Jess saw my Greased Lightnin’ lyrics when she pinched my Perypils newsletter to roll her cigarette on. She read them out loud whilst her customer was on hold. They are quite complicated; I mean “Palomino dashboard and duel muffler twins” doesn’t trip off the tongue very easily, and I don’t feel very comfortable singing “You know that aint no shit we’ll be getting lots of tit”, but I’m sure with some practise it will be fine. Jess said I ought to pull a sickie, so I could rehearse properly. I didn't want to get into trouble,but she said you were allowed to have 5% off as sickness. I tried to work out my attendance rate whilst changing a customer's address for them. They weren't very grateful, complaining that we kept getting it wrong. Jess worked it out for me in the end - she reckoned I was entitled to be off sick for two days, and that would take me to 4.8%, so I wouldn't get into any trouble. Great! I texted Myra to see if she wanted to rehearse with me tomorrow and she texted back to say she would, straight after Jeremy Kyle.
Last night's meeting went really well - I am to audition for the part of Danny Zuko! I'll have to perform a "Greased Lightnin" solo, then a "Summer Nights" duet with a prospective Sandy. Myra has the best singing voice in the group, so she should get the role of Sandy. I will have to perform at my very best to be heard over her mighty, bass-baritone range.
I wrote out the lyrics for both songs, and kept them on my desk, covered by a Perypils newsletter. I peeked at them during the longer calls, trying to commit them to memory. One call went on for ages this morning - it was an elderly gentleman, who had called to ask us to stop addressing letters to his "diseased" wife. I kept asking what was wrong with her, but he just got more and more upset. He hung up in the end. Our old customers do get very confused sometimes.
Mum was sitting in the kitchen in her dressing gown when I got home. I asked her if she was ill, and she said she was undressed because she'd been trying on outfits for Auntie Trisha's civil partnership. I was impressed she was so organised, as that was months away. Mum had missed a couple of empty wine bottles when she'd been doing the recycling, so I took them outside to add to the crate and heaved it down to the gate, ready for collection.
I checked through the post, as I always did, to see if there was anything from Dad. He said he'd write when he was settled somewhere, but I can't call him because he doesn't have a phone. There wasn't any post for me, so I made myself a quick marmalade sandwich for tea, as I had to get to a planning meeting for the SADS - Shodsworth Amateur Dramatic Society. Tonight we would be discussing our next production - Grease. I was very keen to secure the role of Danny Zuko, or at the very least, Kenickie. In last year's Oklahoma!, I'd just missed out on the part of Curly McLain, as at the time of the audition, I had a horrid cold sore that kept splitting. I'd had to perform the song "Oklahoma" without moving my lips too much. I overheard the director say that I'd be perfect for the role if Curly had just suffered a stroke. I am currently cold sore free and my adenoids have all but cleared up. Surely it's my turn for a major part? Fingers crossed. When I left for the meeting, Mum was still sat at the kitchen table, staring into space. It must be so difficult being a woman; fancy having to agonise over outfits like that.
Myra texted just before my lunch - she wanted me to go to Weight Watchers with her, for support. I said I would, although I had been planning to go to Boots to get some nasal hair clippers. I'd been examining my reflection in the side of the stapler whilst waiting for a customer to stop crying, and I could clearly see a hair protruding from the left nostril. Where had it come from? I Googled "Why is hair growing from my nose" on my phone, making sure I held it under the desk. The top answer was: "It's God way of saying he hates you" which wasn't exactly helpful.
At Jubilee Hall, I held Mrya's handbag whilst she was being weighed. For the fourth week running, the poor thing was suffering from severe water retention. I tried to take her hand as we left, but she was too upset to be comforted and we walked to Burger King in virtual silence.
When I got back to my desk, I found a yellow post-it note stuck to my screen. It was a drawing of a man's face, with a spider crawling out of the nose. It was very good, and it must have been done by Lucy, as she's the most artistic person in the team. That was sweet of her to do a drawing for me; trying to make me laugh, probably, having sensed I was having a bad day. Did the picture have some sort of hidden meaning? I smiled at her
conspiratorially but she quickly looked away. She really was a very sensitive girl. I sent her an email to say thank you. I did put a couple of x's after my
name, but decided to change them to smiley faces at the last minute. I didn't
want her to think I was being forward.
I was a little bit late getting to work again this morning. I couldn't get into the bathroom as Mr Ryder from next door was in there having a shower. Mum said his boiler had packed up so she's very kindly letting him use our hot water. I waved to Mrs Ryder as I pedalled furiously to work. She was returning home after her night shift at the hospital. I expect Mum will let her use our shower too.
Luckily, I arrived at work before my team manager, George, so I think I got away with it this time. I smiled at Lucy, but I'm not sure she saw me. She's wearing her short, blue dress today, the one with the low back which reveals her tattoo of a fairy. Or it could be a daddy long legs. I can't get close enough to see properly. There were lots of calls queuing. Jess, who sits next to me, was browsing Primark Online, whilst on the phone to Barclays, berating them for bouncing her direct debit to Vodafone again. She's such a good multi-tasker. My first call of the day was from a customer who wanted to know how much it would cost to add his schnauzer to his policy. I told him we didn't cover individual body parts. I put him on mute whilst he was shouting and listened to Jess and Nick gossiping about the weekend. Apparently, George had been seen snogging a married woman outside Storm last night! Someone had managed to take a picture, so I made a note to have a peek at Facebook as soon as I could get my phone out without being seen. I always seemed to get caught more than the others.
I saw George come in, and show something on his iPhone to Lucy, who sits next to him. They both laughed very loudly. Lucy doesn't take many calls these days as she's become a sort of deputy to George, so she has to do things with the daily figures and lots of adminy-type stuff. Some of the team don't seem to be very happy with this arrangement, and organised a team meeting on Friday to discuss it with George. Unfortunately, he was off sick again on
Friday, so the meeting didn't happen. Our department manager, Kate, walked past and said something to George. She couldn't have had a very good weekend because she didn't look very happy. I think she might have been watching the Olympics, because I thought I heard her say the word "O-lym-pic". I did think for a moment that she'd said "Oi, Limp Dick!". How funny! As if Kate would ever say something like that, she's far too professional. I noticed that everyone in the team had suddenly picked up a call, even Lucy. It's great how the team pulls together when the number of calls in the queue reaches treble figures.