Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Big Job Jobbed

Everybody seems to have had a lovely relaxing Easter and Bank Holiday but me.

I had to work on Friday, work on Monday and on Saturday I worked on the last leg of my big job. I spent three days counting and interviewing pedestrians on a desolate railway path with only William from Malawi for company. As I am (probably) old enough to be his mother we had very little to say to each other. Obviously I was the underling and I felt the force of his disapproval every time he and not I hopped along to ask an unwary passer-by whether they had time to 'answer a few questions about their journey'. Very few people passed our way during the 12 hours we spent by the shunting yard (yes, THREE LOTS of 12 hours!) and most of those that did were either speeding by on bikes; non-English speakers; drunk; or just plain nutty. Some fell into more than one category.

 Excited crowds flock to sample Keshling's interviewing technique!

Needless to say it was tear-inducingly tedious and for £78 a day I won't be doing it again in a hurry. It's all money in the bank, or rather off the credit cards though so it was worth doing I suppose.

One thing happened towards the late afternoon that made me feel a bit bad, and still does now just thinking about it. William and I had our bags by the metal uprights of the overpass and two youths came walking along - shirts off, very happy and singing, maybe a bit tipsy. I had been pacing up and down and wasn't near the bags, whilst William had managed to snare a pedestrian to quiz. As they neared our stuff I began to walk towards them - I'll admit it, I wasn't worried what happened to William's bag but mine had a copy of Portal 2 in it that I'd just spent £40 on for Mr Charming's birthday. One of the boys looked as if he was going towards our bags then he looked up and saw me strolling along in what I hoped was a casual manner. He said to his friend 'Look, she thinks we're gonna nick their bags!'. What could I say? I did think they were going to steal our bags. I just laughed and said 'Yep, you saw right through me!' They laughed too but I felt really bad afterwards, and still do now when I think about it.
Would I have acted that way had it been two silly girls walking along? I'm not sure, probably not....I wouldn't feel frightened to take a girl on if I had to. But it was quite deserted with no residential area nearby, in a pretty downbeat neighbourhood. I didn't feel particularly personally threatened by the boys, but you never know. I just think I judged them harshly and that I was wrong to do so. I wouldn't like to think that another middle-aged woman thought my Mr Charming was going to steal her bag - I know that he wouldn't confront her like the lad did me, but he would feel embarrassed and angry. 

Would anybody else feel like I did?

PS I've applied for 2012 tickets this evening. If I get them it'll cost £200, which I appreciate isn't very frugal. BUT! The Olympics probably won't be held in my own country again in my lifetime so I'd be a sad sack if I didn't at least try for some. That's my opinion anyway. BTW, I have some exciting news at the end of the week!!!


  1. I'd have felt exactly as you did - but then I'm often wary of people's motives and young lads when with their friends can be more reckless than when on their own.

  2. I have worked with teenagers for many years and even so be it girls or boys I would have done the same as you. I think your comment back and your honesty will probably actually give you respect from the lads - I think they will understand that with some groups of people you would have been justified. xxx


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