Doon the Careers Office


Doon the Careers Office

 “Monday, 10 o’ clock?” Alison raises her eyebrows at Gary. Gary does not react. “That’s fine, Mr MacLeod. Gary’ll see you then.” She hangs up.

Gary lowers his head. His brow creases.

“So there you go, Gary! Got an interview! By next week you might have a job.” “…” 
“Something up?”

“It’s the other direction. You’ll not have to cross that scheme where the boys jump you.”
“It’s fixed hours, Gary!  There’s plenty folk out there never know the minute they’ll be called in.”

 “Goannae make it anither day?”

Alison groans. “Monday not suit?”
“Why d’you not say at the time?”
“Don’t want to have to phone him back through the switchboard and everything.”

“Cannae go Monday, but.”
”Why not?”

 “What you doing Monday morning that’s more important than going for a job?”
“Nuthin.”  Face like fizz, gazing at the desk.
“So what is it? 10 o’clock Monday morning too early for you?”
“Do you really want a job?”

Gary glances up. Is that a tear? “Aye.” …  and down again.

Alison folds her arms. “Doesn’t sound that way.”
“Monday’s Da’s signin day.”

Ah. “You don’t need your Dad to go with you.”
“You’re 16, Gary.  Grown up.”
“Trust me. Makes a better impression if you’re on your own.”

“Do you not know the street? Will I show you on the map?”
“Cannae go if Da’s doon the broo.”
“Why not?”

“…”  His face is crimson.
“I’m not a mind-reader! Speak!”

“His shot o the shoes.”

Alison slides her chair back and looks under the desk. Dingy frayed trainers. Two sizes too big.

Alison phones and changes the appointment to Tuesday.  
“One more wee thing: if you take Gary on, could you maybe advance him the price of a pair of shoes?”