A few days ago one of my co-workers, a former professional opera singer from Dublin, scuppered a deal, negotiated by the 'Old Man' over the last month or so, with a Trinity language school, in which I was to gain a foot in the door, to ensure that we all kept our jobs for the next two months. Although I met the guy on my first day and we had spoken occasionally in the close confines of the daily taxiing on a number of neutral subjects, we didn't really get to know each other and then become drinking buddies until around a month later after he had threatened to deck me.
Now I really should have realised that his predilection for unnecessary subterfuge was going to get us into trouble some day, I even regret suggesting that he just be upfront about it and save the 'Old Man' some hassle as my ability to say 'told you so' is not going to help the situation very much (although, in retrospect, it would have been very peculiar for a 40 year old egocentric to take advice from me!). You see, this is not the first time that I have come off worse because of this guy, due to his habit of taking sick-days to go to auditions I have worked when actually ill myself and had classes doubled up. Until recently this has been fine, as he is genuinely a good singer and its important to follow you passion, on the other hand he regards teaching as a stop-gap measure and boy does it show when you cover his classes.
Teaching deficiencies aside, he is necessary company. It is vital out here to have someone to talk to in you own language, not just English but colloquial English: in which you make mistakes, slur, insult and generally bitch, moan and swear to you hearts content and be understood. These are all practices that are very much aided by the imbibing of relevant quantities of premium bottled and barrelled pale Belgians, German lagers, dark bitters, stouts, honey beers, with labels ranging form Krombacker to Fischer to Guinness to Erdinger etcetera, etcetera... Which is precisely what we did after he discovered I had “inner fire”; that I was not some TEFL teaching machine from middle-class middle-England. This was discovered when e both tried to call each other at the same time to apologise for our previous harsh words relating to the aforementioned decking.
So anyhow, over the course of the last few months of drinking session I have grown more accustomed to his heavy drinking sessions with myself as an ear, his grumblings about how the Anglican church doesn't pay him for elevating the quality of its granny choir, that he deserves this solo performance and that Le Scala choir contract... And I can tell you it begins to drag. Yes he has interesting stories, but boy they don't bear up so well on the fifth hearing when the increasingly exaggerated details cease being so amusing. But I keep telling myself that the conversation of an intelligent critically minded sceptic is worth it... just so long as I don't let myself become the monster.