(Death - Keep On Knocking)
"God loves a trier," his mother always said, and god knows he was a trier. It never seemed to be his fault that he couldn't keep a job, but the jobs came and they went, and each new thing that came along he tried really hard at, hoping that this time something would stick.
At least the latest got him out in the open air, although it would have been nicer if the open air hadn't usually been full of rain that blew in horizontally off the Channel. And at least it brought him into contact with people, although it would have been nicer if the people had usually been frowning and saying no thank you and shutting the door in his face. But he was outside, and not in some stinking kitchen or noisy factory, and when he got to the end of each street he could stop and have a cigarette and no-one would shout at him and tell him to get back to work.
"Hi, I'm not selling anything," was what he had been told to say as soon as someone opened a door. It was a lie, but technically maybe not, he thought. His job was to convince people to sign up to a book club, so they didn't actually buy anything, just committed themselves to paying money every month for the book of their choice, or if they forgot to choose, the book of someone else's choice.
No-one was interested except for one woman who took pity on him and signed his form. "It's hard work, the door to door," she said. "Trust me, I do it meself." He had hoped for one moment that she might invite him in and it would become like one of those films, but she didn't, and after he left he thought that she would probably cancel her membership in the seven day period allowed. Still, she had been kind, and it made him feel better.
Most people were OK, only the odd one told him to fuck off, a few stopped for a nice chat, especially the older ones, and the only things that spoilt the week were the rain, and the dogs, because he didn't like dogs and they didn't like him, and the dawning realisation of what would happen at the end of the week.
"I'm sorry," his superviser said. "But one sale?"
"Is that it then?"
"OK, then, thank you for the chance."
There weren't any other jobs out there next, so after a pointless morning in the job centre he went back out knocking on the doors.
"Any jobs you need doing? Anything at all."
He didn't get many, but he didn't much care, because to be honest he enjoyed meeting people, and now the rain had stopped and the air was warm and the dogs didn't seem too bad.