My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Working with older people

I love what I do, not least because while I'm working I get to chat to lots of lovely individuals. Most of my customers are elderly, and although I don't subscribe to the niaive belief that all older people are lovely per se just because they are old, I do find most of my customers to be friendly, kind and also very interesting. And just like me, they're not in a hurry, not desperate to be out there rushing around, living this mad 24/7 thing we all seem to be obsessed with now. After my past 2 jobs, it's a refreshing change of pace and of perspective.

But the downside to working with the elderly came home to me today, when one of my customer's next of kin rang to say that he had passed away last week.

I don't know what else to say really. I'm not shocked or devastated, just a little sad, and feeling that when I go to see my customers in the future I'll make sure I enjoy the time I spend with them each and every visit.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Why I hate snow, but love the AA...

I came down to Norfolk on Monday, batteries recharged and ready to crack on with my new career. I was a little nervous on the way to my first customer but to my relief the nerves lifted as soon as I started work, and I've had half a dozen customers, interesting, nice people with interesting and not too complicated nail and foot problems, and I've loved the getting out and about and not being stuck in an office doing the same things day after day.

And then came the snow, spoiling it all.

I feel in a bit of a minority as everyone else around me seems to love the stuff, and I do agree that there is something quite magical about it when it first starts to fall and the world turns white, clean and bright bright bright - especially first thing in the morning.

But that's it, half an hour of it is fine. Now I just want it all to melt and go away. I'm sick to death of the time it takes to clear the car each day, the treacherous roads and driving conditions, idiot drivers in 4 by 4s who ignore the treacherous roads and driving conditions, slippy-slidey pavements, chilblains, the need to dress up as Mrs Michelin every single time I want to leave the house, panic buying in the local shops with all the bread and milk gone by lunchtime and queues around the block, frozen taps at the stables where my sister drags me each day to help out with the hay and feed routines for her 3 horses, twisting my ankles in snow-covered hidden ruts and rabbit holes in the fields. I'm sure I could think of more reasons but I'll leave it there for now.

So when I left my sister's house on Wednesday night about 10-ish and my car wouldn't start, I blamed it on the snow and the arctic cold. I rang the AA and they sent a really nice man out the next morning, who got in the car, turned the key, put his foot flat on the accelerator - and the car started almost immediately.

He was very kind - didn't look superior or condescending at all, didn't do any of that "woman-driver" thing, and in fact went out of his way to make me feel that I hadn't just wasted a whole load of his time because all I had done was flood the engine.