Raw: Imposter by Andie Berryman

A return visit from Oxford’s Most Wanted, Andie Berryman.

Imposter | Andie Berryman

In the newbie walks, I look at her cherry red shoes, she’s knotted the laces at each eyelet to pretend that the shoes aren’t cheap and from the shopping centre. She’s wearing skinny black trousers and a button down black shirt, she looks smart in a butch way. She has daft, short, streaky blonde/red hair, she’s probably used ‘silver’ shampoo to disguise the grey that streaks through. She looks like a bitch.

She stammers sometimes when she talks, she utters stupid questions like “Why are all of these rubber gloves pink?” She knows why, so why even bother saying it? She waffles on about the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars, looking at her colleague like she’s from a galaxy far, far away when said colleague is drinking up the brand new information. She makes jokes about wanting coffee, about the filthy (in a sexy way) bloke who works in a competitor’s shop, about putting down the sexist butcher next door. She’s such a bitch.

Her hands shake as she spoons olives, she doesn’t cut the meat in the right way, she says to the customers she hasn’t worked here for very long and apologises. They forgive her for some unknown reason, if they have a complaint, they don’t raise it. Well. How. Fucking. English. I see through her bullshit, this job isn’t rocket science, but she’s already fucked up the till and asked her poor colleague to show her yet again how to use the scales. Stupid bitch.

She doesn’t take advantage of the free food and prefers to go out in the sunshine and eat a flapjack, lean on the anti-homeless slanting benches whilst watching the pedestrian traffic. She says it’s nice to feel the sun as she puts on her apron again, rolls up her sleeve to show her tattoo. A Morse code tattoo, she explains. It’s the title of a poem that made me want to write, she says. Pretentious bitch.

She waffles on about her kids, makes some jokes and keeps a smile on her face no matter what. She fucks up every five seconds but her colleague hasn’t the nerve to say or do anything about it. She cleans constantly, the hand wash dispenser, the light switch, the fridge handle. No one told her to do that. She tells her colleague how to shift the bashed tins of fine tomatoes, how preserved cherries go nicely in a Moroccan lamb dish, how capers are lush on a goats cheese pizza. Her colleague nods as platitude. Poor colleague, fancy having to work with that pretentious bitch.

It’s five to four and she asks for the third time, what did I do right? what did I do wrong? Her colleague, being nicer than she should, swats the question and tells her this is her second day and not to worry. Fucking hell, just fucking tell her! She walks to the cupboard, takes off the apron, puts on a grey jacket, says goodbye, gets out of the shop and puts on her filigree ring and steampunk key earrings and then I clock out.

Turtly Cornmarket

Andie Berryman gets angry at the injustice in the world, and whilst gathering an army to storm the ivory towers of Patriarchy, she writes angry poetry and stories. Andie’s work has featured in Three Drops from a Cauldron and Pankhearst’s Slim Volume: No Love Lost.

Her ramblings and reviews can be found at andieberryman.wordpress.com

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