More Shear Incompetence

After six nights in Jersey (and the single night in Southampton), nights that rattled past quicker than a speeding train, it was time to head for home. The stay in Jersey had been issue free (childish tantrums aside), but it was time to return, and so, back into the hands of Shearing’s.

There was an attempt at organisation. Boarding passes for the early morning ferry had been printed and dropped off at the hotel the evening before. But this hadn’t been communicated to anyone. It was more by luck than judgement that people knew. Julie had found out at reception as they asked her if she was with Shearing’s when she went to pick her room key up after a day out. She told us, and we got ours when we got back from St Malo.

Others must have been in a similar situation, and word of mouth had gotten around, but it still left half a dozen people who didn’t have theirs when it was time to leave. And there were no reception staff at six in the morning, only a cleaner who couldn’t find where the remaining boarding cards had been placed for safe keeping.

Six in the morning is too early for breakfast, so we wrapped some croissants, and filled water bottles with orange juice and water and put the in the bag for later consumption. We got the bags sorted (with the Kev porterage service being called back into use), on the bus to the ferry terminal and through the bag drop off, and a seat near the front of the queue.

The sailing was nice and smooth, and getting off the ferry at Poole was fine. Right until the moment we stepped out of the doors of the terminal building to get the coach for the journey back to Cobham.

It wasn’t there.

We waited for a few minutes, and it still wasn’t there. One of the other passengers rang Shearing’s to ask where the coach was. They were told it was three minutes away. Twenty minutes later there was still no sign, and they rang back to be told five minutes.

Now, those who know me well, and my penchant for Snatch quotes will hear me doing my Turkish impression of (and it is a slight paraphrasing), “It was three minutes, twenty minutes ago.”

I was also wondering whether they weren’t dealing with minutes as a unit of time, but as a measurement of distance as in degrees and minutes that the lines of latitude use. Only to then do the calculations in my head and work out what three minutes at our longitude would be, and made it to be about two miles, so it still shouldn’t have taken that long. (No one ever said I wasn’t a geek.)

With no sign of the coach, Helen thought it would be safe to go to the toilet. Only for it to turn into the car park the very second she had walked through the doors to go inside. With that we knew what the hold up was. She should have gone to the toilet half an hour ago.

The driver was most surprised to find that when he got off the coach that there was no representative from Shearing’s to help him sort out. When he asked where the Shearing’s rep was, I laughed quite loudly.

On the coach I wore my mask most of the way back to Cobham. Not for any fear of catching the lurgy. But because we had made the rookie mistake of sitting too close to the onboard chemical toilet and I was being chemicalled to death.

The driver got a few phone calls on the journey to Cobham. They gave the general impression that he hadn’t got a clue what he was supposed to be doing after he got there. Which didn’t bode well for those being dropped off after us.

At Poole, the driver had loaded the cases based on where people were getting off the coach. Only for him to have forgotten the order he’d loaded them by the time we got to Cobham. Again, I’m glad I wasn’t staying on the coach for the rest of the journey.

The taxi back home from Cobham was fine. The driver wasn’t like the lunatic we had going, and kept a nice distance from the car in front. There was a bit of traffic, but what else do you expect on a Friday afternoon going around the M25?

All in all, we had a great time. Jersey was wonderful, the hotel was nice (apart from the water pressure), and the food was lovely. We would definitely consider going on a coach trip again. But there is no hope in hell of that trip involving the incompetent halfwits at Shearing’s.

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