It's been an odd week this week and I'm quite glad that I have a day off today.
Ever since I changed offices to move nearer home I've had to move back down the rung of the ladder by about 10 years and instead of having a fixed duty I do a different job every week. I don't mind really but it does mean some weeks are much better than others.
This week I'm working in an area that has quite an eclectic mix of people; from 'slum' flats to huge mansions and from an old peoples home to a lap dancing club. There is a main road that seems to divide the area in two though oddly the old peoples home is on the side of the 'slum' flats and the lap dancing club is on the side of the mansions. I'm not sure if there is some hidden or not so hidden message there.
It may be more enjoyable to work on the mansion side of the road (no dog shit, vomit or rotting 3 piece suites to avoid on the pavement) but it's not necessarily easier. The huger the house, and some of these are the size of a small fort, the smaller the letterbox. Some of these houses can only have mail if it is written on a postage stamp that can be folded up half a dozen times then stood on for half an hour. The flat side of the road has no such problem as most of the doors have been kicked in and the letterboxes are subsequently redundant. All I need to do is push open the door and drop the mail in the hall trying to avoid the puddle of urine and leftover take away cartons.
This week I seem to be a magnet for the stranger element! I already mentioned my experience on Monday but I've had two others since then, one from each side of the street.
On the flat side: I was happily going about my business and had just stopped to give a motorist directions to somewhere that was miles away (he's probably still looking!) when I heard a little voice calling me. I turned around to find the voice coming from a genderless person. I don't wish to offend anyone but this person could have been either male or female and the voice didn't help. I don't think they were speaking an English dialect I knew but I'm sure they were sucking a sugar lump because every time they paused for a breath they said "Sweet!". I think the gist of what they were saying between texting someone on a very expensive looking phone was they wanted their giro because they had to go to the job centre and if it hadn't come they would have to go back again. I wasn't exactly sure that was right as my attention was wandering a bit as I looked at the numerous piercings on their face.
"Could you look for it?"
"I'm not allowed to hand out mail in the street I could be handing it out to anyone. It has to be thrown on the floor between the puddle of piss and the curry container!"
"But I'll have to come back!"
My heart pumps purple piss for you I'm afraid.
Listen, I wouldn't have handed over a giro to anyone in the street. Being they were the second cousins to a forth generation of circus freaks had nothing to do with it. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was working my arse off while they sat on their arse all day texting on a phone much better than mine and could afford more earrings than Paris Hilton.
Anyway I digress, to encourage me to get to their flat quicker they stood at the end of the road staring at me and looking at their watch. That was going to work. Not! When I eventually got to their flat (I was sure they had to be somewhere?) they didn't have any mail! Sweet!
Mansion side: This was a touch of deja vu and I'd been there before.
A Middle Eastern looking gentleman was walking towards me brandishing a card and wanting to know where his parcel was. Well I assume that's what he was saying because his English wasn't very good though it was a touch better than my Arabic which consists of asking how his fasting is going and telling him his eyes resemble a penis! Not a great deal of help there so I'm left with the fallback solution, talk slowly and loudly while pointing a lot. That didn't seem to work either and he started pointing and shouting though his voice seemed to get quicker. He obviously didn't know the subtleties of talking to foreigners!
We were getting nowhere so I, using my usual amount of tact started walking off. He followed! This went on for ages until I got to my bike which I promptly mounted and rode off leaving him by the side of the road waving his card like a handkerchief to the passenger of an ocean bound liner.
To take the edge off the day I thought it would be a good idea to stop in at the lap dancing club (don't tell DJ) and that was the end of it for me. There was no Pole dancer! There were Estonians, Croatians and Russians but no Poles!
My am I looking forward to work tomorrow?