Good few years ago, was looking for funding. Couldn’t find the application forms. There was a contact address for the Arts Officer on the site. Figured that was a good place to start.
Sent him an e-mail and two weeks later he hadn’t replied. Called the number and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail.
Another two weeks and no return call.
I went to his office and asked: ‘Is he here?’
They looked at me sorta strange, and went: ‘Eh…what time is it?’
‘Hmm…yeah. He wouldn’t usually be in until after lunch, depends on where he was last night…’
‘Was he workin last night?’
‘Well, he might have been launching something….’
‘Like a Spaceship?’
‘Like a new local project or something…’
‘So you think he’ll be in later?’
‘I don’t see why not. What did you need him for?’
‘There’s no applications forms on your site. Is there any physical ones here?’
‘Oh, you’ll have to talk to him about that.’
‘Can I leave a note on his desk?’
She frowned. Pulled out a contact form, said: ‘Try this. He might be in after lunch.’
I filled it out and left. Lunch came and went.
No call. No contact. Rang the office again. No answer. Left another voicemail. No reply.
Went back the next day. There was a fella at the counter with a Bluetooth headset on his left ear. It looked like there was something growing out the side of his head. He kept touching it to make sure it was still there, like it was somehow responsible for his balance.
He looked up and saw me coming, then pretended he hadn’t, and got busy shuffling some papers. There was a bell that said: RING FOR ASSISTANCE.
So I rang it.
He looked up all surprised, touched the Bluetooth and asked: ‘Are you alright?’
‘Fine thanks. Is the Arts Officer here?’
‘Hmmm…I don’t think so, I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks actually…he’s usually here in the afternoons there, but….let me check.’
He looked into the distance and said: ‘No, see, the light in his office is off…he’s not in.’
‘Do you’ve any idea when he might be?’
‘I wouldn’t know.’
‘He works here, doesn’t he?’
‘Yeah….but, depends on the head from the night before, you know yourself. What did you want him for?’
‘Application forms, for funding.’
‘Are they not on the site?’
‘Well you’ll need to talk him about that so.’
‘Can I leave a note for when he gets back?’
He frowned then. Whistled through his teeth. Looked at the wall, went: ‘Note, note….note…I suppose you can leave a contact form?’
Filled it out again. Left my name and number and why I called.
Days and weeks passed and heard nothing. Started to think he was dead or sick or didn’t exist. I asked around and got his mobile number. Rang that and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail and he didn’t respond.
So I moved on without funding. Produced the Plays myself.
One night, about a year later, I met him in the pub, surrounded by funded Artists and said: ‘You never got back to me.’
‘Who are you again?’
‘I left contact forms on your desk. And e-mails. And voicemails and…’
‘What were you looking for?’
‘Oh, of course. Of course. I remember now. Call in to me on Monday.’
‘Say around 11….or make it 12 just in case. Are you having a drink?’
‘See you Monday so.’
Monday came. He wasn’t there. Rang him and left a voicemail. E-mailed and he didn’t respond. Filled out a contact form and left it on his desk and never heard anything.