Published: February 12th 2010February 5th 2010
Most of today was spent around the Hotel. I got up early and took a trip down to reception to check my emails. When I returned I found Dee entertaining our little breakfast visitor who we have now named Kitten due to her playful nature and insatiable desire for petting and cuddles.
I did some washing and changed the beds in the morning and then after lunch Dee went to reception to check her emails and I decided to make some phone calls.
Following my online application for the Holiday reps job my Mum received a call back in the UK from a lady called Shirley congratulating me on passing the first round of selection and asking that I call her on an 0870 number which in the UK is a non geographic number which many companies use (despite me putting in my application that I was currently in Gran Canaria and giving them my mobile number).
Whilst I didn’t really want to call an 0870 number from my mobile due to the cost I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained and so I bit the bullet and called. Honestly, I once worked in a call centre and I
am not anti call centres per say as some people are, but this has to be one of the worst experiences I have yet had. Talking to the girl on the other end of the phone was like talking to a robot. She obviously had a script and was unable to deviate from it for even a minute. I asked to speak to Shirley who was unavailable and things went from bad to worse. After having to spell my name out to her using the phonetic alphabet about four times, I explained why I was calling and she said congratulations you’ve passed the first round and we’d like to invite you to an assessment centre, to which I explained again what I had already put in my covering letter that I was currently in Gran Canaria and was interested in whether there may be any current vacancies in Gran Canaria or one of the other Canary islands. “So you’d like to go to Manchester on 21st February then”, she replied. “No thank you” I said because my accommodation here in GRAN CANARIA is booked until 28th February and I don’t want to come back to the UK to have to
fly out here all over again, I’m trying to see if there may be any jobs here at the moment. “How about London on the 24th then?” she said. “No thank you” I said and so it went on.
I don’t think she had any concept of where the Canary Islands actually were and just did not seem to be able to comprehend what I was saying. In the end I just said thank you I won’t be proceeding with my application and hung up. I understand if the policy is not to employ people other than through the UK but at least if this was the case the call centre should state this and not act like complete mindless idiots!
By evening time Dee and I were both a bit bored from being indoors all day so we decided to take a walk down to Play del Ingles to take a look at the advertised “Artisan Market” which supposedly takes place every evening there. On our way to the square near the Kasba where the market is held we dropped into the CITA shopping centre. A very kitsch and tacky but quite cute in an over the
top way commercial centre covered in mini Eiffel towers and New York skyscrapers. Whilst it mostly contained the usual staple of dodgy electronic shops whose proprietors loudly advertising Sony Handy cams for 5 Euros and usual tourist tat shops and overprices super markets, there were a couple of rather nice clothes shops. I narrate our visit to the CITA only to describe our hilarious pass down one to the many passages of restaurants which was akin to the scene in the movie Gladiator where Maxamillian runs through the ranks of assembled gladiators into the arena. Outside each of the restaurants which are directly next to each other stands a “maitra di” almost blocking the side walk and as you pass each accosts you with more or less the same line asking you to eat in their establishment and a wave of the arm almost sweeping you into the place itself. I know times are hard and its good to be self promoting but it is smacks more sadly of desperation than promotion and even if we had been hungry and not on a budget it is unlikely we would have succumbed to such a blatant invitation.
Leaving the CITA
we had quite a nice walk through the now thankfully semi deserted streets of Playa del Ingles and even the monstrous neon thoroughfare that overlooks the beach didn’t look so grim in the darkness, it was almost carnival like.
Unfortunately once we reached the Kasba things once again took a turn for the worse. The Artisan market turned out to consist of just three lonely stalls with nothing remotely artisan about them but still selling the same old tourist tat such as sunglasses watches and key rings that we had found at the normal markets in both San Fernando and Puerto de Mogan. We had intended to go in for a drink in one of the bars in the Kasba to savour the atmosphere but once again the place was completely crawling with PR’s and touts all almost grabbing you to go into their own bar or restaurant and after a particularly persistent girl had Dee almost screaming ‘No, no, no, no!’ and running away, we decided that we just couldn’t be bothered any more and headed for home.
There are more photos below