I’ve worked for my employer now for around 10 months, and in that time I’ve seen, and been responsible for, a lot of change.
In fact, one of my reasons for being here is to change the culture and working practices to be more customer focused.
So imagine my horror this morning when one of the customer service team slowly turned his chair to face me, looked me dead in the eyes and said, with a face of dread, that things are starting to ‘revert back to the dark ages’.
My heart sank.
The ‘dark ages’ is clearly a reference to the old management regime that caused so much grief and misery. A regime that was responsible for tears, blood and the undercurrent of mutiny I felt when I first walked through the door almost a year ago.
But that regime ended months ago! How could we be slipping back? What could have possibly happened? I’ve worked so hard to maintain a level of motivation and joy in the business and I can’t believe it’s starting to fall apart like an over-dunked custard cream. This is disastrous!
I muster the strength and courage to ask the unaskable question; the question I feared the answer to the most in the world at this moment in time. The only question I could ever ask….
“What do you mean?”
The world goes silent. There’s only he and I now. I can hear my own heartbeat and breath, which sounds to me like Darth Vader after a brisk jog.
I wait for his answer; an answer I dread to hear but I know I must hear.
An eternity passes.
He looks me deep in the eyes now, his face contorted with apprehension. This could potentially ruin my upcoming new year celebrations.
He clears his throat and opens his mouth to speak. Here is comes…here comes the moment of truth.
“This may need to come from you rather than anyone else Dan”, he continues, delaying the moment.
Oh no, it’s serious. It’s so serious that I’m going to have to be the one responsible for managing the consequential impact on the entire business.
“What is it Brandon?” I ask, holding back a mix of emotions.
He opens his mouth to speak again. He we go….
“There are coffee granules starting to reappear in the sugar”
The young Japanese couple who have just sat down opposite me on the train are starting to get on my tits, and they’ve only been sat down for 10 minutes.
Firstly, they’re talking to each other in that baby style adopted by overly sugary couples who call each other honey bunny and cuddly bear, which I now realise is annoying in every language.
Secondly, they haven’t broken eye contact at all, not once; not even to blink.
Thirdly, she keeps flicking his ear, poking his cheeks, running her fingers through his ginger hair (yes, ginger), stroking his nose and grabbing his jaw with one hand so she can use her finger and thumb to force the corners of his mouth up to form a smile.
All of this while sharing a pair of headphones.
I’ve now realised the poor guy isn’t really enjoying his half of this relationship.
Interestingly, whilst writing this, she’d grabbed his hand and was rubbing her own hand with it affectionately.
It mildly suggests YOU WILL FUCKING LOVE ME!!
He pulled away for a second to scratch his nose (I guess from all the stroking) and her tone completely changed. It went icy cold and bitter. She’s now sat there, arms folded, with a face like a smacked arse. In fact, he’s having to lean in towards her just so he keeps his end of the headphones.
Oh, hang on…I think things are ok again as she’s pinching his nose and sticking her fingers up there repeatedly. He seems to be REALLY enjoying that! He threw her a smile that, in my opinion, had tones of “get the fuck off me woman” and she snarled at him. Yes, snarled!
Now she’s playing his overturned hand like a piano, making ‘ding dong’ noises for every finger she presses like a key.
We’re now back to the baby talk and sticky out bottom lip…and plucking an unshaved hair from his chin, or is she picking a spot? All I know is she hasn’t left his face alone since they’ve sat down.
Oh, now shes taking his photo, tugging his earlobes, pulling the corners of his eyes like a western child pretending to be oriental before their understanding of racism, pulling his bottom lip down, sticking her fingers in his mouth (go on, bite down hard!), pulling his bottom eyelid down and pinching his cheeks…
Now I know why samurai warriors would fall on their swords.
Someone’s phone rang on the train very loudly just now and it was a terrible, terrible ringtone. The guy looked at it and let it ring and ring for ages before figuring out he should maybe divert it to voicemail, mainly because he was getting the meerkat treatment from the rest of us.
The rubbernecking bloke sat opposite me at the table turned back from meerkatting to face me once again. I stupidly made a nanosecond’s eye contact with him which was apparemtly invite enough for him to try and engage me in mutual tutting and rolling of the eyes that says ‘bloody ringtones eh?’
Sorry, I’m not getting involved. You’re on your own twatboy.
The situation was exacerbated by the woman sat next to me across the aisle whose phone then rang and she proceeded to explain to her partner which train she was on and where exactly in the journey it was.
Cue more invites from King Tut.
She then spent several minutes looking out of every window with such exaggerated intensity it looked like she was on a rollercoaster without proper restraints. I guess this was to somehow demonstrate to her partner that she was really keen to explain where she was, despite the fact he can’t see her and It’s pitch black outside so all she actually saw was her stupid face reflected in the glass, jerking all over the place like a pervert with a live chicken up their arse.
Anyway, she managed to tell him which station we were at.
At least he now knows how long he’s got before he has to kick her sister out of bed.
Possibly…but consider this; he rang her a further 5 times for a location update whilst I was writing this blog.
I’ve just been out for a lunchtime walk into London town. This was for 2 reasons really; firstly to get some fresh air and secondly to peruse the shops for any January Sales bargains….despite the fact it’s still December.
As I trotted along the street I approached a police car sat by the kerb with its engine running. I quickly adopted my ‘I’m not up to anything suspicious so please don’t look at me’ walk.
And don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all have one. We usually adopt it when walking through the ‘Nothing To Declare’ customs channel at the airport.
Anyway, as I get closer to the car the bright reflection of the sky on the windscreen subsides and I can see that the car is empty. That’s right, I’m stood next to an empty police car idling by the kerb…with no sign of a police officer anywhere.
With this in mind, can someone please explain to me the sudden and overwhelming urge I had to get in the driver’s seat and drive off?
What the hell?
I’m a pretty law abiding citizen with a modicum of common sense, so I know that the moment I get into this car the owners will come running and most likely arrest me; yet I still found it incredibly hard to just walk by!
Moreover, as I walked away I played this scenario over and over in my head and do you know what I concluded? If it had been a private car I wouldn’t have even considered getting in and driving off.
What is wrong with me?
Christmas morning by myself as Justine is working.
Still, I’ve got back to back Big Bang Theory and I’ve eaten like a Hobbit.
Nom nom nom…
Today was the predicted end of the world by the Mayans.
Oops. It looks like you may have been wrong fellas.
Not me and several billion people on the planet.
This pretty much sums it up for me.