Language barrier

Communication – or lack of it seems to have been the order of the last few days.  As I mentioned it’s been ultra busy at the factory. Temporary staff have been drafted in ‘specially to see us through this busy time. We use a Polish temp agency and it doesn’t normally cause any issues as we have a Polish supervisor and  we communicate through her.  I’ve always found Polish staff to be helpful and hardworking, far superior to the usual grade of lazy, idle local chav types we get walking through the door, one’s I wouldn’t trust to give me the correct time of day never mind  with our stock.

This week has been a bit of a challenge though in the staff communication department as we have been sent a Russian, a Lithuanian, a German and a Pole.  They can’t even communicate with each other never mind with us. It’s been a very quiet canteen, I can tell you. Lots of miming and hand signals have been going on all week causing much hilarity.  One woman, Polish, I think was lidding the pots  as I was stood at the machine filling them – at the stupendous rate of 32  a minute, that’s one every 1.875 seconds.  It’s alright as you don’t have to lift your head, talk, or worse than any of that, pick a pot up upside down. That makes one hell of a mess. At regular intervals the machine operator yells, “MORE POTS” and from nowhere an arm appears with a new box of pots.

Anyway, this Polish woman during a lull in proceedings, picked up a lid and said, “Name ? Thees, name?”  “Lid”, I told her.  “Leed, leed,” she practiced for a moment before yelling at the top of her voice  “MORE LEEDS.”   It was so unexpected that everyone just stopped and looked at her stunned for a moment before cracking up laughing. It relieved a stressful day brilliantly.


It’s been a bit of a busy week for my sister as well. Her first grandchild, a boy, was born on Sunday and her youngest child reached eighteen on Thursday. Plenty to celebrate then. The eighteenth birthday party was on Friday night. As tired as we were, and we really would have preferred to stay in and vegetate in front of the telly, we made an effort, dressed up in our glad rags, picked up C, Machine gun and the baby and went to the party.

In spite of everything we had a brilliant night. There was a little ante room which was gave a bit of respite from the ear splittingly loud disco ( am I getting old or what!) so we parked ourselves in there.  The baby, on the other hand, had other plans. She was completely fascinated by the disco lights and the music and kept walking off into the other room shouting, “Party! Party! Dance!”

The buffet table opened and from our seats we could watch everyone loading up their plates with various goodies. One little old lady had the misfortune to stand next to a very tall girl with the longest legs and shortest skirt I’ve ever seen. Her legs were longer than the old woman’s entire body! Boofuls of course said that he hadn’t noticed the girl with the long legs. That’s what you call survival instinct, something that Machine gun has yet to learn. His eyes were out on stalks  when legs eleven walked in.


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Around 10 pm we were ready to leave, the baby had used up all her reserves of energy and was getting beyond fractious. My sister looked at us horrified, “No! You can’t go yet, ten more minutes. Stay, you must. Stay, there’s going to be a surprise.”

How can you not stay after that?   The karaoke party was getting into full swing. My God, there are some good singers around!  I was amazed at the singing talent in the room. Definitely X Factor material there.  My niece’s boyfriend got up to sing and then at the end of the song got down on one knee and proposed to her. It was the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen. She burst into tears and said yes.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. C and me were both in floods. We swiped a napkin each from the buffet table and stood dabbing at our eyes. When we turned round we saw that Baby E had done the same and was dabbing at her eyes as well, even with the whole, “Mustn’t mess up my mascara” dab!  Sooo funny!


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