The late not so great Angela Ness
The horror of being late for an important freelance job is a nightmare you can't wake from.
No matter how many times
So I get a job in Glasgow. I decide to take the train for a change. Why not? Nice relaxing drive to the station, nice relaxing train, read book, one hour later arrive Glasgow, ten minute walk to the studio, nice studio, nice client, what could be easier?
So get to the station nice and early in case of issues. No parking spaces. Don't worry, I'm an evil genius, I have my mother's disabled badge in the car, hundreds of disabled spaces, no able-bodied spaces, so don't judge me, leave that to God, I'm not going to be that long.
Go to the machine to buy my ticket, into the bag for specs..scrabble scramble. No specs (see I actually am disabled). No problem, I can get specs, chemist round the corner plenty of time. I'll drive round just to be on the safe side. Elderly man at the till of this small independent chemist, where are the specs?Where are the specs?? Old man talking about his medical problems.
They think I'm rude so they're not answering.
Excuse me Any specs?
Dirty looks from everyone.
No sorry, no specs.
Feel an underlying 'and if we did we wouldn't give them to you.' What kind of chemist doesn't have specs?
Back to the car park. There has been a influx of disabled people.
(What???!!!! How dare they?)
Five mins to go. In the nick of time someone pulls out of an able-bodied parking space and in I go, climb over to the passenger side because I can't get out the driver's side. Make the train as the doors are starting to close.
I'll have to get specs in Glasgow because I need then to read the script. I'll get them, jump in a taxi and get to the studio, refreshed ,relaxed and on time. No problem.
Train is on time. Up to Sauchiehall Street.
(Where is the nearest chemist?)
Sorry not from here.
Pound shop excellent!
In I go, 5 pairs of specs. OK only have five minutes so will jump in the taxi and text to say train slightly delayed and am in a taxi on my way.
No problem don't worry, client not here yet.
Osborne Street please.
No problem doll.
Taxi driver is very nice. We start a conversation about impatient taxi drivers. Then he tells me this is his retirement job, he used to be an engineer. What do I do for a living?
(A bit snooty) I'm a voiceover artist.
Are ye? That's great. My youngest daughter is arty farty like that.
(Are we going the right way? Five minutes late. Ten starts to look really bad.)
I've got five daughters
Have you? You're like Callum Kennedy.
Oh I know him.
( Pretty sure he's been dead for thirty years)
They're so different my daughters
(Why are all the traffic lights in Glasgow red? Ten minutes late. Oh my God!)
Sorry, traffic. Is the client there?
Yes he's got a coffee. He's fine. I've told him about the train.
My daughters are all so different. One's a doctor.
(I don't care)
One's a vet
(I don't care)
One's a classical musician. Guitar.
Suddenly very loud guitar and the most God awful singing ever blares in the back of the car.
That's my youngest.
Oh she's lovely.
(Turn her off my ears are bleeding!)
15 minutes late.
Right here we are. You're a wee bit late.
Looking around for familiar sights
Emm sorry is this Osbourne street?
You said Oswald Street!
(I fucking did not you knob!)
Oh sorry right, don't worry.
Off we go back the way we came.
(You really are a hobby taxi driver aren't you. 20 minutes late.)
Silence for another 5 minutes. 25 minutes late.
Look I'm going to make you even later. You'd better get out and walk from here it's about five minutes. Go over those lights, first left,second right, down a side alley..
I've stopped listening..
Throw money, run, blister appears from nowhere. Hobbling now 35 minutes late. Can't get phone out, takes too long.
Old wifie walking along. She must be from around here. She is thank God!
Now then Hen, Osborne streeeeeeet. Let me have a weeeee think. So. Now. What you do hen is walk down here, turn left and there you are.
Try to run away.
What number are you after? It's a long street.....
It's ok, I'll know it when I get there – thanks!
Round the corner and here we are! 40 minutes late, face red, puffing, in we go.
Sorry, sorry, so sorry.
They're all very nice and can understand how that happened. Happened to them before.
Sit down in the booth with my pound shop glasses.
Put them on. Arm breaks off.
Out of the booth.
Sorry I broke my glasses.
I saw them exchange a glance.
I've got more.
I grab the other four pairs. I like the way 45 minutes ago I leisurely chose different styles of pound shop specs.
Second pair on, arm breaks off. Carefully put on pair number 3.
(Ok this is fine. Gently now.)
All goes swimmingly, we gossip for about unprofessional behaviour in the business, shake hands and I leave. They probably talk about how they'll never hire me again. Seven minute walk to the station. Enough time for a coffee and a sandwich to calm me down. Train on platform. Back on train, back home in a hour and a half. Of course.
You know that dream where you're late and you just can't get to you important appointment?