Hello, Mum, it’s Bert again, writing to you from Skypark

29 Apr

Well, actually, I’m NOT writing to you from Skypark today.  It seems that there are so many people that can’t get there (including me until I can find a place I can afford at Cranbrook) that those of us being sent out to the “hubs” just can’t seem to keep up with it.

We thought that changing our hours to 10 pm to 6 am (to avoid the aircraft noise from the runway next to our offices at Skypark) that would cut down the number of people wanting to see us in the local towns and villages.  That worked for a while (actually, the consultants said that it would work for ever but it seems they didn’t quite get the mark of these awful people in East Devon) and people got wise to us:  they started camping out on our hub doorsteps as early as six o’clock at night so they could be sure of seeing us when we arrived.

They really are awful, Mum – they published our days and times on some of their really dreadful “blogs” and suggested that people should make a party of it and arrive at the queues with sandwiches and drinks as early as possible.  They even brought their tablets and phones with them so that they could play music.  THEN people with guitars and things arrived and next thing they are all having these big parties whilst waiting.  They caught on and now it seems everyone wants to queue for the hub visits and join the parties and we are inundated with work.  Honestly, Mum, I don’t know how long I can take this.  When I took the job I was told that it was unlikely I would ever meet a member of the public and now it seems I have met most of the public in East Devon – and I don’t like it!

Luckily, for the sake of my sanity I got to spend a couple of days at Skypark recently for a training course on “How to deal with customers”.  At first, I thought it would be about the dreadful people I meet at the hubs but actually, it turns out they aren’t customers at all:  they are just trouble-makers who have to be kept quiet and we we were told it really doesn’t matter what you tell them – either they don’t believe it or it isn’t true anyway and so it doesn’t matter at all what we say to them.

(Pause)

I have just been on the Customer Service Training course – and, oh, how I enjoyed it!

Our customers are actually the developers – and what a lovely bunch they are!  They usually turn up in Bentleys or Rolls-Royces (I even saw a Lambourghini once – honestly!) and first of all they have lunch in the Michelin-star Executive Dining Room.  When they finish lunch (which can sometimes be as late as six o’clock because they have so much to talk about) they are always absolutely charming.  One of them even tipped me for opening the door for him!  And it was a really big tip!  He fell down as he got outside and mumbled something about “too much Chateau Lafitte” but I got him up and dusted him down and his cheauffeur got him into the back seat quite expertly where he fell asleep.  They must really work hard in the Executive suite.

We were given all sorts of useful information on the training course:  how to make sure that everything the developers want is at hand straight away – maps and consultation documents (we fill them in advance  – sometimes hundreds of them saying how happy people are to have the developers on their doorsteps – to make it quicker for them) and then the developers give us their drafts which we re-do with our logo on and then sign off as quickly as possible.  I have the very important job of putting up one notice of the development on a lamp-post and then taking it off the next day.  The trainer spent a lot of time with me on how to choose the right lamppost – right on the edge of the development, the darkest spot, and how to use really poor stickytape and thin string to keep it there just long enough for me to come back and pick it up.  It is a really responsible job and I do it to the best of my ability.

And I have saved the best bit till last – I have been told I am to be promoted:  Senior Customer Service Officer.  If it comes through I won’t be visiting any more of those terrible hubs!  My job will be make sure the wine cellar is always well stocked and to ensure a plentiful supply of lobster and caviare!  Now what do you think of that Mum.

I started off this letter feeling rather glum but now I am on a high.  Imagine how high I can rise here!  I might even get to serve the food in the Executive Dining Room one day!  Imagine it – your son Bert, serving the lobster and caviare to the most important people in the district.

Well, better go:  my next training course is silver service – can’t wait!

 

Your loving son,

Bert

 

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One Response to “Hello, Mum, it’s Bert again, writing to you from Skypark”

  1. WordtotheWise April 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Dear Bert,

    Your mother and I are very proud of your rise through the ranks.

    We’re a bit confused, to be honest though, son, about where this “Skypark” place is.

    Your sister asked if it was like the “Cloud”, and your cousin Kevin thought it was where Colonel White and the Melody Angels lived in Captain Scarlett. But what an address to have on your business card.

    You have achieved so much since leaving Slurry Farm, lad, but never forget where you came from. (Your uncle Bob asked me to write that bit, as he was parking the tractor, just before he went off to meet up with the funny handshake lot. Apparently he’s been shortlisted to stand for somewhere called Newark.)

    We can’t wait for your next letter, but Bert, your mother thinks you should keep quiet about that tipping business. Pennies butter no parsnips, she says, but if you carry on like this maybe someone will pay for you to go on holiday, or set you up a lease on one of those nice cars you mention.

    Your father

    Silvio

    ps the new Range Rover is class, and I bet those chaps could arrange a personalised numberplate into the bargain. Very tasteful. A1 Bert, perhaps.

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