Monday, 2 July 2012

63: Waiting Rooms

You see all sorts in my line of work. I service those drinks machines in waiting rooms, the sort that sell you a small drink in a brown plastic cup that's too hot to hold. It's not a bad job really, I get to travel, run my own day, meet people.

Sometimes there's dozens of people there and sometimes not a soul about. It's rare I see the same people twice, although sometimes the girls on receptions might last for a few visits. There's one place where the old gal has been there as long as I've been doing my round, which is 7 years now. Nice she is too, is Doris. We usually have a chat and she'll ask about my kids and I'll ask about her grand kids. Pictures out, comparing stories and who does best at school.

Oh and there's Carl in the tyre place, he's been around a few years too. He started as an apprentice and now he's one of the best mechanics there. He does my van when it wants looking at and only ever charges me cost price. Bet he doesn't tell that boss of his, grumpy bugger that he is. Me and Carl usually talk about football or girls, although his missus is having a baby so sometimes we talk about family stuff.

The worst is when I have to go into hospital waiting rooms, especially those on serious wards. There's a lot of crying and fretting goes on in some of those. If I have time I wait until they've gone, but sometimes I'm in a rush and I have to work there with people waiting. I try to think of it as providing a service but sometimes I just feel like I'm getting in the way. Once I was arm-deep in a machine and a doctor came in for one of those dreaded conversations. I couldn't wait to get out of there. I was glad that I could, unlike the poor family.

I even got a date out of a visit once. Carl had his sister call in for a chat when I was doing a 6-monthly clean and refit. Jenny had just split up with her fella and I'd be single a while, so we went out a few times, nothing serious.

I was telling Doris all about it over a cup of tea. A proper one in a mug though, not one of those nasty ones you get from a machine.

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