There’s a tap at my mother’s house which continually plays games at my expense. But it has happened for the last time. I refuse to grace it with my presence ever again and have made alternative hand-washing arrangements.
I like to wash my hands with warm water, not freezing cold or so hot that the top layers of skin blister. I’m certain this tap knows it. If you turn it on to wet your hands before soaping up then, by the time you’re ready to rinse, it’s unbearably hot.
This always leaves me with quite a dilemma. Do I open the door with my soapy hands to find another, more obliging, tap; do I try as hard as I can to turn the cold tap on with my slippery hands and rinse under glacial water; or, do I take a deep breath and rinse as fast as I possibly can under the searing hot water whilst simultaneously hopping from foot to foot, making noises only a dog can hear.
I know what you’re thinking, “none of these choices are ideal”. No, that’s not it? OK, well, if you’re actually thinking “what’s this deranged woman rabbiting on about” a) it’s likely you’re not alone and b) please keep reading, I may eventually speak some sense.
You might think that I would have learnt my lesson after the second incident, or even the third. But, no, sadly not. It’s actually taken me about three years to decide that I will never use this tap again because it is just too painful, complicated and cunning.
This time, quite oddly, my rage at being outfoxed yet again got me thinking about how fortunate it is that I’m not an engineer. Perhaps it’s my genetics or obvious lack of common sense which predisposed me to decide not to take this particular route in life. Whatever it was I think we should all be thankful.
Anyway, reflecting on this gave me new found respect and admiration not only for the likes of James Brindley or Isambard Kingdom Brunel but also for my colleagues. Can you imagine what might have happened if I had been in charge of the repair work to the Dutton Breech?! Trial and error is most definitely not the appropriate working method for projects like this and we simply don't have three years for me to decide that something really doesn't work. Even just thinking about how you might plan, arrange and undertake every miniscule detail and timing of this project makes my, already stretched to capacity, head hurt.
I think it's so true that there are “horses for courses” and we each have our own special qualities. Mine may not be based in common sense, practical thinking or advanced detailed planning but I believe that I still play my own unique part in the making of the Trust.
I must also remember that, whilst some of my colleagues are not blessed with the tact of a diplomat or the ability to communicate like a wordsmith, they contribute much more than I do in ways I simply can’t. So, rather than judge or get annoyed and frustrated, I must do what I can and offer my help and support where it is needed.
Then we’ll all be in safe hands, so long as I keep well away from any major work projects…and tenaciously tricky taps.
Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!See more blogs from this author