The Newbie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A new guy joins the factory and Andrew can't help feeling sorry for him.

Submitted: October 07, 2016

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Submitted: October 07, 2016



The Newbie.


Four of us met up every Friday night in the local pub. We’d all started work in the factory on the same day, learnt the ropes together, gone through the torments of being accepted by our workmates together. And we’d ended up good friends.


That was two years ago. Yep, two years ago this very night we had our first outside of work meet-up. Greg, Paul, Jordan, and me. My name is Andrew and I am twenty-four years old. The whole bunch of us are in our early twenties, but most of the guys at work are a good bit older. We were lucky though, landing those jobs. There had been plenty of competition.


We were there for each other when things got tough. Jordan lost his parents in a boating accident, Greg got engaged then unengaged again, and Paul had lost his flat when the landlord suddenly decided to sell up. He spent a few months sleeping on my sofa before he found himself somewhere else. And they were all there for me when Emma, my wife of two years, just walked out and left me. She filed for divorce and even now I don’t know why.


We’ve been through quite a lot together and had got to know each other really well.


Just this Monday there was a new guy started, and he came into the factory on his own. We didn’t pick on him, the memories were still quite vivid enough to put us off picking on someone ourselves, but the older guys were in their element. And that was the reason for my mistake.


His name, it turned out, was Conor -- “Call me Con!” He’s a few years older than us, but too young to hang out with the other guys. He’d hang out on his own but I caught him watching us several times and just couldn’t help myself feeling sorry for him. I’d been pretty lonesome at school, knew what it was like to feel left out, and that was why I suggested what I did to the guys.


Do you reckon we should invite Con along Friday night?”


What, with us, you mean?” Jordan asked. He certainly didn’t bother to hide his lack of enthusiasm.


He’s not exactly a mate is he?” Greg was in agreement with Jordan then!


Why?” Trust Paul to put it bluntly.


Look, he’s come in here all on his own. He’s not getting on with the others, and they’ve all been taking advantage of his......isolation. I just think it would be a way of showing him he’s not alone here.”


Raised eyebrows all round! “Look, Andrew. You know nothing about him, I know nothing about him and I’m not sure that I want to.” Jordan was definitely against it.


Well.....I don’t know.” A bit of hesitation from Greg so he might be softening his attitude.


I, for one, don’t trust him. But suit yourself, Andrew. Whatever you think.” Paul doesn’t want me to ask Con along either, then, but I need to go with my instincts and at least give him a chance.


So I go and make the invitation and he says he’ll see us there.


* * * * *


We’ve all lived around the area our entire lives. There’ve been a few moves but we all still live within walking distance of our childhood homes. The bar we hang out in is not the one our parents haunt but a more modern version. It is our local, we are regular customers. So, sometimes we might get slightly drunk but we never get rowdy, never get out of hand. We don’t want to make it difficult to come back the following week.


Hey, guys!” I say, bringing a round of our usual drinks to our usual table. No sign of Conor so perhaps he’s not going to show. I’m starting to think that would be for the best anyway. Like Jordan had pointed out, I know next to nothing about the guy and I don’t really want someone else to have to think about.


And so we settle down to chatting and joking, talking of our different plans for the weekend. And it’s good, we’re all relaxed and easy with each other. The time ticks on and our workmate hasn’t shown. My lapse in judgement hasn’t caused any problems.


But then there is a bit of commotion by the door. It’s around 9.30 and is starting to get pretty packed, but there he is, Conor pushing his way through none too gently, looking for us. And I want to hide! I can’t help it. I’m ashamed, embarrassed to admit it, but I do not want him to see us.


What the hell is he wearing?” mutters Jordan.


Greg laughs into his glass and Paul just looks at me accusingly.


How was I to know this guy had no clue! Here he comes in his white trousers, his red shirt, and his black and white striped jacket. Perhaps he’s going to some fancy-dress party or something. Either that or he has zero taste in clothes. And he’s still pushing his way towards us, oblivious to the glares he’s getting from people we know by sight if not by name.


All the chairs at our table are taken but that doesn’t seem to phase him. He just goes over to the next table and removes a chair from there, not caring that the person who’d been sitting on it was just at the bar.


And boy is he loud. He never talks like this at work, but then I’ve not really heard him talk much at all. Now, we’ll swear as good as the rest but the stuff he’s coming out with is nothing short of embarrassing. How the hell am I going to shut him up. My mates are making it quite clear that I made the invitation, so I sort it out.


Look, Conor,” I say. “Clean it up a bit, will you. This really isn’t the sort of place for all this.....”


I might as well have saved my breath. He’s off again. And to make things worse he’s so obvious about eyeing up the girls. People are moving away from our table trying to get away from him. And he’s off to the bar, shouting out his order, buying everyone a drink without knowing what we want.


Greg is the first to leave. He gets up while Conor is still at the bar. “Sorry, mate. I can’t do this! See you all Monday. And Andrew, make sure you ditch this guy for good, eh!”


Jordan points to his mobile and Greg nods. Sure enough, a few minutes later he gets a text. Something’s come up, an emergency......He’s got to leave.


So that leaves me and Paul sitting here with Con. We drink our drinks slowly while he drinks his own plus the ones he bought for Jordan and Greg. I’m sure he was pretty tanked up before he got here and he’s starting to drift off. Well, let him. He’s ruined what was to have been a celebration.


But then I get to thinking. He didn’t know about it, it was just any old night out as far as he was concerned. I should have listened, taken more notice of the other guys concerns. It wasn’t Conor that ruined tonight but me.


Paul and I get up and walk out leaving Conor asleep on the table. Someone will call him a cab or something. They are a pretty good crowd there. And we’ll be back there next Friday I hope. But definitely without Conor.

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