– Peatley two seven one.
– Hello, is that you, Joe?
– Bob here. How’s things?
– Oh, hello, Bob. Fine. How are you?
– O. K. Listen, I’ve decided to apply for that job I was telling you about. The one I saw in the Chronicle. You remember?
– Yes, I remember. Croydon, wasn’t it? What was it, a car factory?
– No, light engineering. Rather like that place I was at in Leeds.
– Oh yes, of course. Light engineering, I remember now. And it was for a manager wasn’t it.
– Yes. Personnel Manager.
– Very nice too. Do you feel optimistic about it?
– Well, I wouldn’t say I exactly feel optimistic, but at least my training and experience have put me in with a chance. So perhaps I could say I feel reasonably optimistic about getting short-listed. But the interview — that’s different.
– Why, for goodness sake? You’re not scared of interviews, are you?
– No, I’m not scared of them, but I don’t feel at my best in interviews. Not when I’m on the receiving end, that is. I suppose I spend so much of my time interviewing other people that I feel off balance when I’m in the hot seat myself.
– Oh I shouldn’t worry too much about it if I were you. As you say, the job’s absolutely made for you. I shouldn’t think they’ll get many applicants with your qualifications.
– Well, we’ll see.
– Yes. You’re bound to get an interview. What’s the pay like incidentally?
– Oh the pay’s good. Nearly twice what I’m getting now.
– But then it is in London, and the rates tend to be a lot higher there, anyway.
– Yes, but even so, it’ll make a big difference if you get it. You’ll be loaded!
– Well I don’t know about loaded. I should need a damned sight more than twice my present wages to be loaded.
– Was the money the main reason for applying?
– One of the reasons. Probably not the main reason.
– What was that then?
– Well, I don’t know, it’s just that I… well, I like working at Yorkshire Engineering, but I’d like more scope for putting a few ideas into practice. You know, old Billings is all right, and he’s…
– Who’s Billings? Is he your boss?
– Yes. He’s the Personnel Manager and he’s very understanding and pleasant to work for and all that.
– And he’d never do anyone a bad turn, but…
– He’s a stick-in-the-mud.
– Well no, not exactly, but he’s very slow to respond to new ideas. He will accept changes, but it takes him so long to come round to a new idea that by the time he’s trying it out it’s not new any longer.
– And that doesn’t suit you.
– Well it doesn’t really bother me, but, I mean, you’ve got to move with the times these days or you’re soon left behind.
– Too true.
– So, anyway, I thought I’d have a bash.
– Good for you. I hope you fed them all that guff about your qualifications and experience in your application.
– Oh yes, of course.
– But you didn’t lay it on too thick did you? They can go off you if you make yourself sound too good, you know.
– Well I don’t think I did. I just tried to be factual and emphasize the most important points.
– I bet you’ll cake walk it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, at any rate.
– Thanks, I’ll need it.
– But what about the prospect of going South? Does that bother you at all?
– Well I know it’s got its disadvantages. Housing’s very expensive and travelling in the rush hour can be a bit of a bind. But no doubt it’s got its compensations, too, and if you want to get on you’ve got to be prepared to move around, haven’t you?
– Well, that’s true. But you’ve always lived in Yorkshire and you’ll find things very different in London. No more Sunday mornings on the moors.
– Hey, steady on! I haven’t got the job yet.
– No, but if you do get it you won’t be able to pop out of the back door and run up a mountain.
– True. That is something that I’d miss. That’s one thing about these parts — you’re never very far from some real country. Still, I suppose I could get used to country lanes in the Home Counties if I had to.
– Ugh! You don’t call that walking, do you?
– Well, no, not really, but you can’t have everything, so I’d have to amuse myself in other ways. They do have a few more theatres and museums than we do, you know.
– You’ll get fat, middle aged and civilized. What a fate! And the beer’s lousy.
– What do you mean, lousy? It’s all the same these days, wherever you are.
– Don’t you believe it? Last time I was in London I tried about ten pubs before I could find one where the beer wasn’t too cold. I think they put ice in it.
– Well if I get the job, I’ll invite you down and we’ll do a proper survey of the boozers.
– You’re on.
– But I’ll have to ring off now. I’ve got one or two things to do before I turn in.
– O. K. But don’t forget to let me know if you get an interview.
– I will. Cheerio.
– Cheerio Bob. Thanks for ringing.