30 Nov 2003

Tap and Unwrap

“Hi Honey.” Brenda came over, smiling and shrugging at the same time. She press-ganged me into coming in next Saturday, in my own time, for no extra money, to put up Christmas decorations. “It’s time to deck the halls …” she sang. Honk. Honk.

I’d like to deck her.

All hell is breaking lose at the call centre. Queues of customers have been smashing into the headsets like waves against the shore.

The temps are useless. The scrawny, Artful Dodger is almost horizontal in his chair. “Greg!”

“Grunt.” He replies.

“There’s no point shrugging. You’re on the phone they can’t see you.”

I’ve just come off a complaint from a customer who was unhappy at missing the Christmas deadline for personalised pound coin holders.

“What can I tell my grandchildren on Christmas day when they come to open their presents and there’s nothing there?” She said indignantly.

I’ve saved them from a fate worse than a chocolate orange. My work here is done.