Saturday, 14 March 2009


I hate Saturdays.

I know that puts me at odds with the majority of people but there it is. The reason for this strange & unusual deviation from the norm is that I work Saturdays and it's my longest day. If I worked the same hours for myself (i.e. doing my photography) I know the time would pass much more quickly because I enjoy it. I've worked 12 hour Saturdays (and more) doing weddings and it passes in the blink of an eye because 1) it's so hectic and 2) I'm enjoying myself.

However, here I am again, answering calls from somebody else's customers. It wouldn't be so bad if I could deal with their queries but they're either not listening to the recorded message (Yes I know they're annoying but there's no other way to do it) or they're just going ahead and pressing an option they know does not apply to them. Come on people!

To get through to me you have to have pressed 1 of 3 options
1) Technical or Network Faults
2) Lost or Stolen (after Customer Services have closed)
3) PUK codes (again after CS have closed)
Where in that are you led to believe that I can tell you how much your bill is this month? Or how many of your free minutes you have left? What about sorting out your upgrade? Nope - I didn't think so.

Obviously this wouldn't be a problem if I worked when customer services were open but I work 'till midnight and they're all closed by 10 (8 at weekends). Most of them close 2 hours earlier. I'm sorry - really I am. I know you think I'm just saying that but I really do wish ours wasn't the only 24/7 department. My life would be SO much easier. I'm also sorry that at least half of you think I'm lying when I say "it's not that I won't help you, I can't help you". Really. I don't have any of your details. Honestly. If I could do whatever unimportant, crappy little thing it is you want me to do don't you think I'd do it rather than have you verbally abuse me for 20 minutes? Jesus. And (whilst I'm at it) I have absolutely no control over customer services opening hours, how much you're charged, the fact your son/daughter/brother/dog has signed you up for a premium sex-chat service or the fact you've lost your brand new phone and you don't have insurance.

I will try my best to help - really I will. It's the way I was raised (thanks Mum!) I will happily go above and beyond but when will you all understand that I'm unlikely to do this if you're rude, arrogant or condescending. Definitely if you're condescending. (Note - no matter how nice you are I will not order you a pizza, phone you a taxi or tell you what colour my underwear is)

Just don't get me started on the obscene phone calls. Really. (Honestly, what's wrong with you people?!)

Well. That's my lunch hour finished. Back to it. The pubs are open now so you can just imagine how much worse things are about to get. It's a good job I haven't completely lost my sense of humour...

Friday, 13 March 2009

"Red Nose Day"

Today has been 'Red Nose Day' (otherwise known as 'Comic Relief Day') The children had to go to school wearing red clothes, in return for a 50p donation.The school playground looked completely wonderful this morning - a sea of red (I love red!) The general brightness was helped by the fact that the sun was shining properly for the first time since October or so. It was great to see everybody had made an effort - there were even a few red Afro wigs dotted around. Hopefully the school also managed to raise plenty of money to go into the 'Comic Relief' pot.

When we got to Eliza's classroom we found out that she was one of six little girls wearing a red 'High School Musical' cheerleader's outfit. They were like a miniature cheerleading troupe! And the whole class were completely over-excited. Imagine it, 30 over-excited 4 and 5 year-olds - oh the joy!!

After my nice walk home in the sun I decided to clean out the fish tank because, although we've had the fish less than 2 full days, Eliza has developed a full-blown "feed-the-fish" obsession. The fish were barely visible and, whilst I'm pretty sure they were happier that way because it made it easier for them to hide from the big, scary humans, it also kind of defeats the object of having pet fish! Anyway, I had to lift the fish out of the tank by hand as the net seems to have disappeared into the twilight zone (I'm not sure who's responsible for that but I AM sure that the culprit isn't a fully grown person!) Whilst George's "Flipper" and Eliza's "Mary" didn't prove to be a problem, Harry's "Sapphire" swam around the tank at full-speed about 20 times and then proceeded to jump out of my hand. He compounded the problem by then flapping around so much that I had serious problems picking him up. Aaaarrrggghhh!

When I eventually got them back into their nice clean tank Flipper and Mary were just about clicking their heels but poor Sapphire was floating stock-still in the middle of the tank. A traumatised goldfish - conclusive proof that their memories have a longer span than the 3 seconds we've previously been told! Luckily he seemed to have recovered by the time his doting 'Daddy' arrived home from school.

Now we get to the end of school. I collected Eliza with no hassles, Harry came bursting out with his ususal big grin and then George came plodding over. "Miss Taylor's coming." Oh-oh! The teachers at my kids' school are quite elusive - only seen on parents' evenings and special occassions - we usually deal with teaching assistants on a day-to-day basis so it was a bit of a worrying statement! Luckily I'm not the kind of parent who automatically assumes my children have done something wrong (to be fair, they've never given me any reason to assume wrongdoing) so my question was "What's wrong?" George lifted his hair and showed me the HUGE lump on his forehead - it's a beauty; just above his eyebrows and perfectly central. He's calling it his "third eye". His poor teacher was very worried and really apologetic - apparently he'd been practising his dance moves for the 'Comic Relief Talent Contest' they were having in class and had managed to bang his head on the leg of a heavy chair whilst moving at some speed! He was most put out at not being able to join in the festivities for the remainder of the afternoon but I tried to explain to him that school's have to be careful and that it did look quite nasty. To be fair, I trust Miss Taylor's judgement as she's a really lovely woman who seems to genuinely care about the children she teaches. Poor George though - he missed the disco and talent contest which were the two events he was most looking forward to.

David's taken the 3 younger kids to swimming club but George isn't swimming tonight. I have a suspicion that his head may be an excuse as his enthusiasm has waned a bit lately but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt!

I just hope nothing else happens whilst they're there...