WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
Another day and another insight into the minds of those who should know better or at least make the effort.
Queuing up in a retail outlet waiting to be served, it seems that somebody before me was having a bit of grief in that the credit/debit card they had presented for payment of an item, large, bulky and needing the aid of serfs to move it to possible transportation outside, had been refused by the all-knowing machine it had been slotted into.
The lady person, as in customer, was going on about that this was ‘deplorable’ and not only that, it was unacceptable as well. However the manager was called into the fray and he explained assorted remedies as the card was being rejected and the final and obvious method was that if she could pay the amount in cash, it wouldn’t be a problem.
This was parried with (wait furrit, wait furrit..) “DON’T you KNOW who I am?!” in some super duper voice that to the untrained ear and eye may give the impression this was possibly some branch of Royalty, foreign or home grown, not mentioned in the Observers Book of Royal Beings or any of the similar named I-Spy books as being so, but a voice behind me mumbled “Bit of a chancer I’d say, missus..” and got a few nods of approval from mere peasants in the lower ranks in the Customer’s Waiting to be Served section.
The outcome was that she went with the manager towards, we assume, his office to get it sorted as he was going to telephone her bank or whatever to get a result as we could be served as some of us had been on Customer Training programmes – bit like staff training but more involved – and were possibly armed with the said coin of the realm or the means to pay for our purchases unlike Her Ladyship
The attitude in which this lady had adopted of the ‘know who I am’ malarkey reminded me of some years ago when I had a similar encounter or rather one with the same mentality – a mixture of arrogance, bluster with a dash of ignorance – that I can still sadly recall.
I was then working in a tyre depot in that we supplied and fitted tyres (obviously), batteries and other similar bits and bobs for both the public and the local motor trade in the immediate area plus advise potential, regular and deranged customers (mostly killing time while their other half was shopping) about said tyres, batteries etc and other kindred products or in basic terms today we could be classed as possible skilled social workers if kitted out with the right shoulder bag and laptop.
A ‘lady’ customer drove onto our forecourt one lunchtime and I suppose now I should have been a bit quicker as my two fellow operatives saw her first and each vanished quickly, muttering things like “Forgot to take my library book back..” and “Is it that time already?..”
So I ended up coping with our very own equivalent of the Margot Leadbetter character played by Penelope Keith as seen in BBC televisions ‘The Good Life’ but in our case, for real sadly.
As she bludgeoned her way out of her car, she slammed the door and strode in my direction as my working associates had now drifted away at great speed.
Note: appropriate translations in brackets.
“Hey, you! – worker person! – I want a wad (word) with you now!” and there I am thinking where had I left the company dictionary as there are lots and lots of different words in it to choose from and as she seems rather keen, I could let her choose some of her very own.
This short lived thought of mine, unshared at this point, was slightly shattered as she said her thing.
“Now, I have a boon (bone) to pick with yhoo (you) – my hosebun (husband) came in har (here) only last wheek (week) and bought some tyre things and dhoo (do) yhoo (you) know whout (what) has harpooned (happened)? – No, yhoo don’t do yhoo worker person, so I shull (shall) tell yhoo whout (what) has harpooned”.
To get to the point, it seems her hosebun came in and had a set of four tyres fitted, one at each corner, but can you believe it? – only yesterday while she was driving (droving no doubt) it, she suffered a float (flat) tyre thang (thing) and her hosebun has changed it and it’s in the char (car) bhoat (boot) and what are we (?) going to dhoo aboat (about) it?!
On getting the tyre or rather the wheel out the ‘bhoat’, I was told to be careful about scratching the paintwake (paint work), I found that it had suffered the fate of many a tyre as in the dreaded ‘Nailus-Intruptus-Tripus’ disease as in getting a puncture.
Her eyes rolled and sort of nearly popped out her head as she gushed forth with (wait furrit, wait furrit..) “A punkcha?! – a punkcha! – impossible! – that happens to ‘poor people’ and NOT peepel (people) of our standing! – why, why (Delilah?) my hosebun (husband don’t forget) is a member of the gulf (golf) club I will have you know!”
I made a mental note to remember that when they have a blow-out as in a ’punkcha’ at Silverstone on Grand Prix weekend driving their Formula One cars, they must be ‘poor people’ taking part, based on that analysis – wonder if they know that?..
True to form she wanted, nay DEMANDED a second opinion – bhoat of curse (course) – and so I called my boss out from his ham and pickle sandwich as in his lunch, and she did her bit as outlined above to him and to be fair he did put his best sympathetic face on as he inspected it and after doing a bit of caressing the wheel and tyre, which all this malarkey had all the appearance of a faith healer at work, he put it down and he responded thus:
“To be honest gal, you’re got a common puncture, that’s all..”
She replied thus: “COMMON!? – common!? – I will have you know my hosebun (hubbikins) is a member of the gulf club and we dhoo NOT have ‘common’ ANYTHING!”
The outcome, if you want to call it that, was to repair the punkcha (hole in tyre) and get her away as quick as possible. While this is going on, Lady Margot Bluffandbluster has now calmed down slightly and tried a bit of patronising as we are doing this f.o.c as in free of charge.
She then said her friend (there’s a novelty I thought – she has a friend) had a ‘flat battery’ once and could we help if she had one too and how would she know (!?) and I replied that perhaps the lights might be dim (something she perhaps knows a bit about, dim that is) plus unlike a tyre, the battery does not lose its shape. As she left us, we knew the British Empire (umpire) was in safe hands assuming the umpire was a gulf club member of course.