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Monday, 16 May 2011
Colin and George. The Office for National Statistics
Well, the synchronicity continues. This time last year (ish) I blogged about Colin, the ONS guy, Office for National Statistics, or rather George. It wasn't Colin last year, it was someone who looked like Colin, talked like Colin, similar age and manner. So, when Colin called this year I thought it was George.
Easy mistake to make. My first year in this flat Colin called and as a friendly, charming, conversationalist I was more than happy to answer questions as to whether my teenage son considers himself British or English and if he is still a Jedi. I was working as a self-employed Ebay Shop owner selling gifts at the time. Shortly after Colin's visit I closed the Ebay shop because it wasn't making enough profit. 18th May actually was the day I shut up shop. I was also blogging about the synchronicity that shows up in my life and how I love to spot the patterns of numbers, dates and names that show up regularly.
A year later when George showed up, he had been trained by Colin, so we had a nice, easy discussion about life in general and what is going on for me. I also mentioned my interest in coincidences and he asked me the date for my shop closing, when he said his birthday was 18th May, we both had a laugh. I think it was his birthday, or his wedding anniversary, something like that. Something significant for him. I could have chosen any day in May to end the accounts for that Ebay shop. It amazes me how these coincidences transpire.
So, here we are, 2011 and the ONS are due. The knock at the door brings a guy who is one of the above two, I say 'are you Colin or are you the other one?' because I honestly can't tell the difference. Colin gives me a wry smile and asks if now is a good time for an interview. 'Yes, of course, although I have had flu over the weekend and I wouldn't want you to catch anything' I tell him, because I wouldn't want to expose him to my germy countenance.
Off he goes to collect his computer from the car, because he didn't know if I was going to be in, giving me time to 'tidy' ie dump my duvet that I had been lounging around in to get well quicker, back in my bedroom and open a window to freshen my pit up.
Colin comes back and we settle down to our regular annual check up. He does explain that George is no longer. Colin interviewed George, told him to apply for a job, trained him and shared the Southend area with him. So when my address came up as time for annual review Colin phoned George to find out why he wasn't doing it, since George had been assigned to me. George's son answered the phone. 'Sorry, George isn't available, he died half an hour ago'. Poor Colin. What are the chances of deciding to phone someone to speak to them just after they have died. I do not believe in coincidences. I am pretty sure that this did not happen by chance. Colin was guided to make the call to find out about George, probably by George. It is just bizarre that Colin heard of George's death pretty much as soon after it happened, when he hadn't actually had reason to speak with George for more than six months. The person he was calling about was me.
Well, when Colin asked me if anything has changed? meaning my work situation or marriage status or religious beliefs I told him that the only thing that has changed is the interviewer has died. We both had a good laugh. You have to laugh.
Of course death is no laughing matter, but sometimes the absurdity of life is simply laughable.
I probably won't be seeing Colin again, he will be retiring in 5 months, I definitely will not be seeing George again, he died of a heart attack in his early sixties. After walking his wife home from the theatre, puffing a bit, he sat down and died. Just like that. A life is snuffed out. Gone, but not forgotten.
Good luck on your journey George. I will always remember the 18th May now as yet another date on my list of significant dates.
Love, light and happiness to everyone who needs it