10 July 2006

School's Out For Summer

Today was my second major shift at Broadway Cinema. Last week I had called E.ON to ask for feedback on my unsuccessful interview of Wednesday 28 June. They had told me that they didn't have this information to hand and that someone would call me back. I had intended to record this conversation when it took place, but nobody had yet been in touch. So before leaving for work, I called again to obtain the feedback. Again I was told that nobody was available to speak to me at this time and that again someone would contact me.

I got to Broadway at 9:45. There were two end-of-term schools events lined up. School groups from all over Nottinghamshire coming to special screenings of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (which I had already seen on Saturday). The first group were very well behaved and didn't make much mess in the cinema. They had been told by their teachers that they were not allowed to eat, so subsequently they didn't leave much rubbish. As an usher, the success (or ease) of a shift is normally rated on three different factors:

1. Audience numbers (the fewer the better)
2. Latecomers (the fewer the better)
3. Snacks consumed / mess made (the fewer the better)

While the children were watching the film, I began writing the first of the day diaries (published on this blog) in my notebook. It was something that I had been planning to do since the very beginning of the project - to make a short report for each day of 'Part-time', which would run-alongside and complement the data being collected in the Prime Time spreadsheet. These would provide a more subjective and anecdotal account of events.

I began writing about the first day of the project (Monday 26 June), looking back over two weeks. This was odd, but also quite a successful way of working. It amazed me how easy it was to re-live the events of each day, when I focussed and began writing. I was aided by the Prime Time Log Book, which had a minute-by-minute record of activity helping me to recall the finer details.

I got through the first couple of day's diary entries whilst ushering that day. Once the film has begun, if I don't want to watch it, I am permitted to sit outside on the comfy chair and do what ever I like. I can read magazines, books or work in my notebook. Given that today's shift was also part of 'Part-time' I had the added satisfaction of being paid (by Prime), to be paid (by Broadway) to do my own work!

The afternoon's screening was upstairs in Screen 1, which has a much large capacity than Screen 2. I was told they were expecting a lot more kids. The other bad news was that they were going to give all of them all sweets as part of the end-of-term party deal. As an usher, it's difficult not to despise anyone who brings food into the cinema, as after the screening, every single last little piece of popcorn has to be picked up by hand. The thought of 150 screaming ten-year-olds with free reign over boxes and boxes of Haribos was quite terrifying.

While they were in the cinema I sat outside and read the paper. At the end of the screening it took me 12 minutes to clear up the mess which was not as bad as I had anticipated. I took the rubbish out to the bins and headed home.

That afternoon, I had a call from Janine at Barker Ross, she said she had another office job available this time at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)! It was only part-time working Mondays and possibly Fridays every week. She was going to forward my CV to them, for their consideration alongside some other temp workers’.

I found it very amusing that I might end up working back at NTU - the place where I had spent two days a week since February teaching on the Fine Art course. What if I saw people I knew? It would be very odd, but work was work and I wasn't about to turn it down.

That night I did bits-and-bobs of work on the computer and then at about 21:20 I had a strange and uncontrollable urge to file my Tax Return! I reviewed all my spreadsheets for 'expenses' and 'earnings' in year 2005 - 2006, looked over my bank statements and calculated the figures. I then went on the Inland Revenue site and uploaded the whole thing. It took less that two-and-a-half and I felt very pleased with myself in the end, if not slightly annoyed about the amount of tax it said I had to pay.