A few years ago I started a new job, and was given a company car. I was pretty excited as I had never owned a car so new before, and it had a CD player, which was a bit of a novelty. I felt like such a grown up, after all, none of my friends had a job with a company car, did they?
My happiness was short lived. On my second day at the lettings agent I was given an envelope full of keys and a load of addresses, and told to go out and look at the properties on the books, not only to familiarise myself with what i could offer potential tenants but to get to grips with the area, as i was working in a town i hadn’t even visited. I duly went out with the sat nav on my phone and cruised around, looking at a combination of hovels and palatial palaces. And then my fuel got low.
Not a problem, i thought. I went to the petrol station, filled up the tank (full, as I had just been paid and was sticking with the theme of acting like an adult, rather than putting in the minimum ten pounds and hoping it would last). As i screwed the cap back on the tank, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t checked whether it was petrol or diesel. In typical me fashion, my impending sense of doom was correct, and it clearly had on the fuel cap ‘DIESEL’. I had just pumped fifty quid worth of petrol in it.
I called my boss. He laughed, clearly thinking I wouldn’t be so stupid, and then told me to call the AA. In my defence, I had only ever had a petrol car, so clearly assumed all cars ran on it. Fool.
I then needed to get away from the pump. I hadn’t started the engine. But went into the Tesco and explained to the two doddery old men on the till what had happened, and they agreed to come and push me off the pump so I wouldn’t need to start the engine. They pushed me to the nearest space, with me at the steering wheel worried that one of them was going to have a heart attack. I then patiently sat and waited for the AA man. It began to rain (of COURSE it did!! Things always seems to get worse, don’t they?!) But i waited, twiddling my fingers and worrying about the bollocking i was bound to get. And then i heard a tap on my window. I saw a little old lady, and wound the window down. After all, a chat would be nice.
She began shouting at me about how I clealrly wasn’t disabled, and how people who parked in the disabled space were a scurge on society and i should be ashamed of myself. I tried to explain to her that I had broken down, and she carried on ranting about how she didn’t want excused and I was a drain on society. I really didn’t need that.
When i finally got back to the office, a full four hours later, I was mocked by not only the staff i worked with, but the staff of the next office along. When i left the job for another town eight months later, I still hadn’t managed to shirk the fond ‘idiot’ nickname.
So if you have ever seen me try to fill up my car and wonder why it takes me ages at the pumps deliberating, then now you know.