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Monday, October 17, 2005

Busy Blogger

I've been pretty lax this week, mainly due to lack of time or energy. I have taken on double shifts at the sports centre, to cover the other receptionist's holiday. It is a long, long day, requiring me to leave the house shortly after 7am and return (hopefully) shortly before 10pm. Or shortly after 10pm if some twat of a customer makes me miss my bus. I have now taken to telling dithering customers exactly when my bus leaves. Surprisingly, most have promptly apologised and promised to ring in the next morning.

It is unexpectedly tiring, due to a combination of feeling rough (I've had this throat bug that seems to be doing the rounds) and abject boredom. I've found that I can only concentrate on reading a book for so many hours each day, and with constant interuptions from the telephone or customers it is hard to concentrate on doing anything productive on my laptop.

Nevertheless, it is a nice little earner. I only get 2 thirty minute breaks to eat, but I can sit and drink coffee until it comes out of my ears. If I am officially on a break I won't generally be disturbed, but since there is nowhere for me to go offsite (there are no amenities anywhere nearby), they are kind enough to regard that as being "on call" and thus pay me. Thirteen hours wages a day is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

Although most of my customers are pretty pleasant, there are a few plonkers. Most annoying are those that insist, when I am cashing up after a long day, that they want to book a court for the following week and that they would like me to change a 20 pound note. I am now sticking to my guns and demanding the correct change or no deal. This has caused some consternation among those customers who like to do this to me three times a week. They don't seem to understand that when I am standing with the till drawer open, a 3 foot till receipt being churned out and a wad of notes in my hand - now may not be convenient for me to change a pound coin for the can machine.

One customer took the biscuit. After I told him that he had to pay the correct amount, he scrabbled around for the change.
"I'm 20 pence short - I'll have to owe it to you"
"No, I'm sorry we need the exact change, or the till comes up short and I get a bollocking".
"It's only 20 pence".
"Exactly - it's not worth me getting a bollocking over 20 pence".
Not a lot he could say in response to that really...

The highlight of the week though came from a gentleman threatening to invoke the Freedom of Information Act because his daughter hadn't been offered a place on a (free!) badminton course. I explained that there is a waiting list and he threatened us with legal action. I went away and spoke to the person in charge of the lists who could find no reference to his daughter. I duly rang him back and it transpires that the invitation was in fact a generic letter sent to every pupil in the city inviting them to phone in and register. He claimed that the letter was ambiguous and threatened to write to his MP (none of the hundreds of other parents who received the letter found it ambiguous).
"I pay my taxes!" he ranted.
"And I expect a certain level of service from the Police, the firebrigade, the army..." he continued.
"and the sports centre?" I interjected helpfully.
"Yes and the sports centre".
Irony? What Irony?



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