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I managed to stay calm

15 May, 2013

I got paid today, so I went shopping. Not for anything dramatic, just groceries, but being the one day of the month when I have any money I tend to do a big shop. I top up on things I have run low on or out of, and I usually let myself have a little treat. If I’ve been extra good then the treat is a box of Viennese Whirls, a cake I find so irresistible that when I buy a box of six, the only thing left when the car pulls up at home is the box.

So I was in a good mood, what with having been paid, and also because I was going shopping, my favourite household task. I was enjoying the browse round Sainsburys, picking up what I needed, comparing prices, spotting bargains, and I was just deciding between a strawberry or a mint Viennetta, both half-price this week, when there was a customer announcement for the owner of my car to go to the front desk. My first thought was I had left my lights on, but it was still daytime and I knew I hadn’t. Then I thought that maybe they had come on by themselves – the electrics are playing up, and while I was parking the radio had refused to switch off – and how much was it going to cost me to sort THAT, and would that mean my weekend in France in August would be cancelled?

I was pretty nervous when I got to the desk, and ready to go into full dark mood depression meltdown over whatever it was. There had been an incident with my car, they said (oh shit, someone has hit-and-runned me, the car is a wreck, I haven’t got the money for a new one etc etc), the guy who drives the trolley retrieval truck had crashed into my bumper and ripped it off. Well that didn’t sound too bad, I thought, and even if it is, it will be on their insurance not mine.

The trolley guy apologised, I said it was fine, accidents happen and i went out to the car with the manager. He was right, the bumper was hanging by one screw. He must have been going at quite a speed. We took a few pics, exchanged numbers, he took the bumper off, helped me put it in the car and that was essentially that. Now comes the getting of quotes, the sorting out of repairs etc etc and hopefully I will also get to drive some fancy courtesy car for a day or two when the work is being done.

I was completely polite and calm, and throughout the whole thing, I was able to talk myself out of whatever worst case scenario my inner voice was cooking up for me. The manager thanked me for being so reasonable, if only all customers were like me, and I said again that accidents happen. The trolley guy was new, he hadn’t done it on purpose, noone had got hurt. I was saying this to myself as much as anything else, telling my darker self that I wasn’t going to be dragged down.

If this has happened a year ago I would have been in tears, or shouting at the staff, or both. Which would have helped nobody. And the low would have lasted for days, destroyed my confidence, made me not want to leave the house, not want to ever drive my car again, not want to go to the shops again. But today there was no low. I was fine. So you may be reading this and thinking this whole thing is a non-story. Well maybe it is. But you see, that is sort of the point.

Oh and by the time I got back to my shopping, the Vienneta shelf in the freezer was empty. They WERE on offer after all. And I would only have eaten it. So I’m counting that as a bonus too.



From → Blogging, My Head

  1. Now, if I were to see this scenario played out, I would be eyeing you up and down as an attractive man! wondering all sorts of things……….. Good for you to be strong…and like you said, no one was harmed in the making of this post. Your cakes sound like what the Entemann’s chocolate covered, yellow cake box of 8 Donuts are to me. I always – DON’T buy them because the box will be empty in an hour if I take my sweet time! Which I wouldn’t because they are devilishly delicious.

  2. Damn, I wish I could have read this a year ago… what fun that world have been. But, that being said, I’m glad and proud for you upon reading this post.

    I have a question. I am watching ‘Mr. Selfridge’ on Masterpiece Theater. Have you been to Selfridge’s? Has this show aired in England? A year ago, I would have cast you as George, the brother… now I would cast you as Henri Leclair, the window designer.

    Before I say too many nice things… your wussy Choon this week sucked! A real Choon is Boz Skaggs new song.

    • Thanks for your support Ted. yes we had Mr Selfridge over here, but i didnt see it. I was probably too busy writing! so i im not sure which character i would be. I’ll take your comparisons as a compliment though 🙂

  3. Sometimes, it is the little victories that taste the sweetest. Maybe even sweeter than those little cakes you love? 🙂

  4. Woot! I’m super glad for you. Cool calm and collected.

  5. Ah I’m sincerely sorry about your car – but bravo for the way that you handled it. As they say only 10% in life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react to it. Most of the time, getting angry doesn’t solve anything just releases a lot of stress hormones in your body.

    Can you claim on your insurance, or get the store to pay for the cost perhaps??

    • it genuinely didnt annoy me, partly because they were so up front and honest about it. and yeah, they took responsibiity from the start so they (or their insurance) will be paying)

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