I Love Stationary, Especially Pens!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been wanting to start blogging again but was really struggling to think of subjects to advise on without it seeming like I was preaching.

Today I sat in our local college ready for my son to enrol on his chosen course. It was so tedious being farmed backwards and forwards, with the staff totally not having a clue where the potential students needed to go to next; turning some away for not having the pink card (No not the hot pink form, the light pink card!), not being able to find people on the college system even though, in our case, some had been there previously or had at least completed all the procedures as instructed. We literally stood in a queue for around 5 mins just for the staff to circle 2 ‘yes’ boxes.

I was a little forgiving when I saw several staff dash to help someone who had a cardiac arrest in the queue for the Motor Vehicles course (and I was so happy that my son had completed that course last year and was opting for ‘Brickwork’ this year instead, as I have always joked that if I was in the vicinity of someone needing an ambulance that they may as well call 2 as I’ll need one too!) They really did an amazing job, meeting the needs of the patient with CPR (someone actually caught him as he collapsed and avoided him hitting his head), calming his relative (possibly his mum), cordoning off the area for privacy (and probably because they could sense my panic rising!), and by the time he was ready for the ambulance he was not only alive, but conscious, so I let them off the hook a bit.

By the end of the enrolment process I just crumbled when I saw a leaflet. Yes, just a leaflet. We had repeated information at least 6 times, and only had to sort ‘travel assistance’ out. On our way, we stopped at the NUS stand (now called Totem, for your information). My son had missed out of the student card last year, I think I had a ‘skint day’ (I’m sure we have all had those!) so made up for it by getting the deal of the card and a goody bag for a slightly reduced price. The goody bag contained a pencil case with the usual bits, wrist band, re-usable coffee cup, and a couple of notebooks. The sign said, approximately,

“Buy the card today and receive a goody bag with stationary, both for £20.”

I couldn’t just leave it!

I had seen social media posts floating round today, GCSE results day, telling these poor 16-18 year olds receiving their results that it REALLY DOESN’T MATTER what your results are, you will always be fab. I even shared one myself on Facebook. I thoroughly agree. All 3 of my children hated secondary school and, like me, were bullied throughout their teens by school ‘friends’. The 2 girls had tried college, but that didn’t work, but do you know what? They are both beautiful and bright gir… uh-hum ‘LADIES’, don’t feel inadequate, as they aren’t, and are happy and healthy – what any parent could ever hope for. My son, is, of course, flourishing into a fantastic boy…uh-hum ’MAN’, and he has been comfortable in college, despite having bullying issues like his sisters. College is a much better experience than schools, and he has adapted and become a much more confident member of society.

But* you expect that people representing the college, as professionals, should know how to spell, to set a good example. Obviously, with a mother like me, my children had no choice than to know grammar, spelling and punctuation, as I’ve beaten it into them (not really of course, but made sure they can spot mistakes so that they can be cursed like me!) Don’t get me wrong – we all make little mistakes – and that’s ok, I’m sure I will slip up in my blogs, but when it comes to signs, posters and leaflets it is always better to get someone else to check. In fact, putting on my ‘author hat’ for a second (puts ‘mum hat’ down), I get my youngest daughter to proofread my own books before they are published. It is so hard to spot your own mistake (unless it is too late!).

So I decided to blog in the future about things I know. Simple as that (puts ‘author hat’ down and puts on ‘publisher hat’). I find that I’m learning every day with my job, so to share it seems logical!

Oh.. and what was the error that I found?

STATIONARY! StationAry roughly means to stay still, like a stationary parked car, whereas stationEry is pens, notebooks and so on… (my favourite things in the world – apart from cats!)

*I was taught at secondary school never to start a sentence with an ‘and’ or ‘but’, so this has been written under duress!