8 months later…..
“No seriously, does my arse really look like a giant blue beach ball in this TUI uniform?”
My husband, always grateful that the subject matter isn’t about doing any more unnecessary DIY in the apartment turns towards me and looks me carefully up and down
“It’s definitely more flattering than the yellow one you wore last year on that bed promotion thing you did. Anyway, stop preening or you’ll be late on your first day. Have you charged the tablet up and downloaded all those Apps?”
I nod nervously. Me and technology aren’t the closest of allies. I can work out Face Book, E mails and how to buy crap on Amazon but apart from that I’m useless. My palms start to sweat with the thought of a thousand unhappy tourists staring at me while I jab helplessly at a computer screen that insists on saying ‘no!’
Looking into the mirror I smooth down the man made fibers and hoist the Rep bag over my shoulder. Amongst all the truly talented bilingual candidates, 51 year old me was offered the position of part time representative for TUI in one of the biggest hotels in Fuengirola and I was not going to let my larger than average posterior put me off my new career.
“Right, I’m off then, see you after you finish work at the Theatre” and I happily head downstairs to my trusty Vespa.
Within ten minutes I’m standing uncertainly outside the entrance of the hotel. I had worked the same place last season, but that was promoting free blanket trips to elderly people but this season I was the face of TUI. The buck stops with me. Painting a smile on my heavily made up face I march through the front door and spot my Team leader lounging on the sofa, writing out welcome packs.
Clearing my throat I hold out my hand and become the person I know the company wants me to be.
“Hello, I’m Paula; I’m your part time team mem….”
“Whoa whoa whoa…Part time? Part time? I need a full time rep here, this just isn’t on!” and with my hand left hanging in mid air he grabs his works phone and marches past me through the front door and out of sight into the street.
This wasn’t exactly the reaction I had been hoping for so I stand uncertainly by the desk, fingering the various flyers and looking at the airport departure board for divine inspiration.
“Oh hello, can you help me?” an elderly voice cuts through my reverie
Pasting a smile upon my lips I turn around to see a lady of about 90 years old sporting a tiny fluorescent bikini and wearing the brightest pink lipstick (albeit mainly on her teeth) that I have ever seen.
“I appear to have lost my husband. I sent him down to get me a sausage over half an hour ago and he’s not returned to the room. They ran out of sausages yesterday, I had to have bacon, I don’t like bacon, to be honest, I don’t really like sausages but I don’t like to queue for an omelet”
Placing a look of concern on my face I nod in sympathy but before I have chance to solve this modern day dilemma I see my colleague march back in through the front door, anger etched into his olive skin.
“Er….. This lady appears to have lost her husband on the way to the buffet breakfast; he went for a sausage and hasn’t been seen since.” I smile beseechingly for help from my mentor; I’m not yet au-fait with the protocol of missing OAP’s, or the lack of reformed Pork if I’m honest.
“Have you looked in the lift Mrs. P? He was in there yesterday morning wasn’t he? Talking to the chambermaid on the 14th floor about the benefits of Aloe Vera?’”
The guest looked confused and then realization dawned like the early morning sun through heavily advancing hazy clouds.
“Oh so he was, I’ll go and have a look for him up there, I do hope my sausage hasn’t gone cold though….” and off she wanders, mumbling to herself about pork products and wayward husbands.
I turn to my colleague who has resumed his position on the sofa and take a deep breath
“Look, I don’t know what you were expecting but I can promise you this, I’ll work hard and the guests will love me. Surely it’s better to have a really good part timer than an utterly rubbish full time one?”
He looks at me through narrowed eyes then takes a deep breath of resignation.
“Those welcome packs won’t fill themselves”
Smiling to myself I lift the mountain of leaflets from the table, salute with a cheeky grin and get to work.
To be continued…
A New Wife in the Sun is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.