Thursday, February 10, 2005


The mood had changed. The atmos was definitely less friendly than it had been a minute prior. It was now distinctly edgy.

With bank card held circumspectly between thumb and forefinger the previously friendly petrol assistant lady changed her viewing perspective, instead of looking through her glasses at me she had now bowed her head slightly and was looking over her glasses with eyebrows slightly raised.

I couldn't help but wonder whether she actually needed to wear glasses - I hadn't changed where I stood, she hadn't either. So why did she look over the glasses to get a good view of me when previously the glasses had done the job? I could save her a few bob by pointing this out....... if I cared.

I decided not to.

I was being held up enough as it was.

"I'm going to have to get authorisation" she had just said. Which is why I had time to ponder her viewing dilemma and possible solution.

"Ok no problem"

"The till has told me that I need to get authorisation"

"Yes ok, no problem"

I hadn't heard the till speak to anyone, but decided not to press her on this. Anyone who can hear tills talking is frankly capable of anything

"It may take a while"


"I'll have to ring the boss to find out how I go about it"


"I've not done one of these before"


I had the distinct feeling she was trying to tell me something.

"Look, shall I pay with something else? To save us all the trouble. Would that help?" I ventured, feeling as though I was trying to bribe some corrupt foreign official.

I could almost hear the whole building exhale a big sigh of relief.

"Well, that would be good if you could. It would save you some time"

A lot with the sounds of it.