Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The actors took great pleasure tonight in teaching me a new word: "beginners" instead of "places." Then they told me that they weren't going to respond unless I addressed them as "Mr. So and So" AND that beginners should be called five minutes before the top of the show--to which I countered unless I got a 12 year old boy in a newsboy's cap ala "Topsy Turvy" to run around and call places they weren't going to GET a beginners call. But, as with all things British, for the rest of the night when I called "beginners" I got the lovely little "it's different!" zing that I've been missing lately. Ah.

Speaking of "it's different!" I went into the bank today to cash a check, which in the States would take me approximately 5 minutes--six if they decided they wanted to see some ID. But when I rolled up to the desk and explained what I wanted, the woman returned with a blank stare, then the slowly dawning comprehension that comes with "oh, she's FOREIGN, she doesn't understand our RULES." She then proceeded to explain to me that I could deposit the money into my account, and then, after five working days, get it out again with my debit card. Only I never got my debit card. "When did you sign up for your account?" "Uh, September." "You should have come back a week later and gotten your debit card." "Well, look, I don't need to access my account, because there's no money in it, can you just cash these checks?" To which I am treated with a stare that suggests I have just asked to dump a bucket of chum over the couner. "Er, I guess that's a no. Can I get my card now?" "No, it's been destroyed." "Can I apply for a new one?" (long pause) "I GUESS so." She then proceeds to fill out a replacement card form. "Okay, so now I can come back in 5 working days and get my money." "No. You have to come back in a WEEK to get your debit card and THEN you can take your money out of your account."

Ah, good. Because I'm going to need that money for a getaway car...

I thought the bank made no sense until I went to get a doctor's appointment and the receptionist asked me if I was a student at Goldsmiths, registered at any other general practitioners, living in halls, planning on living in Brockley for awhile and THEN why I needed to see the doctor. (Yes, no, yes, God NO, foot pain reaching critical.) Apparently, since I'm not staying in Brockely long term I can only see the doctor as a "temporary" patient, and only then on the second Tuesday during a full moon. Thank God I've perfected my limp, because it might be awhile.

The show went well tonight--the first act dragged a little bit, but during the first scene of act two, two of the actors sort of seized the dialogue and ran away with it, cranking the energy up, so the rest of the show fairly flew by. During the second interval (interval: it's British!) two of the audience members were chatting about how good the show was, and how the acting was very quality for a venue of this size. Which puffed me up no end. (little stagehands have big ears!) I'm so proud of the quality of this show, even if it is "only" "fringe." Of course, if we were a little bigger, then I could have another minion to run down to the cellar and call half hour, fifteen, etc, instead of having to do it myself and getting a workout every night on top of everything else.


Laura said...

Sorry to hear you're having problems dealing with red tape in a faraway place - especially when it comes to seeing a doctor. Especially when it comes to your feet!
I guess I'm in store for a lot of that too. I just mailed my Peace Corps medical paperwork yesterday. I hope I did the right thing when it comes to billing information beacuse the guy at the other end of 800 number couldn't help me at all.

It seems the Peace corps will reimburse me for $165 for my physical plus more lab tests than I have blood, and my Americorps insurance will cover my "female exam" but I have to get the clinic to bill my insurance so my insurance can pay what they're going to pay, so the clinic can send ME a bill so I can pay it and send a COPY of my bill to the Peace Corps so they can pay me back.

And that's all something you needed to know!
Sigh. Here's to dealing with the goverment. Miss you!

Laura said...

P.S. I like that bit about calling all the actors Mr. or Mrs. or Ms.

I think I'll do that the next time I stage manage. It reminds me of old fashioned sailors on ships. Well, of Pirates of the Carribean when they're like Mr. Turner, please move the thing. Mr. Gibbs please shut up!