Last Saturday (I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but I keep forgetting) I did some work experience up at Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue. I’m going to tell you all about it, you lucky things!
When filling in the application form, I thought to myself, “wow, this place sounds big and fancy!”…this was not the case. It was a woman’s back garden. Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t really a problem, it’s just that it was very tricky finding it on Google maps. It wasn’t listed as an actual establishment, so I then had to scour the internet to try and find the actual address, and Google Mapped that instead. When I actually arrived there, it was no easier. Her house was extremely well hidden and quite small, so no wonder they had been short of volunteers. They’d probably shown up but not been able to find it, so went home again! They really should put up a big sign or something instead of complaining about the ex-volunteers not showing up.
The small size of the house wouldn’t have been a problem if they really had been lacking in volunteers- but they weren’t. This place was so quaint that it could barely hold four of us, so, needless to say, attending to all the animals and cleaning out the cages was a difficult task, one which required us to tango around each other every time we needed to move somewhere.
Most of the people there were really friendly and helpful…but. My Mum had been quite offended by the woman who ran the place when we were first introduced at her garden gate. We had exchanged pleasantries and the woman, Sam, had let me in. She’d still had the gate open to my Mum, though. When my Mum had asked if she could come in, take a look around and see the pigeon we had given them to look after a few weeks previously, Sam had stated that they were busy right now and just shut the gate in my Mum’s face, not even giving me a chance to thank her for the lift there. Good start to the day.
A woman whose name I cannot for the life of me remember, was introduced to me and told to show me the ropes. Sam then disappeared, only to reappear every few hours or so but hardly address me, nor ask me how things were going, nor offer me a drink, a break, or directions to the toilet. I did not ask to use her toilet because, luckily, it was not needed for the few hours I was there for. If I had, however, needed the loo, I would have been screwed. None of the other volunteers seemed 100% comfortable either and none of them once left the shed at the bottom of Sam’s garden to use the loo, eat, or wash their hands. Now that I think about it, that’s yet another necessity/right which I was not offered the opportunity to exercise.
Not only this, but I am slowly beginning to discover how unlucky I am. A pigeon died in the carrier I had moved him to while I cleaned out his proper cage, for me to discover him a few minutes later by placing my hand on his still warm chest, his little buddy next to him freaking the fuck out. I think he hated me.
Another bird, a huge wood pigeon, was fucking mental, too. He just wouldn’t let me scoop him up for about five minutes straight. No matter how hard I tried or how desperately I attempted to become friends with him, he was still more in favour of flapping his wings into a frenzy and whacking his head against the side of the cage than he was of letting me pick up his podgy body. Crazy bastard. He could have hurt himself.
THERE IS MORE. Two pigeons of opposite sexes were being kept in the same cage, with a fake egg there to encourage them to mate and create a real egg together. Cute? Just wait. When I went to clean out their cage, I had found another egg next to the fake one…it was warm. I was filled with this amazing happiness and pride in the pigeons for creating a cute little baby bird! But the cage had to be cleaned, so I had asked what to do with the real egg until I could put it back in the cage with the Mummy and Daddy birds (I am aware that once unattended eggs obtain the scent of a human, the parent birds tend to give up on it and keep their distance, but I wasn’t sure whether this would still be the case in such an environment). THE WOMAN TOLD ME TO THROW IT AWAY. IN THE BIN. A LITTLE BABY BIRD. Her reasoning for this? Apparently they didn’t have the facilities to accommodate and look after it in. NO SHIT. But if they can’t look after any more babies then why on earth were they encouraging those pigeons to mate? More to the point, why were they even being kept in the same cage? I feel so guilty and filled with regret for not saying this to her and standing up for what I knew was right…I feel so evil!
I was also not met by Sam at the time of my departure to be thanked for my help, nor was I shown her gratitude via text or email. Rude.
Despite these above factors, however, I have found pride in the fact that I helped those poor innocent animals and possibly made a friend…maybe? There was one girl there who was about my age and she was really nice to me after we got over the initial awkwardness. Although maybe that awkwardness was all in my head. I am totally in-sociable, after all. I think I may be an introvert, to be honest. Anyway, we got chatting after we’d both started to walk out and, after checking that I had the means to get home, she jumped in her car just down the road, only to take a brisk U-turn, drive back to me after seeing me struggle to contact my parents, and offer me a lift. I politely turned her down as she didn’t know her way around Dunstable, but the fact that she offered actually meant a lot to me as until then I had next to no reason to go back there, other than the eternal guilt I would feel for leaving those poor little animals.
I still chose not to go back there this Saturday and I’m on holiday over the next two Saturdays, but still. I’ll go back eventually.
It just feels like every workplace I go to has several people who just make me feel as though I don’t belong and are either rude or condescending, which prevents me from wanting to go back.
Although, I really need to get myself a proper job because I seriously need the money. Any offers, guys? I promise I won’t bitch about you over social media…