Cold calling

“Your realise alcohol is a depressant so its the last thing you should go to if you’re sad…” Wisdom.

I woke up bright and early this morning somehow. Mostly the egregious tinkling of my alarm which hauled me out of a very interesting dream to fully awake in a moment. A few minutes trying to remember why I set it so early, as I half wanted to climb back into the dream and then I remembered. Cold calling. Arse.

Espresso in the aeropress and blearily looking at the script I’ve been given. It’s not an easy one, plus I rarely if ever do this sort of work. It isn’t sales at least. It’s just trying to get a list of names of sixth form students in Yorkshire who might want work experience. Problem is, a stranger ringing up a school and asking for information about their pupils isn’t a way to inspire confidence. “Is everybody at this company of yours DBS checked?” asks one receptionist. “I am… and it’s a global company so I’m sure safety will be a priority.”

I make notes in my very crowded notebook, and the hours tick by as I’m sitting in a patch of bright winter sun coming into my window from over the river. Thank heaven for the lack of clouds today. Vitamin D helped balance the fact that I really didn’t relish the work I had agreed to do. I learnt that lesson years ago – never commit to work you know you’ll hate. Hasn’t stopped me, but it’s only a day and a half and it won’t define me.

Those few teachers I do get through to are thoughtful and friendly, but my list is pretty weak. They’re a kind breed, teachers. I get why they’ve been striking too. I’ve seen how hard they work, and the care they take for every individual personality, rolling round year after year. The schools where I get through to someone almost all don’t HAVE a sixth form. They’ve all already left. The company want something like 150 names and I finish a whole days work with nowt but a few contact numbers and a lot of people who never got the original email. I’ll have to follow up on Monday now I’ve sent it to them. Now I’ve made my notes it’ll be much less frustrating. Demoralising though, but a friend of mine was having a similar experience with the other half of the list and we could communicate which took the edge off as we could corroborate the experience.

This week of work experience we are trying to fill could be really positive for the right candidates. A bit of a boost and a way to meet other proactive young people right at the start of their working life. Maybe even a route into a good first job. It was never the route for me, but for some … I’m trying to connect young adults to something that might shift them onto a fruitful and happy track. So at least I don’t encounter that bitter taste you sometimes hear in the unfortunates who call you unexpectedly to flog something they couldn’t care less about. I know this could be a valuable opportunity for some. I like to try to bring positivity, and … at least the sun was shining on me through my cold window while I went about it.

All that and trying to overlook the fact that, by drinking yesterday, I only made it harder today to be in a happy mood. Kinda managed it helped my a pint of apple and ginger juice, but the voice of BED is calling loud now and maybe it’s time to finally try and get back to that interesting dream I was having. If only I could remember what it was about…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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