busy night (2004-07-27 - 6:10 a.m.)
Six a.m. I am still reasonably coherent and am relishing the thought of NOT rushing off to do eight more hours of work after this. It's remarkable how good it feels. ahhhh....
I was supposed to work in the kitchen down at Clarendon today (oops, yesterday now, I guess). I turned up at 8:00 like I was supposed to and everyone looked at me in surprise. "We didn't order you!" It was quite embarrassing (and I wish they'd found another way to put it: I know it comes with this temping thing but I don't like being ordered like a pizza! But anyway). I went down to the agency to ask Angie, who's in charge of finding me work, about it. It's weird, she seems to have really taken a shine to me for some strange reason and was quite upset. She called around and found out that they did "order" me, then never bothered cancelling it when they didn't need me anymore. The upshot was, I got paid 4 hours worth just for showing up, and I got an unexpected day off! Sweet!
Not that I did much with it besides shopping and trying to rest up for the nightshift. It was still very pleasant, though. Not sure if they'll be able to find much else for me before I leave on Sunday, but I worked extra hours on Saturday and have three nightshifts, so it's not so dire.
This shift has been nuts. It started with a bunch of wee'uns stealing our hot chocolate, progressed to really scary disgusting drunk men attempting to burst through the door (unsuccessfully, thank heavens: the bolt is very strong or else I probably wouldn't want this job!) and ended with three scared English kids who thought every Irishman in Belfast would be trying to kill them.
But the most drama was the cute Quebecois twin getting his "purse" stolen (his terminology, not mine). The two of them are identical, except one is a seperatist and one's a federalist! They're called Jean-Pierre and Jean-Francois. Anyway, Jean-Pierre was having a smoke on the corner outside the hostel when some of those &^*"$$^% wee'uns came over and started talking to him. The next thing he knew, he couldn't find his bag.
I found out about this when two of the kids came to the door with the bag. They wouldn't give it to anyone but Jean-Pierre, and they were telling some story about how everything was there but the video camera and "a man must have stolen it". Jean-Francois managed to grab it from them (whereupon they tried to demand payment) and sure enough all the money and the video camera they had borrowed from a friend was gone, as well as some credit cards and things. It was pretty obvious that they wouldn't have known about the camera if they weren't in on it, but we couldn't really just grab them (for one thing their fathers are probably in the paramilitary!) so we just reported it to the police and left it at that. They left the passport and plane tickets, thankfully, and amusingly also didn't bother touching the Canadian dollars!
So that was pretty terrible, though the twins were quite funny about it. "The one thing I most regret is that now I can never show anyone the footage proving that I beat my brother at golf this morning!" Thinking about it, those kids are going to have fun trying to work the camera, as it obviously won't fit the British plugs.
The English boys showed up at 4 a.m. They had come to Belfast without booking accomodation and someone had obviously put a scare into them about what happens to English people in Belfast (which is frankly ridiculous). I couldn't let them in, but they showed every sign of just staying on the sidewalk outside the hostel, so I called over to another hostel to get them rooms and booked them a cab there. Later Jake the Yugoslavian showed up again and appeared to be gearing up to tell me the story of his recent breakup AGAIN (it took nearly two hours last time) but I pointedly started doing the cleaning and he went away.
Was going to write some thought-provoking and insightful (ha!) stuff about what I learned living and working with people who are actually FROM Belfast (not just foreigners this time) but I'm super tired. Maybe next time...
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