Oh. my. word.
What a battle this week has been.
Last weekend really and totally sucked. I had to switch my Monday shift at work to a Tuesday one so I would be there to explain to client about the closure of the charity and what that meant.
After the weekend I just wanted to be back at work. It was lonely and horrible.
Monday I met up with my sister who was in town. In the evening I went to the Guides campfire. I came home to an e-mail from Girlguiding HQ that made me very angry as they’d changed the Young Leadership Qualification syllabus with no warning. 10 days after I’d given out the girls packs of the now ‘old’ syllabus. Because they hadn’t yet started, they have to use the new ones. A lot of time wasted as we heave a big sigh and start from scratch the work of printing out workbooks, speaking to leaders and commissioners…
To wake up on Tuesday discover mail at the front door regarding our Senior Section bank account. In September we’d sent off forms to add the other leader as a signatory. I feel comfortable enough sharing this photo as basically NONE of the information on it is correct. They have me married, they have the incorrect name, they have me living in a church hall in another part of Edinburgh (which has no connection to our unit whatsoever!) and they actually spelled the wrong address incorrectly. And apparently it took eight months for them to work out their mistake and send it to my correct address.
I was later into work than I intended as I went into the nearest branch of the Bank of Scotland to make a complaint and try and get to the bottom of the mystery. The staff there was just as confused and ticked off as I was (and I got compliments for being very pleasant while making my complaints!)
The complaint making continued once I got to work as I made yet another call to our local Council. You see, the Scottish Government introduced a new law at the beginning of this year making it illegal for businesses to put anything recyclable into a general waste wheelie bin, or to dispose of recycling in domestic recycling bins. I’m sure environmentalists out there think ‘Hurrah! Great!’.
But there are a few problems. Firstly how crippling it is for small businesses to pay extra for all the different recycling bins and collections you now need. Secondly there was no exemptions or discounts for charities. We are classed as businesses. The government spent more money on fun ‘projects’ to teach about recycling rather than sending leaflets and information to businesses so they’d know this new law was coming and how it would affect them. And the local councils weren’t prepared for the sudden increase in workload.
Cue us spending 6 months with an ever growing pile of recycling in our office as we continually call our Council to speak to a Trade Waste officer to get a recycling contract. I’ve made complaints to local councillors, complaints to the Council, complaints to the Environmental Wardens…
Wednesday. I’m exhausted and I smell of campfire from a Soul Surfers marshmallow toasting session. I’m also slightly hacked off that out of a group of 9 students only two bother to turn up to a visit they requested. Kudos to the two who bothered to call to let me know they couldn’t come and apologised. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that, and wish the others had too. I head home from work and realise I’ve misplaced the church hall keys. I find them in a handbag. And I have to explain to the girls that the YLQ packs I gave them two weeks before are now out of date and I need to get them new ones.
Thursday and it’s another rubbishy day at work. At the moment there is such a state of flux and everything ‘dying’ that it’s just not a great place to be. It’s also awful as we have to face the anger people express when we hear we are shutting down. Part of me is with them. The other part of me wonders where the heck they’ve all been the last seven years when we needed their support. Either way I get a grumpy feeling. I make it to Spanish class though, and get cheered up by a gorgeous view of the city in the evening light.
Friday and Jo comes round to help me count the Active Kids vouchers. I go onto the website to ‘bank’ them so we can then do our order. The website comes up with this message:
Frustrating, but I figure I’ll just try again in 10 minutes or an hour. When I do, it informs me that I can’t bank any vouchers this year because my order is now in process. EVEN THOUGH I HAVEN’T ORDERED ANYTHING. I call their expensive “helpline” and speak to a friendly dude who basically tells me ‘Sorry, the website sucks and we can’t do anything to fix the problem. You’ll need to print off everything and do it by hand with the pack I got sent.” When I explain my pack has never arrived he says “oh well, sorry. Must have got lost in the post.” Yep. I wasn’t chuffed. I’m trying to imagine why a company would even bother having a helpline if it isn’t even going to attempt to fix problems that are not the fault of the customers?! I send tweets to Sainsbury’s and a strongly worded (but polite) e-mail.
Mostly, I don’t want to tell Guides I couldn’t get the stuff we’ve all been collecting vouchers for when I go back after the summer.
By this point I’m ready to lose it, and decide for my own sanity, it’s either buy a printer to use for Girlguiding or quit being a Girlguiding leader. So I go to buy a printer. Later that night I take it out and set it up try to print the end of term Guide letters……and it won’t print in black.
I really do lose it at this point.
Realising that throwing myself out a window is probably not a particularly productive option I resist the temptation to take that route and instead take to facebook and twitter to let out yet another rant. Because I realise that I’m going to have to phone another company and make another complaint. I’m also worried that it’s the printer that is faulty because did I mention the struggle I had carrying it up a hill in the warm sunshine while my flip flops cut up my foot with every step?
(It was the cartridge…and no I’ve not had the chance to go return it yet).
So yes. It’s been a battle this week. I don’t think I’ve had to make so many complaints in my life, and it is EXHAUSTING. The thing that has kept me going is remembering why I volunteer with Girlguiding. Why I go to work each day.
Thankfully, I’ve had a great day at a Girlguiding workshop helping to give feedback on developing new web platform for Girlguiding UK and went to the Zoo on my way home as it wasn’t raining (and days where it doesn’t rain in Scotland have to be utilised and appreciated wherever possible).
Rest tomorrow me thinks!