Sunday, June 15

The Streetwalker


This week I got a letter from Barrow town hall telling me that I have to renew my Criminal Records Bureau check. For this doubtful privilege I had to fill in a form and pay them the monstrous sum of £36.
 Ah well no problem I thought this should take all of ten minutes or so. But as I started to fill in the form I found myself getting more and more annoyed. OK name address etc, fair enough, but they then ask for my mothers maiden name, my bank account details and then the name and address and personal details of an independent referee of "good standing." What's that all about then? I of course totally ignored all of this.
 When I went into the town hall with my required photo ID and proof of address (they suggest a bank statement darn cheek) and the required fee I was met by what they call a "floorwalker." After I had explained my business I was given what looked like a lottery ticket and herded amongst a restless waiting crowd.
 An eerie electronic voice sounding like a bingo caller on Valium occasionally called a number and one of the herd went to meet its fate. After what seemed like hours my lucky number was called and I went to the numbered desk.
 After much tutting and head shaking I was told that someone higher up would have to check out my incomplete form. 
But first I would have to get another ticket of the street, err no sorry floorwalker and wait for the doped up bingo caller to call me again.
 Much later a suit appeared from the bowels of the town hall and agreed that I didn't have to fill in the full form after all. Great I thought this is it at last, but no it was another ticket off the streetwalker and more waiting for the demented bingo caller. Much later I reached the desk and was asked” how would you like to pay please sir.” Smiling with relief I pulled a handful of grubby notes from my pocket and dropped them on the desk. The "cashier" looked down in horror at the cash and then back at me as if I was a fool and said "we don't take cash here Sir!"

8 comments:

Paradise Driver said...

The joy of gov't

Bob said...

Wil: yes it's the same the world over.

Dogbait said...

Same here too. However, last week I went to the Medicare office which is usually full, and lo and behold, the place was empty with a row of faces peering at me from behind counters. My first thought was earthquake, fire.........

I thought maybe I just saunter up to the first one but knowing how govt offices work, I'd be delivered an electric shock or something for my misdeed. So I pressed the ticket machine and immediately that tinny voice announced my number and I was served by a very pleasant and courteous lady.

There is always an exception to the rule but a bit like winning the lottery!

Bob said...

DB: Yep a rare treat indeed.I wonder do you have floorwalkers too?

Dogbait said...

No floor walkers here that I know of. A new trend is to have greeters at the door of some stores who smile sweetly and send you on your way with a, "Have a good day"

That reminds me of the floor walker that we did come across at Heathrow Airport once. Just had a thought for another blog entry. Stay tuned.

Keith said...

Last week, I had to drop off a form at the job centre. I put my advsior's name on the envelope and asked at the desk that it be passed on to her. Question proved too difficult, I was told to go outside and post it through the letter box. I just don't challenge this sort of witless behaviour any more from these people.

Bob said...

DB: Glad I inspired you in some small way. Funny what brings stuff to mind though eh!

Bob said...

keith: someone should write a book of collective floorwalker story's.