Ah, the joys of Lockdown 2.  Each small adventure is magnified into an Adventure.

I had occasion to visit the local Post Office with an urgent package.  This calls for some careful planning.  Get out my credit card, my mask (and a spare in case the elastic breaks), a disposable plastic glove so that my unprotected fingers don’t have to touch the keypad to get back in, oh, and the package too  of course.  Than off on a perilous walk to the PO, ducking a diving as I strive to leave a two metre gap between me and all the people coming straight at me.

There is a queue outside the PO but I eventually progress to a meet-and-greet lady who asks me whether I’d prefer a machine or a human being.  I opt for a human being but have to wait my turn, standing on a designated spot marked on the floor with two feet much smaller than mine.  A notice tells me to ‘wait until called forward’.  I reflect that during my long life I have been called many things, but never forward.  I notice that if I’d opted for a machine I would not have had to wait.  They are empty.  People obviously prefer human beings.

My turn comes and I’m beckoned forward by my chosen human being, a young lady wearing a black mask.  As she processes my package, I try to visualise her without a mask and our casual conversation goes like this:

Human being. ‘Busy today?’

Me. ‘No, not particularly.’

Human being. ‘Doing anything special this afternoon?’

Me. ‘No, coming to see you is the highlight of my day.’

Human being. ‘Oh, that’s nice.  Got any plans for Christmas?’

Me. ‘Good lord, no.  Christmas is ages off.’

Human being.  ‘Only six weeks.  It’ll be here in no time.’

Me.  ‘Well, I’m just taking things one day at a time.”

Human being.  ‘Got any plans for the rest of the week?’

Me. ‘No, I’ve given up planning.’

Human being. ‘Do you want next day delivery?’

Me. ‘Oh, I suppose so.  I’ve given up decision making too.’

Human being. ‘Signed for?’

Me. ‘If you say so.’  I tap my card on the card reader. ‘Thank goodness I don’t have to remember my PIN.’

My human being chuckles.  ‘Given up your PIN?’

Me. ‘Yep.  Given up everything.’

Human being. ‘Never mind, have a nice day.’

I’m tempted to tell her I’ve given up nice days too but it wouldn’t be true.  On the way out, I tell the greet-and-meet lady that I’m glad I opted for a human being.

Next Adventure.  The man came from Thames Water bang on 8 this morning to install a water meter even though we already have one (if you find this confusing, I’m afraid you’ll have to look back at my last blog, Day 230).  I took the masked man down into the cellar and proudly showed him the meter that Thames Water refuses to admit exists.  There it was, one of 13 water meters all neatly installed in a row.  I expected, indeed hoped, that he’d tell me all was forgiven, that I’d been exonerated, and dutifully take the meter reading.  But instead, he told me what I already knew: that the meter was not registered on my account.  I said I knew it wasn’t, but now that he’d seen it with his own eyes, could he please tell the powers that be at Thames Water that I had a meter.

He shook his head sadly. ‘Trouble is, it’s the wrong sort of meter, mate.  It can’t be read remotely.’

Me. ‘So, can you please change it for a meter that will be recognised?’

Him. ‘Yes, but all these other meters need changing as well.’

Me. ‘Never mind the other meters, can you please change mine?’

And he did.  He even took a note of the reading on the old meter and told me my bill will be adjusted accordingly.

Two triumphant encounters with human beings!  I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow holds.

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