Thursday January 28th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: abandoned.

Happy to report that my arm was only a little sore this morning, as opposed to the paralysis I was half expecting. Work went well also, despite that being my first shift at Town Hall since I was trained last May.

Tomorrow I've got a two hour shift there again (11:30 to 1:30) and then I'm back at the community centre to do the closing shift (4 to 9). They'd actually initially asked me to do 8:30 to 1:30 again, but then they realized that I was also working at the community centre and that would have put me into double time.

Which, I was informed, 'we don't want that'.

I'm assuming the we in this instance is the people responsible for payroll and budgets and things. Because I was all for it, thank you very much.

Also: apparently two people retired late last year and were replaced by people who had more seniority than me in the relief pool. I've been told to expect more calls because of this. I guess I'll see what that actually looks like in the next few months, but so far so good.

Mine:

"And here's the desk you'll be using today."

"Front and center, I see. Nice, nice."

"So basically we just want you to answer the phone and deal with any people who drop by, looking for information or what have you."

"Great, yeah, sure... I can do that."

"All right then! Good luck and we'll see you in six hours."

"Sorry, what? Where's everybody else going?"

"Management have us all in a training session today. That's why they called you in, to cover for us!"

"Oh, uh... right. Is there, uh, anybody I can call if I have questions or run into trouble or...?"

"Nope, not really. Talk to ya later!"

"... okay?"

"Assuming you're still here when we get back."

"Oh, of course I'll be he-"

"And still breathing."

"What?"

"Have fun!"

2 Comments:

Greg said...

It never rains but it pours, as the proverb has it! You've gone from not enough work to do to also having enough to earn double-time for it, so I hope that all works out :) It sounds like you've got a busy few days ahead too; I hope the jobs are interesting and not just waiting around for things to finish so you can lock up, sing in the empty halls, and then go home.
And I do hope your piece today isn't quite how the onboarding went when you arrived ;-)

Abandoned
The day was bright and cold; the little wispy white clouds in the blue sky hung motionless like the frozen breath of some unseen giant. The trees were still bare; silver and brown trunks rising from green grass and terminating in a cluster of naked branches. A brave squirrel clung to a branch, high up, chattering angrily at the dog that was stood at the base, eyes agleam and tongue lolling from her mouth. Callista walked past, her handbag slung casually over her shoulder and her briefcase hanging from her other hand. She was wrapped in a taupe shawl that her mother had given her for Christmas, warming her shoulders and upper body nicely while still revealing her suit, her warm but form-fitting woollen leggings and her high heels that she'd bought at Christmas for herself.
Frieda was already sat on the park bench. She was effortlessly glamorous even though she was wearing a metallic blue parka with a white fur collar that emphasized her Scandinavian looks. Two businessmen had paused already, considering sitting on the bench next to her, and three starlings were hopping unconcernedly at her feet. Callista sat down on the bench and saw the businessmen's faces fall, realising that there was no space left.
"This is nice," said Frieda, tilting her head back and staring up into the sky. "I've just come from a session with a woman with agoraphobia. I have to draw the curtains and put up screens until she feels comfortable and I feel like I'm a rat in a maze."
"Does that help much?" Callista was more in favour of classical psychotherapy and would have insisted that the woman sit on the couch like any other patient and called it aversion therapy if challenged.
"It stops her screaming and trying to bite me."
Callista considered this and decided that Frieda might have a point. "Have you eaten lunch yet?"
"No, the bagel shop closed down. Apparently the owner committed suicide."
"Inconsiderate," said Callista. "He did the best cream cheese lox in the city. I'd have counselled him for free if he'd said anything."
"I'd have counselled him for free bagels," said Frieda. A peaceful smile spread across her face, and behind them the squirrel lost its grip and slipped out of the tree, much to the dog's delight. "Did you get the files?"
"Yes." Callista lifted the briefcase a little. "Five patients, all Dr. Freud's, all still alive, and all abandoned."
"Five." Frieda sounded awed. "I can't believe there were five. We could make the textbooks with this, you know."
"I know," said Callista, suppressing her glee a little. "We might even be famous!"

Marc said...

Greg - no, not quite. I did have someone I could call with questions. Oh, and no suggestions that I might not survive. That I overheard, anyway.

Lovey scene setting to begin - I particularly like the background details with the squirrel and the dog. And though I'm not sure where these two are going with this, I can't wait to find out!