Today, I have been sober for 22 days.
Yesterday afternoon, my wife left for Bangkok, ostensibly to spend 3 days at a special hair dressing school, with a further day added on to see her friends. So I will not see her until next Friday, at the earliest – if then, knowing her track record.
For the past couple of weeks she has been behaving reasonably well, staying home most of the time, (although she did go out with her friend three times during this period and not return until the next morning), but a couple of days ago she started a fight with me when I came home with my friend in the late afternoon, for absolutely no reason, and caused me to reconsider my situation, yet again.
Last night I went to the evening AA meeting in Pattaya. It was a very good meeting, and I left feeling pretty good.
However, my wife’s latest disappearing act was bothering me, and I realised that even though we rarely fought each other any more, her behaviour was still upsetting me, and it was very difficult for me to remain peaceful and calm and happy while I was still cohabiting with her.
I have now realised that as long as she behaves reasonably well – i.e. stays sober, stays home and acts like a loving wife, I start settling into a period of serenity and some happiness, and start to feel motivated to do things in my life. But as soon as she starts to “play up”, be it pick a fight, get drunk or take off to Bangkok, then my emotions are in turmoil, and I have no desire do anything and get on with my life.
So last night I wandered the bars around Soi Buakow for a few hours thinking about all of this and then drove back to the lake, near to where I live and stopped off a few bars there; finally arriving home at 1.a.m. I didn’t drink any alcohol, but I was acting like a “dry drunk” – I craved a drink, and I got no consolation from the comfort I sought at the bars.
Today I woke a little late, and as on previous occasions when my wife has gone away, I had a thorough search around the house to see if she had left any incriminating evidence of what she is up to. In the past I have found a number of things which established that she had been lying to me and ‘playing around’, and I had subsequently confronted her with this evidence, when drunk and angry. As a consequence, she is much more careful about what she leaves lying around the house, or in drawers and I have not found anything of significance for quite a while.
However, this morning I hit pay dirt.
Firstly I found two new phone boxes tucked away in her drawer, with all the accessories and manuals still inside; one for an up market Motorola, and another for an expensive Nokia. I had previous asked her about an IPhone box that I had found on her dressing table recently, and also about her new telephone that she had been trying hide from me. She told me at the time that she had bough the IPhone from a friend who was given it by one of her “customers” and her friend needed the money. More likely my wife was given it by her own customer, and now she has two more phones to add to her collection. I wonder who paid for them.
Then, after some more rummaging around I found her mobile phone bill which has been unpaid for 2 months and was an incredible 9,000 Baht!! I used to pay her phone bill automatically through my Amex account, (it was never more than around 2.5K), but cancelled that arrangement on the last occasion that I left her. Since then, I agreed that she could pay the bill from the “house shopping money” that I put into her account.
Well, it was so high that she hasn’t paid it at all for 2 months! The only way her bill could be that high is if she is calling overseas, but she has been very careful to throw away the details of her call charges, so I could not check. But this time she left one page behind in error – and sure enough it contains details of a number of calls she has recently made to 2 phone numbers in Germany.
And finally, I found one of these International calling service starter kits from AIS. It’s a “pay as you go” card for overseas calls. She is obviously using that in one of her other phones.
So all in all, not a good day, but all this is helping me to harden my resolve to bring this nonsense to an early conclusion. If I lose the house, then so be it, but no amount of money is worth the hell I have been going through and continue to go through.
I need to get out soon.
Enough of this wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I will now continue with “Mobi’s Story”
MOBI’S STORY (PART EIGHT)
THE “INSURANCE” YEARS (CONTINUED)
It was 1986, Thatcher had been in power for a few years and the economy was picking up .
As previously mentioned, my salary had steadily improved and by the time I had resolved to look for a new job, it was at a rate not to be sniffed at, although not at the rates that qualified accountants of my age would expect to receive.
A small subsidiary of an overseas insurer had contacted a few employment agencies with an urgent requirement for a “Company Accountant”. I read the specs for the job, and it was for an accountant to head up the accounts and administration departments. The salary was slightly lower than my current rate, (which explained why they were prepared to consider candidates without formal qualifications), but crucially, a company car was included in the package.
Such was my desire to leave my current employer, and prove to him that I was able to find an employer who thought I was ‘worth’ a company car, that I immediately indicated my interest in the position.
Although the company’s insurance business was quite small, it was overloaded with senior management, and I was interviewed by no less than 3 people: the Company Secretary, the Assistant general manager (Finance), and finally the General Manager himself.
It transpired that the previous incumbent in the position, a woman, had suffered a nervous breakdown, and the whole department was in one almighty mess. The woman in question was still on the payroll, but had been removed from the position, and was involved in some computer project, and in the meantime the department was leaderless and becoming more chaotic every day. As I was to discover later, the two men who initially interviewed me, (not the GM), were desperate for someone to take over and sort out the mess, as it was completely beyond their capabilities to even keep things afloat until a new accountant arrived.
So Mobi, the brash, experienced accountant with the brilliant CV (in which I told a few white lies, including, crucially, that I was the Chief Accountant in my current position), was just the man they were looking for, and I was provisionally given the nod, with barely a question being asked.
However, before my appointment could be finalized, I had to be interviewed and vetted by the general manager, an insurance industry professional and a “larger than life” character, in his late fifties, with very a old fashioned manner and extremely traditional values. Fortunately, we immediately hit it off, but there was one last hurdle.
The GM was on friendly terms with one of the senior directors of my current employers, and told me he would be calling him to obtain a reference.
I waited for a few days, expecting the worst, for I did not know this Director personally, and I felt sure that he would refer the request to the Company Secretary, who by now had become my enemy.
I needn’t have worried, for the Director did not want to admit to my new boss that he had never heard of me, and gave him a glowing reference, and assured him how “Sorry they were to lose me!”.
In the meantime I had given notice to my current boss, who immediately panicked and offered me yet more money, but no car. I was resolved by now, and I enjoyed immensely my notice period, during which I was continually on the phone to my new employers, discussing the specs of my company car which would be delivered the day I started work.
I almost messed the whole thing up towards the end of my notice period, as I was really getting fed up with ‘propping up’ my current boss, and didn’t really approve of the way he treated his staff – he had become much more moody and unpleasant since I gave in my notice – and one day, about a week before I was due to leave, I exploded and told him what I thought of him, my anger no doubt fuelled by a belly full of beer that lunchtime.
Not a good idea. He called the personnel director and I was escorted form the premises, and told to spend the remaining week of my notice period at home. Fortunately, the written reference had already been sent, and no long term damage was done, but as I mentioned previously, the London Insurance market is very small, and it didn’t do to make enemies.
So on 1st March, 1986, I reported for work, in the heart of the City, for my new job, which was to lead me to “greatness and riches”, beyond my wildest dreams.