Friday, 29 May 2009

When 2 tribes go to war

Last Wednesday morning I was sitting in my French lesson when the phone rang. It was quite a long conversation starting off with Mr S, who said “yes he is here now” and “I’ll pass you to my wife”
I was the only other male there so it didn’t take a genius to work out that it was probably about me. Unfortunately I could not hear most of the conversation as Mrs S was at the other end of the room, and I had my back to her. To paraphrase
S- yes he is studying Bled and at the moment learning vocabulary. Well I think his French has improved since he has been coming here. It’s your job to phone these people, not his, you should be doing more of this…. You should be contacting the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber des Metiers, not him….

When the call finished, Mrs S came over to me and told me that she had just had a phone call about me, from my Instep advisor (that I was going to be seeing later that morning. I think that my advisor had been casting aspersions on the efficacy of their French teaching. Bearing in mind that the authorities stopped paying them for my attendance ages ago, I think that she has a bit a a bloody cheek.
Mrs S tried phoning the Chambre des Metiers to reach a contact there that she knew and tell him about me and my availability to help companies requiring English tuition and / or help with corresponding with English speaking companies. Unfortunately he was out, so she left a message asking him to contact her. She told me not to tell my advisor that she was contacting the CdM as in her opinion my advisor should be doing it. It was to be a secret.

I went to my Instep appointment and as usual, was kept waiting for 20 minutes. She was not in a good mood. As usual she had no memory of what it was that my tasks had been, so I reported about the cheques service employ and my visit to Elite services.
She still was not happy. Why had I not got information about the cheque service? I explained that I didn’t need to do anything about it as people would give me the cheque and I would pay it into the bank. What about information about the cheques and how they worked to give to my clients if they asked how to do it? I said that I would tell them that they needed to go to their bank and get a book of the cheques. I was not winning. I should have demanded information. She stomped over to her computer, she was going to find the information for me and print it off. The document she found was 58 pages long. Much huffing and puffing that that was too many pages. She eventually found a 2 page summary and printed that off.
Then, she had a go at me about my French progress. She had been speaking to my French teacher, she said. I said Oh? Mrs S had intimated that my French with her was perhaps worse when I was with her, because she was intimidating me and using vocabulary that was not usual, everyday stuff.
I said that it was not a problem for me and that I understood a lot more French than I spoke.
She then told me that she had noticed that my CV had mistakes in it and needed sorting. I was thinking, that it was strange because she never remembered anything about my documents normally, and that if there was a problem with it, she should be prioritising that, instead of sending me off on wild goose chases.
Anyway, I now have 2 more errands to do, both in a nearby town and she happens to be attending one of the events, which is some sort of mini employment fair and that I should turn up there in the afternoon and have a chat with a Mr D.
Next French lesson, Mrs S was interested to know how I had got on with my advisor. She also told me that there was a day long employment fair in a nearby town next Tuesday, that Mr S would be attending, and that I must go to it and Mr S would be able to introduce me to people there. Snap!
I don’t see Mr S being as keen as her. He said that if I turned up and talked to him, I would probably be the only visitor to talk to him all day, as nobody ever had done in the past.
Sounds like a real party! Now if only I had a tip-top CV thanks to my advisor….

Regarding the choir performances. What an avalanche of people wanting to come and see us. Demi Moore was hoping to be here, but has decided to go and see Susan Boyle singing in "Britains got talent" instead.

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