Last Wednesday the cleaning company telephoned to ask if they could send a cleaning team next Tuesday to Friday. Ironically, this being the last week of the Christmas term it is a week when I am busy travelling to school shows and having kept me waiting since August this is the week they choose. Of course I agreed!
An hour later they rang to confirm.
An hour later they rang to ask if they could come earlier – Friday. Although this only gave me a day’s notice I agreed.
Each of these calls was by the same girl yet she had to go through the same list of security questions each time, and each time had to ask if I had suffered a fire or a flood.
So the team arrived today. The nice guy in charge explained that he was standing at the last minute in for the chap who should have been doing my job (again).
I showed him the scaffolding in the auditorium erected on their instructions and for their use. He explained that they couldn’t work in the auditorium, they couldn’t go on the scaffolding until they had the OK from their health and safety officer. They first thought it was an asbestos issue, but a dozen phone calls later it turned out to be a scaffolding issue. Someone apparently has to give them the go ahead to mount the scaffold and the person involved wasn’t available. Nothing had not been arranged. All they could do was work in the foyer.
Now in order for them to work in the auditorium a great deal of stuff normally stored there had all been transferred into the foyer and piled up there, as had been arranged. The idea being that when the auditorium was cleaned this would be moved back to give them access to clean the foyer. They did what they could but that was limited.
They are coming back on Tuesday – but it will probably not be all the same team. So although we talked about what they might need and how they might tackle the job there’s no certainty of continuity. I also have no confidence that they will have sorted out the their health and safety issues when they come back next week.
The team who came were very pleasant, and what they could do they did well, and it was perfectly obvious that none of this was their fault. But apart from the frustration I am feeling I also think of the cost of all this bungling. No wonder insurance is so costly.
Still I’ve a couple of Christmas Party Shows over the weekend to keep me cheerful and, not being a multi-million global company, I suppose I’ll have to arrive on the right day, in the right place and at the right time and deliver the performance they have been promised. I’d be mortified if I did otherwise.