A seagull has pushed me over the edge...

As I once said to a colleague about another colleague having heard she'd resigned "I always thought it'd be the mussels that pushed her over the edge, and yet it was the queenies that did it". I'm not crazy, we worked for a shellfish company. Chucking your toys out of the pram because of an obscure mollusc or bi-valve was all in a day’s work at this place, my bête noir tended to be langoustine. I was the export sales department (yes, all of it!) and we used to export them live and the little gits frequently used to kill each other en route. Which led to many French and Italian people ringing me in some distress. Random jobs we’ve known and loved...

But today, there’s no shellfish, it's the bloody seagull that has done it.

I think it’s pretty obvious from reading my blogs that it’s not all unicorns and pink marshmallows when you’re a freelancer. Just like our employed buddies, we too can have a bad day in the office when the fates conspire against us and people seem to be on a mission to get on our tits. The upside is that in theory we can make an executive decision to say, “sod it” (or equivalent) and go back to bed until the bad stuff passes. In reality though, just like a regular job, you just have to suck it up because tomorrow you’ll just have todays crap and tomorrows to face. Today has been a relatively challenging day work-wise with people failing (again) to reply to things that I need answers on and the knock-on effect of ludicrously bad customer service by suppliers (well, I’ll say it, a bank with a Spanish name, they were knobs when I had my personal account with them and they are clearly still knobs for proper grown-up companies that use them as well) is that I’m having to do things three times and go round in circles and have to confess that I have NO IDEA whether we’ve paid people or not. In all, it’s been a long hard day of frustrations.

I normally love working at home but today I’ve been interrupted by an errant Air B&B guest who was meant to arrive 6.30 – 7.30 and actually pitched up at 4.30. Having a client call at 5 this wasn’t ideal as she had a dog that needed to have calm and sensible introductions to my dogs. As it turned out, she didn’t bring a dog, she brought “Fluffy” from the Harry Potter books just a tad bigger and with more of an attitude problem. And he was having an excitable day. Funnily enough, my dogs had a cow so I ended up hiding in the study with them for my 5pm call.

My call that I thought was with one main client contact turned out to be with the big boss, my contact and someone else. As usual, the speakerphone their end was such ghastly quality I ended up with my ear glued to my phone to attempt to decipher the conversation. Then, the friendly local mouse that has moved into my airing cupboard this weekend starts scurrying about in there and squeaking. So, in one ear I have horribly muffled talking that I am trying to understand and in the other scurrying and paper rustling. Then “Fluffy” sneaks up the stairs and some low extremely pissed off dog growling is added to the mix from beneath the desk. Then a faux-whispered voice calls in a Germanic accent up the stairs “Noo, naughty boy, leaf ze girl dogs alone. Bad Fluffy.”

And right when I think this can’t get any worse, a giant seagull starts doing the Macarena on the flat roof of the extension above my head. The noise is just hideous. It sounds like any second it is going to come falling through the roof. And it is scratchy, claw-y and just on the nails-down-blackboard side of teeth-grittingly irritating.

The call ends. Thank God. I bang my head slowly on the desk and decide that now it is dark at 5pm that is a totally reasonable time to have a gin. Or a cry.

If you know anyone that would like a lovely Virtually Painless book, you can get it here.