Tomorrow is Red Nose Day - As usual I have bought a red nose, but due to financial er...lack of money, will not be contributing any more.
A few years ago I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work in one of the Red Nose Day call centres for the evening. An e-mail had circulated work from the DWP asking for volunteers, and you could also bring any friends along to - so I fired an e-mail straight back - then surprised my hubby, daughter, brother and friend with their sudden volunteer roles - luckily they were all really chuffed and excited!
We had a fantastic night - we each had our own desk and phone with head set at Cardwell House Job Centre Plus office in Blackburn - Baby fig was too young to man the phones, so was assigned a position as runner - dashing round the desks collecting the pledges, then tallying up the totals.
It was quite a surreal evening - there was a TV in the corner with the show playing, and the phones never stopped, we were warned to expect a massive increase in calls each time one of the scenes in Africa was shown, and we certainly got them!
I had 3 memorable calls in the evening - the first from a lovely lady who's brownie pack had backed biscuits and sold them raising £65. She asked if it would be possible to get them mentioned on TV - but there wasn't anything I could do to make that happen! The second was from a gentleman with a very serious tone - I asked him how much he wanted to pledge then almost fell of my chair when he calmly said £4000! I covered the mouth piece and hissed "this guy wants to donate £4K what do I do?" - "Take it off him!" said the guy in charge. Do'h
The third memorable call was my last one of the evening - we were shutting down and logging off ready for another call centre to take over when my phone rang, the guy on the other end had been watching the programme in the pub - and was extremely er...well oiled.
He did not have a credit card to make his pledge with (the only way possible for anyone to pay over the phone) and for 15 minutes I tried to get him to understand this, That I couldn't take cash over the phone, and that if he went to post office the next day he could pay it there. He was crying by the end of the call - so much has the show moved him - I was almost in tears too - everyone but the guy in charge had left the building and nearly all the lights were off - I often wonder if he did go and make a donation the next day.
Anyway - that's enough rambling - enjoy Red Nose Day wherever you are, and think of all those volunteers in call centres all over the country excitedly waiting for your call!