Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Green Ink, Faith In Humanity And Fatmobiles.

I wish mad constituents still used green ink. Now everyone's got a computer, it's much harder to work out what I should be careful when opening. (I still haven't got over the whole decontamination incident.)

Anyway, today I spot a lavender-coloured envelope amidst today's post, so I leave it 'til last. Then I stab at it with the letter opener, while my back is half-turned. Eventually I succeed in opening it - without cutting it in half for once, so my technique is definitely improving.

"What is it?" says Greg, from underneath his desk.

"Oh," I say, then, "Aww."

"What? What? Can I come out or not?"

"Yes," I say. "You'll never guess what it is, anyway."

"As long as it isn't any more bloody white powder and my manboobs are safe from being put on public display again, I don't care what it is," says Greg, sitting back down in his chair, and wiping his forehead on his sleeve.

"It's a thank you card."

"Piss off, Molly! Don't be ridiculous."

"See for yourself," I say, and pass the card to Greg. It makes both our days. I can't remember the last time a constituent said thank you after we'd got them a result. Not that I think you should expect bonuses for just doing your job, but a thank you never goes amiss.

It's not as if I even did much to earn this one, either - I only sorted out Mr Bradley's hospital transport, which should never have been overlooked anyway. He writes that he's now got his prosthetic leg, that he's managing "very well" and that he and his wife will be "eternally grateful" for what I did for them.

You've got to love Mr B, even when his thanks make you cry. It seems that I can cope with anything in this job - except for people being nice to me. Greg's quick off the mark with a reality check, though.

"Makes you think, doesn't it?" he says.

"What does?" I bet I've got mascara halfway down my face.

"How some people are so reluctant to ask anyone for help, no matter how much they deserve it, and then all these other bloody whingers - " He waves his hand across all the files and letters on his desk.

"I know," I say. "But at least there's some hope while there are still people like Mr B around. Now answer the phone, and let me get on with all this. I've got the damned diary to do as well today, don't forget."

An hour later, Greg demands that he be allowed to take an early lunch. He says that it is an emergency as, if he does not escape this madhouse, all his new-found faith in humanity will be lost. The reason for this turns out to be that Mr Franklin has just phoned - from the seaside.

"Well, that doesn't sound too bad," I say.

"He took his fatmobile there, on the train," says Greg.

"And?" I can't see what's so surprising about that. Mr F takes his fatmobile everywhere. Because he's fat. That's the whole point, plus I am too busy trying to decipher an invitation from the Cuban ambassador. Flowery handwriting is very hard to read.

"And he's run out of petrol, for f*ck's sake. Halfway down the pier. Wanted me to sort something out."

"And did you?" I ask.

"If I'd been there, I'd have pushed him off the end, but as that's not an option, I told him to phone the AA instead. And if I don't get out of here for a bit, I'll be needing the other AA. So much for a renewed sense of purpose," says Greg, as he puts his coat on. It won't surprise anyone that I decide to join him.

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