I suppose my most unusual job.
When I focus down on the thing that was actually required of me.
Was painting chickens.
I don’t mean I was stood in front of an easel.
And a stretched canvas.
Holding a paint smothered palette.
And a paintbrush.
As several live chickens ran around my feet.
What I mean is that I’d fill a white bucket with sauce.
And paint actual dead chickens.
With a wallpaper brush.
Fenwick have 9 posh stores in the UK.
Dotted from London to Newcastle.
I worked in the Newcastle one.
In the delicatessen.
Almost always with a hangover.
I’d leave my student accommodation at 5.15am and arrive at Fenwick in Newcastle at 5.55am on bleak Saturday mornings.
I’d shuffle into the cold, dark rotisserie room that was tucked away around the back.
Flick, flick, flick the blinking lights into life.
Hit the rotisserie’s big red starter button.
So that it woke, growling from its slumber.
Before I proceeded to lift the first of 200 chilled chickens from the fridge.
My OCD was useful with this Saturday morning ritual.
Because as I popped the chickens – 3 at a time – onto stainless steel rods.
The distance between them was exact.
Then, I’d slot them into the whirring, warming rotisserie.
I’d mix a bucket full of sauce using a spare stainless steel rod.
Grab my wallpaper brush.
And as the chilly chickens rose.
Into my eye line.
The painting began.
I almost always had a ‘Saturday Job’.
From 15 years old to 22 years old.
I liked being around people.
I liked seeing how things worked.
I liked being the still-drunk teenager that turned pasty, chilly chickens into posh, barbecued chickens.
Adding about £30 to my bank balance for a day’s work in 1989.
And I was good at painting chickens!
I try to do my very best with any job I do.
Whether it’s a poultry job.
Or a paltry job.
And even when it’s an apparently paltry poultry job.
If a job’s worth doing.
I always say.
It’s worth doing well.
And that includes writing rubbish puns on 50odd.