Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The incorrect side of the reception desk

Okay- so yesterday was without question the longest and dullest day I’ve had in this dull and dour office, which is now officially amongst one of the top three dull and downright depressing jobs of the 27 jobs I’ve had. So you’d think that I would actually be grateful for some work to come my way? Incorrect. I now have a steady trickle of menial tasks to be getting on with, but I simply do not have the energy nor the enthusiasm to complete.

As soon as I was set to task, my new tumour- Kelvin decided to bugger about in my brain leaving it redundant and useless to all and sundry. A chink of light however has been handed to me though, with the heady mission of delivery some documents to Manchester. Oh bliss. Nearly two hours away from this morbid hell hole.

This will be my third trip to our Manchester based solicitors after two previously successful missions. Alas, I didn’t endear myself to well with the ladies on their overly efficient reception though. Once more I put this down to my unpleasant demeanour at the time and my naturally scruffy appearance. I incorrectly thought that they would be most grateful for my hard work in the deliverance of the most important documentation, however I found their mannerism rather curt. I incorrectly assumed they would at the very least offer me a cup of tea or coffee? Of course I don’t drink coffee, however the gesture of goodwill would have ensured that I recommend that we retain their services for any forthcoming projects. Of course I have no say in this matter what-so-ever, but they aren’t to know this, and their assumption that I am the Office Dog’sbody (which is true) and can talk to me in a manner not fitting of the lowest manservant in Hiltler’s holiday home simply wouldn’t do.


My first visit to their office after arguing with several painfully churlish and jobs worthy voices on the other side of intercoms regarding my mission, I eventually struggled back and forth up three flights of stairs with the five boxes of heavy documents and dropped them by the reception desk. I waited there for at least 6-7 minutes before the receptionist asked me if I could move the boxes to the other side of the triangular reception desk, as they can’t help me if I remained standing there. “what?” I was incensed by the act of pedantic ness, (or should that be pedancy?) and moved the boxes around as she requested.. Remembering that at the time I was in a most foul and unpleasant frame of mind caused by the change in season, I stood there for an further ten minutes before she turned to me and asked if she could help. I explained that these boxes were most important and that their recipient should be informed post haste. She looked blandly at me and said if I just left them there she was sure he’ll get them.

I bid her good day and tried unsuccessfully to get out of the door which I had slowly trudged those damned heavy boxes several times earlier. I went back over to the desk when it became clear she was ignoring my requests to open the door for me. This time I waited ion the correct side of the desk and was eventually informed that the only way down the stairs was in the lift. At that moment had I been an animated character my eyebrows would have leapt right off my face is astonishment. “Lift!??? Why didn’t you tell me you had a LIIIFT!?”

She just smiled whist she answered the phone and wagged a bony over manicured finger in the direction of the lift.

I chuntered a few expletives and got in the lift, found my car and got the hell out of dodge and headed back to Liverpool.


On my second journey, I was told by the car park receptionist to park in Bay No. 16. I was not surprised to see that someone else was already parked in this bay, and I used what little initiative I have and parked in another space. This time I remembered the lift, although I only had a handful of papers that needed delivering. Upon my arrival to the reception, I noticed it was a different receptionist, in fact it was a female security guard complete with a million ear earrings and Doc Martin Boots. I noticed that she was dealing with a gentleman on the “incorrect side of the reception desk” .
So I stood behind this gentleman and waited to be seen.

When she finished dealing with his query and signed for safe receipt of the package he had brought in, she rolled to the opposite side of the desk pushing herself on her chair. I waited for a minute until I caught her eye. She saw me and her face dropped
“can you move round to this side of the desk please”

I turned around to see if someone was nearby where I could give them a look of disbelief and astonishment, but the only person there was an elderly gentleman wearing a matching security uniform-but minus the million pieces of gold threaded through his ears. I just wanted to ditch the documents and go home as the Germany Vs Argentina game was due to kick off shortly.

“I asked you to park in bay 16” she bluntly told me

“someone was already parked there”

She looked at a monitor behind her desk and shook her head slowly.

“no- it’s free.”

“oh- well there was someone there when I came in”

She didn’t say anything, but gave me the look of “do I look stupid?” which of course with all that gold hanging from her ears was true and handed me a piece of paper to sign, which I duly did- once again signing the ‘Print name here’ section and printing my name in the ‘sign here’ section again.

I thanked her but didn’t mean it and went back to my car via the elevator, only to find a black BMW which looked like the ‘effing Bat Mobile blocking me in. Great. I waited ten minutes before buzzing the intercom to explain my predicament. The snotty reply was ‘I’ll see whose car it is”. I’m sure I heard her laughing as before I was cut off.

I didn’t believe her so waited impatiently for a further ten minutes before another well dressed solicitor type slowly walked to the vehicle and drove off without looking at me or acknowledging his mistake. This pissed me off.

I followed his car up the ramp out of their car park and as he was turning right and I was turning left I shouted over “don’t mention it!”

He looked over coolly with his suit and sunglasses making me feel scruffier by the nanno-second, and sped off in the opposite direction. I got caught in the Mancunian traffic and missed the first half of the game. Bugger. Perhaps I’ll just pay a homeless guy £5 (from petty cash naturally) to take in my delivery to their office and save myself some bother or perhaps I should enquire as to how one goes about becoming a receptionist for their utterly pedantic company as surely this would be a role I would excel in and I’d do a damned better job than the two banshees that had previously caused me such anguish.

Please find suitably defiant music for your own personal battles:

Fight The Power- Public Enemy

Theme from Shaft – The Wedding Present

3 comments:

Jo said...

That's the good people of Manchester for you ...

mark w said...

a trip to mancunia is alway fraught with peril. many years ago i went to see mazzy star & sparklehorse [on the same bill!!] and we got hopelessly lost exiting the city. ended up returning to harrogate via derbyshire and south yorkshire, whaaaaaat?! although we did have the neat moment of following the windiest of all windy b-roads in the dark and cresting a hill as 'electronic renaissance' off the first belle & sebastian album got going, and the twinkling lights of [Sheffield? Barnsley?] spread out below in a 1am 'we're back on track' moment. as john shuttleworth intimated: 'you're like manchester, you've got strange ways.'
the word is - ahem! - pedantry.:-P

Matt said...

ah! 'Pedantry'- forever in your debt sir.

Did you know there is a band in Liverpool called The Pedantics? As you will no doubt be fully aware the correct term ought to be The Pedants- however gleefully pointing this out would be perdantic surely- oh what fun can be had....

...man I need a new job!