Sometimes when I walked into the Office I can almost think I am at International Departures, Dubai. Its a case of ” spot the English person” and its nothing to do with Brexit or illegal Migrants. Its just another day in the office.
Out of the 8 people in the office, ( excluding our Teachers) we only have 3 English people. It makes for a great mix with lots of Latin outbursts or Nordic coolness and some Arabic magic. Currently with Summer School just under way its all rather frantic and by 10.00am I am usually looking for some headache pills and a darkened room. Yes, I am taking lots of water and meditating whilst on the toilet but it doesn’t seem to help. ( who said women cant multi task?) The deep breathing and lying on the floor for a few minutes doesn’t help either. Not only does no one take any notice of me on the floor but they neatly step over me without offering any assistance. Or worse, they lie down with me, ask a question and then get up again as if this was simply normal behaviour.
Lana ( from Ukraine) has taken to walking around the office with a headset permanently attached to her head and sometimes ( well quite often actually) she forgets to unplug it from the phone and the said phone ends up dragging along behind her whilst she makes a double espresso or has a comfort break. Thing is, she doesn’t often notice until its too late and eventually she is going to pull the whole thing off the wall and we will be ” without comms” until BT can send a man around that does! ( although at times it does have a certain cache about it). The more stressed she becomes the louder she speaks. Or maybe that should be ” the louder she shouts” and if we see her pick up the phone we all hurry to finish our conversation otherwise we will not be able to hear ourselves over her conversations. Heavens above, those Ukrainians sure speak loud and fast”!
You may remember she had a bad day once and instead of photocopying the Certificates, she shredded them. Allegedly by mistake. After standing at the machine for twenty minutes she complained the photocopier was as slow at making copies as the Ukrainian Ministry was at making Visa decisions. Truth to tell the Certificates had not come out, as they were in fact in pieces in said shredder. She said both machines looked so similar she mistook one for the other. I have forgiven her…. but only just
Irma who now has an ally in swamiyesudas ( do read his super blogs) has been tightly controlling the Petty Cash and the buzz words throughout the office are ” respect the budget”. But more of that later.
She also thought she should take the parents of one of the students to task by telling him that he should not hang around his daughter when she is on a course with us. To be fair she is right, but telling him in such a blunt way may not be ideal. She told him that he was welcome to join the group to Hampton Course provided he didn’t hang around with the main group but could just hitch a ride with us. The poor old Papa was so scared by her that when I assembled the group this morning I noticed that he was waiting across the road. As we moved out to cross the road to make our way to the station, he saw us coming and picked up speed ensuring that in no way could Irma determine that he was ” with the group”.
By the time we had arrived at the train station he had already bought his ticket; purchased a skinny Latte macchiato and devoured most of the Metro newspaper. Poor man, he probably will be scared to talk to his daughter all day now. It was her first time away and so worried about her, was he, that he asked to be placed in the same host family as her and wanted to sit in on lessons. Well we didn’t allow him to sit in on lessons or come with us on the bike ride, but its a shame he is cramping her style as we really want her to mix with the others and make new friends.
Anyway back to Irma!
She really does seem to have taken on a terrifyingly new persona now that she is in charge of, not only our Spanish Department but the booking of all activities. She has made some great savings on both Hampton Court and Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth but I fear its only because she is bullying the people at the other end to give us ” great rate. great rate”. In my quieter moments I am pleased. Any savings we can make are always good. But before any of the Activity Leaders can go out on trips she gives them strict instructions on what to spend; what to do and when to breathe. Below is Alaedene ( yes my trainee Pilot moon lights for us in the summer whilst his college is closed ) explaining to Irma that he did indeed buy 45 Magnums yesterday for the students but only because it was so hot.
After he had explained why he did this , she grunted and said ” well at least its raining today, so you wont over spend!”
for those of you who are curious about Mr Wu, who has as you know taken a sabbatical, we have found him here….
and so if you are ever in London, be sure to visit.
MSM – GUARANTEED!!