The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ch ch ch ch changes

I had to sign on today. I was due there at 12.00, but as I had loads of stuff to do in town I went out early and got started. By about 11.00 I realised that I'd left most of what I needed at home, so I thought I'd sign on, then head home, collect stuff, and come back later this afternoon to finish up.

How times have changed. They wouldn't let me sign on at 11.00. My appointment was at 12.00 and they expected me then! Years and years ago, back in the early 90's when I last signed on, along with a few million others, they didn't give a damn what time you turned up. If you managed the correct day, you were doing pretty well:-) But then again, signing on in the 90's was a bit like the crucifixion scene in Life of Brian. There were two dozen desks - all behind perspex windows - which were split into surname initials,and everyone queued up at the relevant one for a few hours and when you got to the front you could hear,

"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"yes"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"yes"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"yes"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"yes"
"sign here. NEXT!"

Today was all different. I returned at 11.55. There was one person in front of me. The receptionist took my details and I took a seat. My card was taken over to another lady, who was pleased that "this is the last one today", and industriously tapped away on her computer for a few minutes, before calling me over. We had a whole area to ourselves, and she not only asked if I'd looked for work, but what precisely i had done, how many jobs I'd applied for and who with, how often I checked the papers/internet etc. Then she spent 15 mins searching for any suitable jobs on her computer (unsuccesfully - it is only the 3rd January!), and had a little chat before sending me on my way.

Then I wandered over to Waterstones which sadly now owns our local bookshop. It used to be Ottakers, and an independant before them, and had a far better choice available, but at least we still have a bookshop! I went there because I wanted to exchange a book that Aggie had bought me for Xmas. I was with him when he bought it in December (I didn't see what he bought, but he just came home & immediately wrapped it while still in the bag, so I know he did buy it then & there). Being a man, he has lost the reciept, but that's not usually a problem with big stores, after xmas, especially as all i wanted was to exchange it - not get any money back or anything. However, when I asked the cashier told me I couldn't exchange it as they had not sold that particular book in the last two weeks. I replied that the last two weeks had been Xmas, but we did buy it there, and they were still selling it there, and there was no doubt it was brand new, but she was adamant, that their policy was, if we haven't sold a copy of the book in the previous two weeks, we won't exchange it!

So, now I know. Don't buy anything from Waterstones. Stick to Amazon!

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