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Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Cost of Arguments

Good morning and welcome to this mini-blog as I address the true cost of an argument.

Some may be old enough to recall a very funny sketch by Monty Python called Argument Clinic, for those who are not familiar, I have posted the link - at no charge.

Monty Python - Argument Clinic

It's all well and good to make fun of people arguing but the truth is sometimes an argument can cause real pain and lead to real financial distress and I would like to share with you the details of an argument I had yesterday and the terrible cost of that argument.

First of all let me tell you that this argument could have been avoided in a very simple and old fashioned way, a way that I used to make fun of but now I realise how wrong I was to belittle the professionalism of an old fashioned shop assistant.

Yesterday, being in a bit of a hurry, I realised I needed to refuel the Guru-Mobile. Being short of time I simply purchased £20.00 worth of Tesco finest diesel - the cost £20.00.

On entering the shop to pay I saw a display of sweets and decided on the spur of the moment to buy some chewing gum, sugar free of course! Cost 96p.

Now, I didn't get a maths O Level, I only managed a certificate in arithmetic but even I can add £20.00 and 96p in my head - £20.96p.

So, I searched my pockets and found a £2.00 coin which I added to the £20 note I had in my wallet thereby giving me £22.00.

Are you still with me?

I reached the front of the queue and was faced with the usual sight - a post teenage gorgon, a total stranger to the concept of a smile or deodorant, although body odour was being bravely battled by the over powering smell of stale tobacco.

I was greeted with the well rehearsed line "any fuel" and I answered "pump 8, thank you" - she then took the packet of gum and scanned it and sure enough the total came to £20.96p so I handed her the £20 note and the £2.00 coin - she then did her till thing and handed me my change wrapped in my receipt.

I turned to walk away and then inspected my change - 4p. Just 4p. 2, 2p coins. FOUR PENCE!

"Excuse me, I think there has been a mistake - I gave you £22.00".

"No you didn't".

Well this was the start of a heated exchange which saw me storm out of the garage clutching my 4p.

So the real cost of this argument was £1.00

Now, an old fashioned shop assistant would have never let this happen because in her perfectly ironed overall, her blue rinse beautifully presented, she would have smiled and shown the lip stick on her teeth as she said "£20.96p please Sir" and I would have handed over my money, placing it in her scrawny fingered hand. She would have checked it and then said "that's £22.00", she would have done her till thing and handed me my change saying "that's £1.04 change Sir" - or she might have even counted it out, "£20.96 - and four makes twenty one, and a pound, twenty two...thank you Sir"

So, old fashioned shop assistants win hands down over scruffy smelly Tesco tarts who have no concept of customer service.

That £1.00 will haunt me - and I can't even go back to Tesco and do my shopping because they have secured all of their trollies and to release one you need...A POUND COIN!


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