Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Pub Work 2/4

I was living with my grandmother when I worked in the pub just a short distance away. I must have been a casual employee and not part time as I did not receive sick pay or holiday pay.

The workers at the nearby concrete factory drank in the saloon bar of the hotel. They would be more suited to the public bar. As they emptied their pockets of change, concrete dust from their pockets spilled onto the carpet and mixed with beer spillage, set the carpet like concrete. The carpet in that bar had to be cleaned frequently, and often.

One of them was a bit different to the rest. He was well liked by his mates even though he was a bit of a pretty boy, with long curly fair hair. He wasn't as overtly ocker (rough uncultivated male) as the others were. He may have been ten years older than me. One day he quietly asked me if I was camp. Lol at that word. The way he said it was so loaded. I replied no. I was nineteen years old and had been hunting for sex with men since the age of 13, yet I denied myself what I think might have a pretty good time with a rather hot guy. I didn't want anyone at work to know I was 'camp'.

Of life's regrets...

I saw not the owner but the hotel manager who was an ok bloke and told him I would be away for two weeks visiting Queensland. I told him I would return on a certain date and would be available for my usual shift that day. I returned to work only to be told there weren't shifts available. I can't remember now how long it took, but I did get my old shifts back. I think it was only a day or so.

29 comments:

  1. What a shame. For you, and for him.
    I am glad that you were able to get your old shifts back. You must have been a valuable worker.

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    1. EC, it could have been a disaster of course. Post 4 of 4 will show I was not a valued employee.

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  2. I'm sure a lot of us can think back to similar missteps in our youth -- I know I can! As they say, youth is wasted on the young. :)

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    1. Steve, I really liked older men, say up to 45 when I was young. I guess I wanted experienced.

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  3. I am sure we can all recall a moment in our lives when we made the wrong decision and have regretted ever since. What if....

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    1. Marie, I try to remember it was the right decision at the time. I dislike big decisions having to made in a hurry.

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  4. Ocker is a new word to me

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    1. John, in some ways the term fits you. I poorly defined the word.

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  5. For some reason yesterday I was thinking about the word 'camp'. I always found it a rather gentle word and can't remember it being used as a term of abuse or ridicule. What could have been, eh?

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    1. Caro, you are quite right. It wasn't a term of abuse. Poofter did the trick nicely for abuse.

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  6. I think the implications of ocker are more "rough and uncultivated" than "alpha male".

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    1. You are quite correct Hels. I wasn't happy with what I said but I lost the words. I've edited it now.

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    2. I respect that edit. Well done. And my regrets as a hetero female have been fueling my dreams of late. Heh...

      As for 'camp', it's a term in the Midwestern United States indicating something portrayed overtly silly, often with fondness and perhaps nostalgia. Language is such fun. Blessings to you and yours!

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    3. The use of camp with that definition is very interesting Darla. I can see a bit of a connection though

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  7. How would anyone at work "know" if you met up at different places to see him? So many lost opportunities...

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    1. River, I suppose one thought at the time is that I was being set up for ridicule. Don't worry. I don't think I ever missed another opportunity.

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  8. Oh, I've had that happen to me when I was younger, and like you, turned down the opportunity. Part of the problem I only suspected it was an opportunity but couldn't be sure, as things happened outside the normal, as you call them, hunting grounds.

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    1. Kirk, you've nailed it well. You really have to be in the situation at the time to fully understand. By the time I was 35 I had probably had half a dozen 'straight' guys, but oddly only one white Australian born.

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  9. I have never heard that word camp used in that way. I had no idea that was the meaning. I think we all grow and look back and have regrets - I guess that is part of the enhanced perspective age brings. HUGS

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    1. Annster, at times it is loaded with connotation of also being effeminate.

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  10. That was a moment in history when "camp" bore that meaning, and a moment in your own when you were unable to follow-through on such a feeler put out. At least you seem to have made up for that pretty soon afterwards.

    A couple of years clearing out old papersI came across a nice little letter from a young man I had had a romantic but undeclared and never so much as erotic interlude with on a trip to Melbourne in 1979. We were student debaters. We went to the Botanic Gardens and watched the ducks, for goodness sake!

    His letter invited me to come to stay (at his parents' place) if ever I came back to Melbourne. Distance was an obstacle, but I don't think at the time I recognised it as the signal to take things further which I am now reasonably sure it was.

    A bit of googling failed to track him down and I threw out the letter, which I now regret.



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    1. MC, what you are you insinuating? That I was a sl** when I was young. A very cruel friend said the word was tattooed on my forehead.

      I remember the story about the Melbourne man. It is a pity you threw away the letter, although I am sure you remember it nearly word for word. So the lesson was, grab the bull by the horns?

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    2. Lesson is mostly years and time wasted by caution and indecision in a socially homophobic environment.

      I hope things are better for young people today and mostly, in Australia, they probably are (though not for all ethnic groups or, still, for teachers in religious schools happy to take government money but still enforce views which it would otherwise be unacceptable to use public funds to express).

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    3. Socially homophobic never stopped men having sex with men but I know what you are saying.

      Yes, ethnic groups are the ones to worry about. You may remember how only one? Australian electorate voted against gay marriage.

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  11. I commented but maybe it's gone to spam? Can't see it here.

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    1. It did, and it isn't the first one of yours, but you are not alone.

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    2. It's a pity Ratana comments don't go to spam.

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  12. My parents used the word queer which I hated although I'm not sure I really knew what they meant. I don't know when I realized there were gay people but it never seemed to matter to me. In the early 70s when I went to work in technology one of the managers was openly gay and no one cared in the least. It's just never been an issue. I remember when my cousin decided to "come out" in the late 80s she chose my parents, whom she loved very much to tell first. My mother didn't bat an eyelid. Unlike some of the other relatives...

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    1. Jackie, I don't think queer was widely used here. I remember it more from US tv shows and perhaps films.

      There is no predicting how people will react when they learn someone is gay, but for many it isn't a surprise and those more perceptive types tend to be more relaxed about the confirmation of what they already thought.

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