There are some days when I think that I have “weirdos apply here” tattooed on my forehead. It might just be me, but I do seem to attract the eccentric and barmy clients and tasks on occasion.
I blame myself for the most recent one. I put an advert in my local village newsletter, mainly to support it because it’s cute and I think it’s important to keep these local things going. My little ad next to the latest news and views from the WI, the vicar and the Horticultural Society’s Spring update. What could possibly go wrong?!?
Mainly Albert and Vera, that’s what can go wrong! In a huge swing away from my usual B2B client base and talking to very serious corporate entities, it seems I now have on the books a couple of pensioners with weird and wonderful collections of “stuff” that needs cataloguing so it can be sold. Me and my laptop rock up to be greeted with a gramophone collection, 3,000 cigarette cards, 1500 ornamental cats and a half hour of reminiscence about having lots of “gals” in a typing pool. Then, having knocked up a spreadsheet in 2 minutes flat to add the data into I had to be watched whilst typing it in, just in case I wasn’t up to speed (not being a “gal from a typing pool”). This from the man who until 5 minutes before had no idea that such a thing as a spreadsheet actually existed!
After this torturous effort, it was back home with almost a whole 7 items to enter into said spreadsheet just to check I could manage (I didn’t point out that my last epic old school data entry job was 3 WHOLE BOXES of business cards) . 4 minutes on the timesheet or something ludicrous. Again, God forbid I balls up a spreadsheet so simple even a monkey could use it. And then I get “can you send us invoice. I’ve found more cards so I’m not really ready to start properly yet”. Lordy. An invoice is created for less than an hour’s work. Off it goes…
“What’s your address for the cheque, dear?”
It will take me longer to drive into town, park using the bastard pay-by-phone-app, walk to the bank and pay in the cheque and come home than the actual work took to complete. Not on your bloody life, this is already far to surreal for my liking, I’m not adding swearing at the pay by phone lady to my stresses for the grand sum of £27.50. I write back. Politely explaining that it is not 1982 and there’s this magic thing calls BACS. (honestly, I was as nice as I could humanly muster).
“ooh no dear. We don’t use that do we Albert?”
Cash it is then! Sure enough, the postie delivered me £30 in crisp notes today with a letter saying “keep the change”! I honestly still don’t know whether to laugh or cry and part of me deeply hopes that when the moment of great cataloguing is nigh, I am vastly overrun with other things…. love ‘em.