Wednesday, February 08, 2006

rant, write, read

okay, i know, i promised a rant, kind of. the funny thing is that some of my friends who read the blog actually told me they were looking forward to it. *L* i hope nobody will be disappointed now. that pressure! *sigh*

this story actually begins in the spring of last year. once a year you have to make sure the chimney-sweep has access to your flat to do whatever they have to do, something that takes approximately 37 seconds, and messes up half your flat. but fine. they tell you that date months in advance so that is okay. if you cannot be there, you just make sure you are there either 3 months or 6 months later.

anyway, i could not be there, because a new class started that day. they left a note to be there 3 months later or else there could be problems. i rang their office. the lady on the other end of the line was not terribly friendly, but i managed to tell her that i already knew i would not be there that day in august, because we had already booked our holidays. she told me that in that case i would definitely have to be there in november but that would be okay. i asked whether it was possible for them to give me a time frame, and she said to call closer to that date in november. so that is what i did. the lady at the office told me that they would be there between 7 and 9 am.

so, little ms michi arranged for someone to stand in for her until about 10 on that day in early november and waited at home for someone to come. only they didn't. so i rang their office at 5 past 9 only to be told that "he will show up eventually at your place", to which i replied, "only i won't be here anymore". it took me about 5 minutes to get it into the woman's head that i could not simply stay at home, i had classes to teach. i actually went and rang my neighbours' doorbells, some were not even there, and those who were, told me they were just about to go out. so i talked to that woman again, and she said if i left now and the chimney-sweep could not do his job, then they might have to report that to some municipal authority. it took another little while to get it across that it was not my fault if they did not keep their promises. she did see my point eventually and promised she would make a note immediately that they would come and get things done in february, which was my "last chance", and i absolutely had to be there, and if not, then ... etc. okay. so february 1st it was.

i actually rang them on the 31st of january, asking about the earliest time they might turn up, and the lady barked at me "what do you want of them anyway?" this is where i should have told her that my husband was out of town, and once a year, her wonderful and charming colleague and i, we have this little tryst ... but i did not. i told her. she said "any time from 7 am."

so i got up at 6.20, which is nearly 40 minutes earlier than when i go to work (!), to be ready just in case, and then i waited. and waited. wrote emails, did some prep work, waited. had a cup of tea, waited. eventually, made myself some brunch, and waited. noon came and went, and i did not really expect them to come by anymore. but, i still waited. got more work done, watched some tv, waited. by 2.30 i was getting REALLY angry. by 3 i had typed up a letter to the company, and i was still REALLY angry. nobody showed up that day. they did not bother to ring either.

it's not like a day off isn't nice or useful, but it means not getting paid, and about 90 euro is a lot better than nothing. i try not to take time off work too often, because being self-employed means no work, no pay. i take time off if i want a holiday or a short break, but not for bloody nothing!! i was actually swearing aloud while writing that letter, and after. i was just about able to stop myself from calling them; it would not have been a good idea, trust me. i am usually a very friendly person, but i CAN get upset, and i doubt that the woman on the other end of the line would have been able to get a word in, not during the first five minutes anyway.

i really don't understand it, you see. they tell ME i absolutely MUST be there, or else. they don't say a bloody word the day before when i call their office. why? same thing with the plumber lately, at sepp's, who said he'd be there before lunchtime, or else he would call, and then - you guessed it, nothing. not the first time either. i have to ask my friend birgit whether her plumber has finally showed up. i think she stopped counting after the fourth time she waited in vain. it's so unnecessary, really. it's not like people don't have anything better to do. i think certain tradespeople know very well that we depend on them, there is always work for them, and therefore they can treat customers as they please. so. end of rant.

one of the chimney-sweep bosses actually called me as soon as they received the letter, wanted to talk to me, apologised for what has gone wrong, and said they'd just forget about this past year, and come by on the 3rd of may for this year's check. i hope i can leave the key with a neighbour so i won't have to take another day off.

[and bo: you are wrong! it is not because they don't like me! i am nice! i am a chimney-sweep's dream, is what i am! go ask my friends! *growl*]

i have been feeling under the weather since last friday, which is why i stayed in vienna on the weekend, and sepp went to his mother's 70th on his own. i would have made very bad company that weekend. today i felt better in the morning, but expected a headache due to the change in the weather and the wind. the headache did come, around 12.30, and it seems to have settled in just fine for the rest of the day. or week. we'll see.

on a more pleasant note: i am writing! in a moment of madness i joined the 30/30 forum again - after nearly two months. i had missed them, only stopped in occasionally to read a bit. i am on day four, have about three lines of today's poem written up so far, not much, i agree. but i am so not giving up. *L*

poems niederngasse's erotic supplement, edited by the wonderfully quirky (and very talented, and lovely) arlene ang, is finally online, with one of my poems in it: after dessert, in the bathroom. if you want to find out just what exactly is going on there, you'll have to go and read. make sure to check out the other poetry as well, and i can promise that you will come away all sweaty! ;)

a friend has suggested writing a review of my chapbook for an e-zine she contributes to, and i don't think i will say no to that offer. funny that there are a couple of reviews now, over a year after its publication.

annette marie hyder has told me about Poetry Super Highway's Great Poetry Exchange. interesting for poets who have published a (chap)book of their poetry. go read the guidelines, it does sound interesting, and i will participate.

dave, allen, and gary - i will write something about your poetry books. i have not finished them yet, but there are poems that i have read more than once, more than twice, more than five times, which is a good thing, surely. i will have something to say about what i particularly enjoyed.

have finished the shipping news, and am about 60 pages into vikram chandra's red earth and pouring rain, which sounded intriguing enough for me to pick it up in london last june.

a word about the madness that they call weather: first that horrible cold, then snow yesterday morning, and from early afternoon on a storm was raging, and it was raining so hard that the 10cm of snow were nearly gone by midnight, and completely gone this morning. *shiver*

missed out on last night's crossfield's trivia night - "my" team (husband and friends) were the best team of the night, with 19 out of 20 points, and had i been there, we would have got all 20, because i certainly know what ikebana is ... shame. but one day, one day those australian road signs will be ours!!

soooooo ... music: more walkabouts. love their cover versions, particularly disamistade and that's how i live.

came across katie melua live at croydon last saturday on cable tv, and decided that the ridiculously expensive ticket may be worth it after all, and bought one. so, a concert to look forward to, at the end of the month. and then element of crime in munich in march, and adam green at the beginning of april. unfortunately, kaizer's orchestra are not playing in vienna this spring, only in graz. *sob*

song of the day: the light will stay on by the walkabouts.

and if you bury me, add
three feet to it
one for your sorrow, two
for your sweat
three for the strange
things we never forget


SarahJane said...

ach! die Arschloecher! die wollen immer, dass man brav zu Hause sitzt (als ob die Welt voller Hausfrauen waere!) und dann kommen die nicht. my chimney's smokin'!

congrats on the erotica ...
looking for the time this week to got read the issue.
smile &

michi said...

*LOL* sarah! genau. ich war RICHTIG sauer!

thanks for reading, and the congrats.

i had the best ever combination of letters today when leaving a comment for arlene ang: ywdiiik. three "i"s!

SarahJane said...

top this -

tee hee