What you fail to comprehend on your first day working in a public garden is the sometimes awkward situations you will find yourself in with others of your species. In some ways, the mind boggles how certain behavioural tendencies became embarrassing or potentially law-suit-full. One thing is important though. You must NEVER display your unease when a ‘situation’ occurs.
- When it is a very hot day and you are down to your vest, remember that Charlie Dimmock has been responsible for forever causing a ‘certain generation of males’ to stop and admire the bulbs. Particularly when bent over weeding one particular border where steps lend a perfect vantage point. When you look up to discover five or six old boys momentarily transfixed, you should smile and wave.. smile. and wave. Until they shuffle off flustered.
- On occasions when you ‘suddenly’ appear with your barrow from a trip to the compost heap through one of the many semi-hidden external doors to find a man urinating against one of the Taxus baccata, you shouldn’t be alarmed. You absolutely should indulge him in conversation after he has quickly zipped himself up (believing you don’t recognise the familiar male territorial stance) and tried to convince you he was admiring the architectural quality of the wall.. for an unfeasibly lonnnng time that includes a back story of how he knew this particular fine piece of stone work because he used to be a Guard.. ‘who worked here once’.
- There will be times when you will feel like punching the general public in the face. Do not do this. Even if they speak to you condescendingly saying how it’s ‘a shame the place has got away from you’.. whilst pulling the only piece of bindweed in the whole garden, calmly out of the hedge with a smug look on their over-paid-for face.
- On occasion, you will expose a bit of arse crack and/or muffin top to an un-suspecting audience. Typically in warm, windy conditions where you have loosened your belt and are too hot to bother sucking your guts in. If you’re really lucky, you might end up photo-bombing a happy family holiday snap with your flaccidity while weeding… You can but only hope you never become a meme.