After we dropped Alex off at Steve’s workshop our job was over, it wasn’t a job I’d immediately get paid for which was a little annoying but I knew the mining company was good for it. In fact the payment side of such jobs was the biggest annoyance, forget the snake, forget the effort it’s the payment because even if I send them the bill electronically they usually only pay bills once a month.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not bitching about billing cycles, I’m happy for many companies to bill me monthly, but that’s me giving them money, when they own me money they should pay it yesterday! No that’s not true, the problem with the monthly billing cycle is when the person paying the bills misses one and it becomes two months before the bill is paid. Human error can be a bitch at times but you’d be surprised how often that sort of thing can happen and the worst of it is that so many of these big companies are more than happy to red letter you if you’re a few days overdue on their bill, but if they are a month overdue on yours they don’t care. Then by the time it gets forgotten twice because the first bill was put in the paid pile incorrectly getting your money is like pulling teeth without anaesthetic. Just try sending a big arse national company a bill that includes interest for not paying on time and see how far you get!

Anyway that’s a small problem in the big scheme of things and I’m sure you did turn up today just to hear me rant about big business and their silly practises that normal people don’t get away with.

Steve promised to fix Alex up, because the Toyota was a fairly common vehicle in our area he had the spares on hand and he was also able to fix both tyres on the spot which would see Alex back on the road that evening if he wanted to be. I think however he was planning an overnight stay in town and was planning to head back the following day, which did make sense. Although it mattered not to Matthew and I who were headed home for the day.

As we drove past the police station that cheeky brother of mine said, “If you want to call in for a booty call I can take the truck home.”

“Maybe I can see if Nick has got someone locked up in cells and you can get one too!” I replied.

“What? And interrupt your chances at a threesome!”

As I was thinking about how I could install a Maxwell Smart ejector seat into the passenger side of the Beast to rid me of smart arse brothers when they got out of control said brother’s phone started ringing. It took him a moment to grab it since it sitting in the tray in the console but he got it up near his face and answered by about the fourth ring.

“Hello Matthew speaking,” I heard him say as I eave dropped on one side of his conversation. (hey my truck my rules!)

“I’m sorry I was unaware that I was expected to keep a phone side vigil just in case you decided to call me. I shall endeavour to do better from now on!”

Obviously who ever had rung Matthew had been trying to get hold of him for sometime, however given we’d been back in range of the Halls mobile tower for the best part of an hour they obviously hadn’t been trying as hard as they could have been.

Matthew talked and I drove and within a few minutes we were driving down my driveway and I was pulling up in front of the shed. I had no idea if we needed to go out again in a hurry but I had no plans to so the idea was to park up the old girl under cover. As I set about those things needing to be done upon returning home Matthew wandered around the yard talking on the phone, once the engine was off I could hear his raised voice. I don’t think he was reading the riot act but I could tell he wasn’t happy.

“Something wrong?” I asked when he got off the phone and came towards me. I wasn’t going to push for an answer but it was enough of a statement to let him know I would listen if he wanted to talk.

“Bloody Stanford, my old boss.” Matthew said. “Reckons he’s been ringing for the last two days, which I know is crap but it makes him feel better if he’s telling people how put out he was.”

“What did he want?” I asked curiously.

“Wants to know when I’m coming back. He told me I’d had enough holiday and they needed me back.”

“I thought you quit.”

“I did but he assumed I was just annoyed with work and needed a break.”

I didn’t need to ask Matthew if he had officially resigned, you know in writing absolving any contract between him and the company as well as any further work, because I knew he wasn’t stupid enough not to if that was his choice.

“Then he told me he had the paperwork shredded because he knew I’d want to come back.”

“Sounds like a real nice bloke. So why did you quit again?” I asked with a smile on my face.

“Honestly the guy is a dickhead. I guess all this time he’s supposedly been ringing me has given him time to work on his speech because he had a lot to say.”

“Did he offer you a pay rise?”

“Nope, didn’t even offer me an apology.”

“So when are you going back?” It was lucky Matthew and I knew each other so well because he did take that question as the joke it was.

Previous Outback story here.