Friday morning and for once I am early for my first meeting so I have half an hour to kill. I goto the Lloyds TSB cashpoint. After the usual ritual of pin numbers and entering the amount of cash I need, it informs me that its not doing cash to day and is there anything else I want? Anything else? I want cash and now! I walk away muttering “don’t bother mate” to the man standing behind me and stalk off to the Nat West cashpoint. It purrs with delight as I slide in my card. Cash is no problem for it and I am sure that if it could it would have slipped in an extra tenner. At Partners the stationers I buy a propelling pencil. It has a 0.9mm lead which is good as this helps what I laughingly call my hand writing become slightly more legible. The pencil is no problem but there are no refills visible so I ask the helpful shop assistant if they have any refills.
“Oh we don’t do 0.9mm leads. You could try 0.7mm or 0.5mm.” She trills.
“But you sell a pencil that takes 0.9mm leads ……you must sell the refills….surely?” I sound exasperated. I am exasperated.
She glances at a colleague. Sighs and gets out large catalogue. There is much leafing through, muttering, and more sighing.
“No sorry we don’t seem to do them. But the pencil will take 0.7mm leads and we sell those.” I stare at her. Has she gone mad? Its a 0.9mm barrel, a 0.7mm lead will just drop straight out, unless I am very much mistaken.
I explain this to her.
She thinks about it, then realises that I have a point.
“I’m just going to go and check with the manager.” And off she goes. Time passes. Slowly. A bit more time passes, more slowly. Eventually she comes back.
“Yes we have them in stock.” and smiles a sort of smug smile at me. For one nasty nano second I think that she hasn’t brought them with her. But luckily for me and her she has. So I buy them.
I need a coffee. At Nero’s I have my usual. The cup of Americano is brim full. “Your’re sure its not to full?” The Barrista asks.
“No its fine” I say. As I arrive at my destination not a drop has been spilt. As I am setting my tray down the strap of my briefcase catches on the chair and causes me to jerk the tray. The sudden movement means that the coffee spills from the cup all over the tray and onto the table.
I sigh, and begin the mopping up.