Three weeks on in the new job and I’m just about to start my first day on the cleaning round on my own. I’ve got three whole weekends off this month, and its such a relief to know when and how long I’ve got off. The hours mean I’m not constantly exhausted, its great. (Later) The day was fine, had my MP3 player with me and after forgetting minor things such as keys and bin bags, the day passed really quickly – and I didn’t get lost once!I’m still not getting all that’s said, particularly from the Boss Helmuth who speaks such rapid dialect. Mary has told him to speak slowly to me today. I’ll wonder if he’ll remember! There was a Knight’s festival last weekend and Friday had plenty of men in Strumphosen or tights trotting about the place. Lois was booked to bring some of the horses over for what I later found out was a wedding. Lois being Lois had to borrow Edith’s horse because the one they wanted wouldn’t load into the trailer (should have asked me!) and the other is the dumbest, flightiest one on the place. He arrived there without the girth so of course Grani then took his chance to muck about and the Bridesmaid refused to go near him! Still the Norriker from another stable looked brilliant with the Knight, wonder if there’ll be some piccies.
Smoking for me is a major issue here. They cannot understand why I hate it and how I won’t sit near them. They are completely perplexed, even though I was told there is a smoking ban in England and how dangerous passive smoking is. They all go into the café/bar and out come the fags. On the First Aid course, they even got to the beer – amazing! It’s been a real struggle for me because I don’t want to alienate myself. I sit well away from them and when possible with by an open window. Maybe they’ll get used to the foreign nutter or even give it a thought. There is little or no education about the dangers here, and the general ban will be dodged I’m sure- on the induction night the boss said there was a total ban – obviously only by Austrian standards!
I’ve been observing my fellow workers, and maybe a continent apart but I can see great similarities! I find it really difficult not to laugh when Mary gets into what I call her Les Dawson mode. Usually sitting smoking a fag, which stays in her hand the arms get folded and the bosoms hiked up just like in the sketches he did with Roy Kinnear, she only needs a housecoat and a turban. She then proceeds to pass judgment on how the place is run, how it seems crazy what they’re doing, jumping to conclusions, such as when she heard there was no one in the kitchen one day, and we’d have to bring a snack – when she asked Helmuth, he looked flummoxed, she hadn’t read the rota!! Everything that is mildly wrong is a Katastroph, a word which I’ve heard used everywhere I’ve worked and seems to be a favourite. A major source of interest is how many people have been on shift – and it’s either too many or too few. There s also criticism like where I used to work, when something isn’t right e.g. not enough paper towels left in the loos at the weekend, they’re straight to moaning, no could you put more out next time etc etc…….So I felt very smugly that I wouldn’t buy into all this until I heard my self saying to Mary how it just needs communication to be improved and how it could be done…….I’m off for my housecoat!