Today was a rotten day. I woke up feeling groggy and slightly flu-ey and generally under the weather. I felt up to some clerical work and emails just after lunch. A project I've been trying to get through a well-known broadcasting corporation has been delayed again. (other broadcasters are avaialable. At least I hope so).
Then the real fun began. I tried to arrange for a faulty dishwasher at my church hall to be fixed - for I am Church Warden (seriously) and this sort of holy order falls to me.
The dishwasher has a problem closing but is still under warranty, or so I thought. I checked the website of the vendor, by the name of B&Q. I don't know what that stands for. I'm so tired and bored, I can't even think a joke for that (two adjectives beginning in B&Q. Leave comments.) Clearly the idea that one of their products might malfunction is alien to them since there's no information on their website. I phoned a well-hidden number. Ring ring ring ring. Eventually a battery of questions - and then a suggestion I ring the branch where the thing was bought. I didn't buy the dishwasher as it happens. It was bought by the previous church warden. Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring...
I got in the car, realise I was nearly out of fuel, stalled the car, briefly panicked that I'd run out of fuel in a diesel car, which is a real nusiance. Then got going again, refuelled and went down to B&Q in delightful Wandsworth.
And this was where creatively the lousy day was almost redeemed. I walked into B&Q and wondered around looking for someone who could help me - for ages. At one point, it felt like the only member of staff there was the security guard trying to prevent £1m+ worth of good from being stolen. In my foul and furious state, I reckon I could have taken in him on. But that would have made me a common looter (well, a middle-class looter, but a looter nonetheless).
Eventually I spoke to a member of staff, who guided me to a desk where someone was unable to help, who took me to his boss, who asked me questions I simply couldn't understand, who then got the duty store manager, who ultimately said he couldn't help. He explained that the dishwasher was used in a commercial setting (apparently churches are commercial, which is news to me, given the state of our accounts). This meant Indesit wouldn't fix it. That was that. I said that the buyer said at the time that it was for church use. He asked if I had proof. I had none.
I walked away, furious and before I said anything that would bring the church into disrepute. Driving home I realised I had proof - all the delivery notes were addressed to the church. I couldn't go back. I was broken. Finished. But I realised that if I hadn't been so tired and angry, the situation I had been in had comic potential. The eerie lack of staff, the chronic indifference to my plight and the kafka-esque levels of service. All funny now you look at it.
And that is why I mention this mildly dull anecdote. Not because it's especially funny, but because it's an interesting starting point for a storyline. Or a sketch. Or a scene. Or a moment. Back in April, I wrote this about changing the battery on a burglar alarm. This one will go on the list too. It's logged in the memory. That's because sitcom writing isn't just about imagining situations - but experiencing them first hand. And then turning them up to 11 on the screen.
Plus it gave me something to write about on this blog. It's all good, really.