaiting the last train back to Glasgow. It felt great, and I still had enough cash to be able to get drunk on the £2.80 cans of Carling that Virgin sell on their trains.

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