Monday, June 29, 2009

My Exciting Life

I wake up to the first day of my summer break and I have:
~ an email asking me to send some documents to my boss by tomorrow morning. So I run. Type, print, pack, paste and run to the post office.
~ I discover my washing machine has flooded and my kitchen sink seems to not want to drain. So I call the plumber and ask him to come soon.
~ I run to the post office to send the documents. It is a HOT day, there is a long queue and I am worried about being late in getting home to meet the plumber.
~ I stop at the bus stop to wait for the bus to take me home and an old man next to me awaits the same bus.
~ Old man faints with the heat and collapses to the floor. I dial 999 and ask him the questions I need to ask him. How old..? born on 20.06.1926. Ok. Heart disease? No. He could talk..and I was told to rest his head on something higher than ground level. So I sit cross legged on the floor and rest his head on my lap. I ask a man to get some water so I can sprinkle it on his head to cool him down. Water on head reveals bright blue eyes in an old old face, he just turned 83 last week..
~ I check his pulse and the plumber rings me to tell me he is outside my house and I should open the door. I let him know we have a sick man and he is more important than the plumbing in the house and so he can just wait.
~ Ambulance arrives and asks me if I am related and I say no. They take Paul (old man) away.
~ I get home to a grumpy plumber who does not know his ass from his face. He manages to push air down a pipe with a gun and therefore drain the water in the sink and the washing machine on the kitchen floor. It smells like 15 people have thrown up.
~ Dont worry he says I know what I am doing. 1 hour later he still does not know what he is doing. So he asks me to help. I get on my knees to figure out where the water is leaking out from. Fitted kitchens look good...but can be a pain to repair.
~ Much leaking later, the man says he has figured it out and shall sort it.
~ I get a call from a friend who is not too happy with her man and so she calls to sob on the phone.
~ yet another one calls to check if we can meet tonight for dinner...
~ My mother calls to check I have not called her...
~ Husband calls to say we have guests for dinner ...
~ Pilates instructor calls to check if I am coming for the class..

Is it me? Or is everyone's life this weird?

Friday, June 19, 2009

A web of deceit.

An email arrives stating that your job application has been successful and you have been hired. Celebrations happen and then the nitty gritty gets read.

You need to apply for a work visa to UK and you shall have to pay upfront for this London based job. The money being asked for is a substantial sum but fades into the background when you see how much they shall be paying you once you reach London, more money than you have ever earned before and its London!! So you think why not.

You dont stop to think:
~ there is no employment contract or letter
~ the money being asked for by this posh London hotel is a little too much
~ they have asked you to transfer it within 48 hours to an ICICI bank account
~ the letter you got asked you to get a visa for NZ (not UK)
~ the advert you responded to appeared on a website
~ there was no interview at all
~ no one at the employing hotel ever spoke to you on the phone
~ you are willing to take a chance with all your savings in the hope of a better life
~ being from England the English in all the email based conversation is obviously incorrect grammatically and otherwise.
~ no contact phone or postal address has been provided to you
~ the cost of work permits/ visas is less than 1/10th of what you have been asked to pay.

You share the good news with a friend who has lived in UK for a long period of time, who shows surprise at the pay packet for a seemingly low skilled job. Friend shows doubt and offers to find out about it. Calls the relevant hotel and gets there are no jobs, no they are not recruiting from overseas, if they did, it was upto them to secure you a working visa, and there is no one here by the name of the email ID who has emailed you, HR does not have anyone by that name... and yes..this is a scam.

You stop, you think, dreams and aspirations of a comfortable life and financial security get crushed. Along with despair is some relief that you were saved from spending close to 5000£ on a scam.

The UK govt has warned people about the increasing incidence of fraudulent behaviour and the rising number of scams that are around in this recession hit country. However the Indian government seems to have not warned its vulnerable sections of society of such things.

I feel sorry for those who fall for it. However my jaded eyes also notice that yet again, the more vulnerable people often get entangled in such webs of deceit and stand to lose what they have worked hard to get.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Joy of Summer

And yes I have been meaning to post more regularly than before..but I have a problem. And its called Hay fever. I am allergic to tree pollen, it provides me with swollen sinuses, watery itchy eyes and internally fitted taps in my nose that spend the summer in my nose.
I sit surrounded by tissue paper and have flatter abs thanks to the constant sneezing. It also means I cant sleep at cooler air, pollen settles and makes life harder. I watch the Man sleep peacefully..and hate it!

Needless to say anti histamine category of medication is being eaten like its going out of fashion..

Despite suffering from it each summer for the past 9 mother always thinks it is hay FEVER and asks me how much is it! Every year we have this conversation, and this time I had to ask her if she remembers anything from last year. Ofcourse she did not.

This time the doctor cheerfully told me that the pollen in UK causes a lot more allergies than anywhere else in the Europe etc dont have this prolonged 3 month hay fever season..

So while people frolic in the sun in small dresses, strappy sandals, big sunglasses and ice lollies. I shrink in the shade (dont like direct sunlight), cover up (to prevent myself from burning) and carry wadges of tissue paper, and find it hard to breathe. I do eat the occasional ice lolly..but you see with little sleep, perpetual runny nose and itchy eyes..I am not overjoyed when the sun does come out. I kind of like the rain. I love the rain..
I really do..perhaps I live in the right country then..we get more than enough rain!