Monday, 16 March 2015

It could have been so much worse

TP shambled down the stairs this morning and, unusually, attempted to engage me in what passes for early morning discussion in his iteration of the multiverse.

It transpired that he had suffered a puncture on his way to work yesterday evening. He had not been able to remove his wheel nuts so had driven on the flat tyre and had abandoned his car at work. A friend had given him a lift home.

He was going to take the bus in to college and it was agreed that I would assist him with the changing of the wheel when he came home from his studies. I settled in front of the computer and Googled Breaker Bars and local suppliers. If TP's wheel nuts were as stubborn as he had indicated, one of these was going to be very helpful in changing his wheel this evening.

Normally I would have found a spare hour and nipped in to Redditch to pick up a breaker bar, but I had a fairly packed agenda so the plan was to head in to Screwfix with TP, collect the aforementioned bar and then head over to his car and swap the wheel after work this evening. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

The working day went well. The bulk of my time was spent preparing a presentation for a call tomorrow where I will talk my manager and other key stakeholders through a cost/benefit analysis I plan to undertake. I also had a great call this morning where I politely educated a project manager about why he could not simply offer to give away $140K without following the necessary procedures and obtaining the relevant authorisations. It was interesting to note his reluctance to back down from his position despite being wrong.*

I managed a somewhat extended lunch today as Grandad Jack paid a visit to take collection of a few bags of compost for his allotment. We spent an hour or so in one of the local pubs having a natter before he headed off for a session of double digging. He plans to return in a few weeks for the contents of our other compost bins.**

Eventually TP arrived home and we headed out towards Redditch. Before leaving the socket set was loaded in to the car and, typically, I had to pause 100 yards into our journey while TP returned to pick up his car keys.*** We arrived at Screwfix to be told that they didn't have any breaker bars. We were then reliant on TP's iPhone with minimal battery life to locate Tool Zone.

At this point I should mention that I really needed to be home by six in order to leave for puppy training. Time was ticking on, the light was fading and I didn't like the look of those black clouds.

We arrived at Tool Zone and found something that looked like it would do the job but the item description didn't state whether the bar was a 1/2" or 3/8" drive. Eventually the bar was retrieved from the warehouse and a brief inspection showed it to be the right size. Result! We paid and finally headed towards TP's abandoned Fiat.

As we left the car park the rain started and I made an Executive decision … TP called 30% and asked her to cancel puppy training. I was likely to be late. I was extremely likely to be wound up and, worse than that, I was going to be wet. Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate being wet!

We headed towards TP's car and attempted to use the back lanes to avoid the snarl-up of traffic and roadworks in Astwood Bank. The back road had been closed meaning that we had to loop back up on to the High Street. Time ticked on, the sky darkened and the rain continued to fall.

We eventually reached TP's ar and the wheel change wasn't too bad. There was a minor complication about locking wheel nuts but the rain had slowed to a light drizzle and within twenty minutes we were heading back to The Pile.

30% had cancelled dog training and had lit a fire. I got myself on the outside of a glass of wine and relaxed
* Call me cynical, but this guy is a Contractor and I would guess that he plans to jump ship and engage directly with the customer when the current contract ends in three years time. It is fair to say I trust the fucker about as far as I could throw him.
** These are being removed because of our current rodent problem.
*** Yes, the ones I had specifically asked if he had, not five minutes before we left.

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