Friday, November 04, 2005

I could barely face going into work this morning. I had spent an almost sleepless night imagining every orifice to be colonised by my new office squatters. I called my Lovely Boss at 7.45am to beg for an official leave of absence but he was conveniently away from his desk.

I bit the bullet and decided to venture in after dropping Jack off at school (his Grandma had arrrived to give him a lift as usual but he spent too long tweaking his hair-do so she'd driven off and left him). There was still no news as to when Rentokil could be expected so I called their HQ to be told by some spotty-sounding youth that they couldn't fix a time 'cos it was raining. I was nigh on apoplectic!!! My entire office and source of the problem is under cover.

20 minutes later my hardened negotiating skills and dignified use of Screaming found another Rentokil YTS operative at my door.

It was instantly apparent that the only thing at risk of said offending rain was his carefully-sculpted purple bonce. He obviously wasn't happy to be there. I was less so - I left him to it while I made myself a rare coffee and sought temporary accommodation elsewhere in the office.
I was back at my insecticide-soaked desk an hour later. I was happier to smell of tar and risk heavy metal poisoning for the rest of the day than spend it itching scratching and dropping the phone every two minutes.

It had all left me feeling quite miserable and the resulting backlog of calls was threatening to cause my Competent Veneer to crack significantly. I had little or no patience with the third family member that wanted a theoretical discussion on why a party further down a chain was unreasonable enough to refuse to move house on 24 hours notice when they themselves were prepared to foresake their usual Friday afternoon drink with the lads to see grandmother decamped into her new home. I don't want to sound like I don't empathise with their position - I really do, but right then I was more concerned with trying to keep abreast with the 88 emails that had already colonised my Inbox while I had been temporarily Absent Without Itch from my desk and were promising to pose an even greater threat to my sanity than the mites which by then were making like dying flies ( Booakasha!). But with hindsight maybe I shouldn't have told him to Just Get Over It!

Just when I was seriously considering crawling under my desk to cry in a heap ( stalled only by the fear that 200,000 Bird Mites were doing that very same thing) relief came in the form of Brindley Balm - the only human face of conveyancing service providers who swept in and out armed with champagne ( a raffle prize) and a rather nice bottle of Bergerac ( a personal gift for me which I had no qualms about accepting and would have been opened and drunk at my mite-free desk as I continued to work until gone 10pm had it not been for the still lingering fear of miniscule entymological gatecrashers). That short and unscheduled visit had the effect of stabilising my mind and helping me gain my equilibrium.

And staying late at the office can have its rewards ( never ever fiduciary in my case). Just after 9pm I got a call from none other than the great man himself, Len from Emmerdale ( he used my first name!). He has a Tea Towel signed by his fellow cast members ( and him, too, I hope) as a contribution to my raffle.

And to think I very nearly stayed in bed!!


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