And hands up who thinks I’m going to moan about punters being late? You’re wrong, although the prat who called to announce himself and ask for final directions some eight minutes after his half hour booking should have started (and therefore roughly ten minutes after I was expecting him to call and announce himself) was politely directed home after not even acknowledging his lateness, let alone apologising. Even the tiniest sign of contrition would have made a difference, although nothing like as much difference as texting me to let me know he was behind schedule so I could have waited.
No, my ever-increasing punctuality problem is with punters arriving early. Well, not the early arrival as such – you can turn up at whatever time you like – but the inexplicable urge to call me and inform me of it even though I’m a good fifteen minutes from being ready and trying to have a sit down and some lunch. Or talk to my friend on Skype, dry my hair, watch Netflix, do some yoga, put the washing in the machine, answer my emails or any one of the myriad other things I might be doing in my free time.
The moment the phone goes (and if you’re the next person due I’ll answer it, just in case you’re running late or something’s happened), I have to stop whatever I’m doing and give the caller my full attention because that is part of my job. Being then given the news that you’re here despite not being due for another ten minutes or more means that I have to continue doing this (even though I’m perfectly on schedule) because I can no longer carry on doing anything else; I’m hardly going to be able to relax and enjoy my peanut butter toastie knowing that you’re hanging around out front, shuffling up and down and occasionally looking at your watch?
When I explain how to get here, I will tell you that my flat is no more than a minutes’ walk away from the place where you’ll be calling me for final directions, and this is true – I have no reason to make it up or anything else which might disrupt my workflow; why would I? If I’m in a hotel then it’s fairly obvious that when you call from outside it, you’re nearly here and certainly not twenty minutes from my room no matter how big the place is.
I respect your time – please respect mine. And for those reading who think I’m an irritable, nitpicky snowflake who should be thankful for whatever I get and that being expected to drop everything in a heartbeat whether I like it or not by people who can’t or choose not to grasp how an appointment system works should be a small price to pay, I offer
Rant over and Lord, that feels better. Now it’s a new (tax) year and the sun is shining, the annual onslaught of sneaky bank holidays is creeping up and Easter is just around the corner! As most will have spotted already it’s London for the latter half of the week and then home for the long weekend of lamb, chocolate eggs, and hopefully some time out in the fresh air along with who knows how many others if the number of bodies on the beach yesterday is anything to go by. Packing and preparation for both Waterloo and Edinburgh next week is pretty much sorted and I even found time to go and see the ROH Madama Butterfly being streamed over at the Stephen Joseph on the way home last week as well as getting a big dent made in the decorating (at the flat, for a change).
For Scarborough folks, I’ll be around for the next couple of days as usual then back at work Tuesday week; I’m also planning some down time while I’m away to finally check out the Lego shop in Leicester Square, see the David Hockney exhibition at the Tate before it closes and run over to Ginger Pig for sausages, amongst other things. In my infinite (ha) wisdom when block booking hotels back on November’s Black Friday weekend I hadn’t noticed that Good Friday was during my stay, so armed with the knowledge that bank holidays can go either way business-wise I may yet have an excellent excuse for a skive. With that in mind, anybody contemplating booking Friday after lunchtime-ish might do well to declare their interest early or by the time you call I’ll be sitting on the Tate boat with a flapjack, a can of Irn Bru and a switched off phone.
For Song Of The Week I’m continuing my noble quest to get everybody to watch Detectorists in the hope that some day I might come across somebody else who’s seen my favourite TV programme before the third series starts later in the year. So, here is the lovely theme song (alongside a few bits from the first episode where nothing much happens, not that anything much happens in any of the episodes. Trust me, its fantastic).
Mercifully, the third series of my other favourite TV programme starts on Netflix this Tuesday morning, 7am sharp. I’ll be there, albeit in a horizontal capacity since my bedroom smart TV negates the requirement to be perpendicular. Thank God for hollow wall anchors.