Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Need any help?

That was my strapline over the weekend. I found myself quite willing to speak to total strangers and ask them if I could help them. Quite often I consulted my iPad and found it to be an extremely useful tool once I had decided to not keep taking it out of my bag any more, instead clutching it to my chest. I counted 7 customers in the first 30 minutes, but had lost count by the end of the first hour.

I am not a particularly corporate person, and tend to do just enough, rather than ra-ra-ing like some, however I did feel good as a result of the way people were responding to me. One person even congratulated me on the Opening Ceremony, and I of course lapped it up, even though my only contribution was watching it on telly while gleefully reading the tweets about Danny Boyle's left-leaning extravaganza. Someone else said: 'You guys are so helpful! I think it's great what you're doing!' and that is a nice thing to hear, no matter how cyncical you might feel. I even tried out a bit of my poor and rusty French on one of the Games contingent, and he was - I could tell - very happy that I had at least had a go. Later, he came back to me specifically for further information. I learned that to actually ring the BBC (and not just one of the shows) costs £1.53, and this amused and enraged the (I assume) Russian (I also assume) journalist in equal measure.

The Counter Olympics Network also staged a march right past the station I was at, and a large number of queries were from protesters wanting to know where the march was assembling. I remained neutral, found the information, and guided them to where they needed to be, just the same as I directed groups of Americans to the Olympic Park. Some of the crusties did piss me off a little with their attitude, coming across as condescending, and assuming they knew what my political stance was just because I was wearing a shirt with a roundel on it. They were wrong, but despite their efforts to bait me, I did not tell them so. The boys in blue on the other hand were almost to a man idiots. There were a couple from Wales (one question I was asked was: 'What language is that?!') and some from Tayside, and they were largely clueless - not knowing where the march was going to end until I told them.

Station staff were variable. All very friendly and with a good sense of humour, but some were a little institutionalised in their attitude to customers. One of them (a superior of the station staff) was a bit of a tosser, thinking he was some kind of squaddie or something while smoking fags in his cupped hand.

Seven hours on my feet, and I certainly felt it at the end of the day, though my working week was far from over as I was due at my next location for 7 o'clock the next morning. More anon.


EP said...

I think you'll find it's "Jimmy Boyle" - at least according to Tessa Jowell on R4 Today. And she should know.

Myeral said...

Danny's smarter brother?