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Job

I’d like my job! – Not likely!

 

  


U 5.178-9:  Didn't catch me napping that wheeze. The quick touch. Soft mark. I'd like my job. Valise I have a particular fancy for.

 

Bloom is clearly pleased that he has not given the sponge M'Coy a chance to practise his valise trick on him. And yet most readers of Ulysses today outside Ireland would miss the element of irritation conveyed in the phrase “I'd like my job“. Help arrives in the form of Paddy Crosbie’s Your Dinner’s Poured Out (1981), and particularly his appendix of “Phrases from the Markets Area and a short glossary of Dublin Slang words”:

I'd like me job (that is, no, I won't). (p. 218)

 

        ‘No, I’d don’t like to be imposed on.’ The phrase occurs in Lady Gregory’s short play, The Workhouse Ward (1909):

 

Mike McInerney: […] Bring the both of us with you, Honor, and the height of the castle of luck on you, and the both of us together will make one good hardy man!

Mrs. Donohoe. I'd like my job! Is it queer in the head you are grown asking me to bring in a stranger off the road?

Lady Gregory Workhouse Ward in Seven Short Plays  (1911) p. 157 (first performed in 1908; first published 1909)

 

        The Irish Monthly of September, 1908, includes the same expression:

 

The carpenter agreed, and it was arranged that Thady should go to work every morning at six o'clock. For three mornings Thady arose reluctantly at his mother's call, but on the fourth he stoutly refused to get up. "Arrah, for what?" said he, adding as he settled himself snugly, "I'd like me job!" (p. 484)

 

Eamonn Finn


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