George Possum sat in the reception area of
Tireless Taxis awaiting his interview for a post as driver. It
had been a long day. His alarm clock had failed to go off, once
again. He had then been trapped in his room for an hour when the
interior handle had detached itself from the door. He had then
had to settle for just stale, badly baked bread and beans for
breakfast as his kitchen was, once more, devoid of power or water.
He waited two hours for the bus to take him
to the offices of the cab company. He had finally resigned
himself to walking when his bus had crashed after transporting
him just two stops. In one respect this was fortunate as it had
been travelling in the wrong direction, anyway. He had then
walked for another two hours through the desolate wasteland that
had once been his home city.
George was none too able following years of
sub-standard education. Had he been better educated, however, he
might have mused on the effects of anti-discriminatory
legislation on the modern world. At first it had all seemed so
noble. Employers had not been allowed to discriminate on grounds
of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age,
marital status and disability.
Some argued that matters started to get out
of hand when legislation had been passed to avoid discrimination
on grounds of eye colour, length of inside leg, arrangement of
planting in an applicants garden and numerous other
considerations. This led to claims by unsuccessful applicants
against prospective employers on the grounds of prejudice
resulting from the fact that their second cousin twice removed
played snooker on Saturday evenings, or that a girl with whom
their brother had been at school had once purchased a bag of
sugar in Tesco. The fact that potential employers were simply
unaware of these facts was deemed to be no defence.
The ultimate difficulty for employers was
presented by legislation which finally recognised the true nature
of the victimisation which prevented most applicants from gaining
employment. It became unlawful to discriminate on grounds of
competence to do the job.
A torrent of litigation followed from those
who could clearly prove that those who had been selected for a
post ahead of them were better qualified and had greater aptitude.
Human resource managers were forced to tighten their recruitment
processes to ensue that only the most unsuitable and least
qualified candidates were ever appointed.
And so it was that George, now three days
late for his appointment, happened to be awaiting his interview
at exactly the moment that the recruitment officer for Tireless
Taxis was finally ejected bodily from the pub across the road,
threw up in the gutter and dragged himself into his place of work
for the first time in a month.
George was confident of the success of his
application as a taxi driver. He was partially sighted and,
although never having driven a car, he had just been released
from prison for murdering several people who had - those
unpredictable rages just seemed to come over him.
Ive come for the drivers
job, he said to the figure vomiting onto the carpet in
front of him.
Lee Prenderville glanced up at him. Dyou
want the f**kin job then?
George thought for a moment. Dont
give a toss, really.
Lee dragged himself to his feet and
stretched out his hand towards George. Welcome to the firm.
Lee paused and looked thoughtfully towards the Rose and Crown.
Dyou fancy a few drinks before you collect your first