Saturday, May 24, 2014, 2:19 AM Arizona, 10:19 AM Salisbury
I hate going to the loo and finishing my business only to fine that the TP dispenser is EMPTY, bit of a problem isn't it? What to do? Ask the guy next door, but they are empty, shuffle out in the altogether hoping you can make it to the next stall before someone comes in? Oh well here goes! Whew made it! This happened in France once of course that was a learning experience wasn't it. You see most campgrounds if France don’t supply TP so learned that one pretty quick. Have to be more careful with my expectations don’t I? Those expectations will get you every now and then won’t they? A friend once sent me an article on expectations and how they can screw up relationships. Still have it somewhere in my collection of papers I look at every now and then thinking I need to do something with that.
Yesterday was my first day of “work” for the Festival office. I’m a bit nervous wanting to make a good impression and all that. I show up 1/2 hour early in order to watch the person currently manning the desk. Sat with her about 10 minutes and she says “Well I’m off then” and off she goes. My anxiety mounts as I await the first phone call; I’m answering phone and greeting people as they come in. First phone call I almost drop the phone picking it up, but make it through transferring and all; bit more confident now. I’m chatting with the lady across the aisle who is one of two who take reservations and payments for the different events. “You helped us last year didn't you?” she asks. “Yes actually I've been a Stewart for the past three years.” “You were with another man from America right, the one who was making a fuss at one of the events?” She goes on in great detail on this miner event in life. “Don’t remember the fuss” says I. “Have you ever been to the U.S.?” I ask. We talk about Flagstaff for a bit and where she and her husband stayed.
Phone rings for the second time and deftly pick it up and answer. We have this long thing that needs to be said upon answering. “Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, how may I help you?” One lady say’s to me “That’s quite a mouthful isn't it?” I get through the next three phone calls and am feeling really confident until… in walks an older lady whom I greet with a smiling “hello may I help you?” What I hear is something about the peaks having snow on them. I smile as I think what fucking peaks there aren't any peaks around Salisbury? She looks at me expectantly as my mind is now stuck on the peaks thing and I don’t know what to say. Helen, the general manage pops out and says to me “She wants to know about Peter Snow” and directs to her to the ticket lady. I’m sitting there with a dumb ass smile on my face. Shit I can understand English! Actually I think I was distracted by the wig hat on her head which she had pulled down over her ears; bit unnatural that.
I’m given a task cutting up paper badges one at a time. The young lady who has given me the task asks if I need any help. I smile “I think I got this.” Here I am spending the day answering phones and cutting up paper when Jane, head of the volunteers, comes out apologizing for not coming out sooner. We discuss my offer to work more shifts at the opening event as they are short staffed. As we talk she is watching me cut up badges. I begin to wonder if there is something wrong with my little rhythm. I smile, which I do a lot in England, France and Spain. It’s a little trick I learned, but most people probably think “Poor fellow is a bit daft” then smile back and go about their business. Anna comes out to relieve the lady at the ticket station. I met Anna the first time I went to the Festival nine years ago.
I saw the line people stretching down the street and stopped to ask what was going on. The fellow I asked explained that it was a big party due to it being the closing night of the Festival. So I ride up to the ticket table and was greeted by Anna’s beautiful smile. I would have bought anything she was selling under the spell of that smile. I looked forward to seeing that smile every year since. She is charge of the whole ticking selling business and is concentrating on making sure all goes well. There is another person manning the ticket table and her name is Poppy. She and I talk for a bit about American and her wish to get over there. My time is up I made it through didn't seem to do to bad a job. All the little badges are hopefully cut to order. I mention to Anna that her youngest, who is now eight wasn't born when we first met, and her oldest was four. We have a chat about how thing have changed and how they are out and about no longer needing a sitter to watch them.
It’s been a good day and what has this to do with expectations you might ask. Only that when you let go of them wonderful things can happen.