Monday, 1 August 2016

The Adventure of the £2 Coin.

All I wanted from Wilko was a Mars Bar, but the woman in front of me at the checkout was a daunting prospect. She was piling a trolley load of stuff onto the belt, and when she’d done that she began claiming a refund for something she was returning. Such transactions are complicated, and to complicate matters even further, the till was malfunctioning in some way and the operator was getting flustered.

The manager had to be sent for.
She came and she said ‘What’s to do?’
~Albert and the Lion

Which is pretty much what happened. The manager then proceeded to frown and shake her head and point and shake her head again (etc, etc.) Eventually the problem was solved and normal service resumed, but by then there was a queue building up behind me and I seriously considered abandoning the Mars Bar and going off to buy one somewhere else, even though I knew it would be 10p dearer. (I don’t make such decisions lightly, you understand. I calculate that 10p is 10% of the price of a bottle of Bass Premium Ale and consider the matter deeply.) I remained at my station growing increasingly impatient.

Eventually the business was concluded to much relief all round and I handed the checkout operator my Mars Bar. She scanned it, said ‘50p please’, and I handed her a £2 coin. She put it in the drawer, handed me the till slip, and then looked up at me with eyes that said ‘Why are you still standing there?’

‘I gave you a £2 coin,’ I said.

Her eyes narrowed to a ‘you’re lying’ look.

‘It was definitely a £2 coin,’ I insisted.

The woman behind me came into the drama at that point.

‘I could see it was a sort of gold colour,’ she said helpfully, ‘but I thought it was a £1 coin.’

I turned to look at her with eyes that said ‘whose side are you on?’ but continued to insist:

‘I can assure you; it was a £2 coin.’

The checkout operator puffed pointedly and opened the cash drawer. There in the 50p coin compartment was a £2 coin.

‘Oh, it was a £2 coin,’ she said. ‘My apologies.’

Her eyes didn’t apologise, just her mouth. I got the £1.50 change and left quietly.

You get days like that, don’t you?

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