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Creative_Muses, July prompt 5, Worst Job.

I had to give this question some thought but, by hindsight, the worst actual paid employment I ever had was probably at the coffee bars. I had intended to break into show business - Ripper's Rowdies, as I recall. (Actually, the way I envisioned the group was so derivative that I should probably have called it Ripper's Rip-offs.)

It makes me feel old even to think of it. The periods when we were the “live music” weren’t so bad, especially during performances. The problems came when another group was booked or when there simply wasn’t the money to pay us properly that week. When I recall it now whatever success we had is completely over-shadowed by the remembered smell of cigarette smoke mingled with the taste of somewhat some stale hamburger - and the abysmal coffee.

We thought of tea as being a drink for parents, coffee seemed to fit the scene. I remember one coffee bar that served a cappuccino that tasted much as burning rubber smells. I suppose teenagers can stomach almost anything, but I have never really liked coffee since. It would be nice to have fond memories of groupies, at least, but my contribution to the pop scene was never big enough for that.

I suppose Watcher is really my default setting, inherited like a blood group or a minor deformity. Even when I rebelled I helped friends to call a demon rather than taking LSD or marrying someone exotic.

Once I returned to the fold things were different, of course. A Watcher has to do a number of unpleasant jobs. Drugging Buffy prior to the Cruicimentum? I remember an odd feeling of triumph once, in the early stages, before I realised how deadly serious things had become. I think I only truly felt the impact of what I was doing when I realised there was a risk that she might fail. I hadn’t even considered that until Kraychec was loose. Buffy was undoubtedly the best slayer for decades. Afterwards, it was easier to blame the Council than to consider … there is really no way to come to terms with some aspects of a Watcher’s job.

I made up for it, in the end, during the Glory days. What I did was not, strictly speaking, my job – but there are some things that one should not, and must not ask one’s Slayer to do. We used everything that we could mobilise against Glory, but I perceived it as my job, and my duty, to deal with Ben.

I am not sure if I ever been quite the same man since.

Muse, Rupert Giles.
Fandom, BTVS
Words, 431

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