Saturday was so jam-packed you wouldn’t imagine it were possible to fit so many things into a day. Then again, not many things happen on a normal day in my neck of the woods, so, it could possibly just be me.
First up, a tight schedule meant I had to be in two places at once at 9am in the morning, and I was so pumped up for work I almost achieved that. Then at one of my workplaces, someone hurt himself with a nail gun, and this is where it gets slightly bizarre.
I work Saturday mornings at ACS Barker Road’s sports complex (as opposed to sports simple for the poorer schools), and they have a big ass hall, a big ass movement room, a big ass swimming pool and a not so big ass gymnasium.
The facilities are partly managed by a private company (that hires my company to run courses for kids). Being a sports complex, it is a big ass place with an odd and labyrinthine layout. The glass doors leading to the swimming pool on the third floor are locked, and to get to the pool, you have to go to the second floor where the changing rooms are, go into them, walk up the very slippery concrete staircase to the pool on the third floor.
So as I’m talking to a customer, a well-heeled looking but visibly distressed woman barks at me, asking me where the entrance to the pool is. I tell her she has to go down to the second floor. She ignores me and tries to find a way to the pool from the third. I tell her again. She then tells me her ‘man’ has shot himself in the hand with a nail gun while by the pool repairing one of the water polo goal riggings.
So I go to the glass door on the third floor and see an Indian man clutching his bleeding hand (he shot himself in the thumb), while everyone else and everyone else at the pool is going about their activities as if the Indian man were invisible. The water polo boys, the teachers, the parents of the water polo boys, all, do zip, nada, nothing.
Meanwhile, the well-heeled woman is trying to use her special powers to pass a packet of tissue paper to the injured man through the closed glass door. I offer to go and fetch her injured employee but she doesn’t say anything, so I go and fetch her injured employee, who valiantly tries to indicate to me how he shot himself by showing me his thumb and pointing at the culprit nail gun.
Thumb up, nail gun. Nail gun good, he seems to be saying.
He doesn’t say very much else, and his tortured English could very well be attributed to the pain caused by his injury as much as the possibility that he’s a migrant, non-English-speaking, worker.
Thumb up, nail gun, and maybe that’s why nobody offers to help him, and not because they are a bunch of selfish, racist brats who’ve inherited a selfish, racist trait or two from their parents.
After fetching ‘her man’ (her own description of the injured man), the well-heeled woman doesn’t thank me. She says instead, “What about the tools? We can’t leave the tools there, somebody will steal them”, so I make another trip to retrieve the tools and bring both toolbox and injured man to the carpark, and she still doesn’t thank me. But she says she’s going to drive the injured man to the hospital, and she drives off with the injured man who still seems to be giving the thumbs up.
(I did say Saturday was jam-packed, so other things did happen. So many that I might leave them for another day and another post. Much too late in the night and too much effort trying to compose something that entails a kitten stuck in an air-con vent, a wedding dinner which was actually a pleasure to attend, and oh, bumping into Sim Wong Hoo and shouting iPod!).