Something slightly unusual happened to me yesterday.
Having set off first thing to take my car to my local ‘little man with a garage’ for its annual MOT, I returned home (using my Freedom travel pass on a bus) and then set about occupying myself until I received the call to go and collect it.
With the television on in the background, I made myself some breakfast, spent some time on the computer and then began reading the newspapers.
Suddenly, at about 9.45am, I heard a loud ring at my door which caused me to leap out of my armchair with surprise.
The voice on the intercom announced that it was the gas man and he had come firstly, to read my meter and secondly, to check my appliances for leaks.
I pressed the buzzer and greeted the grey-haired chap at the door with an apology for sounding slightly startled, but I hadn’t been expecting anyone. I added that I’d received an email from British Gas a couple of days previously, asking me to supply a online meter reading, which I hadn’t yet done – so maybe he was saving me the trouble.
He asked to be shown the gas meter. In response, I first mistakenly took him to the airing cupboard (where the only meter inside is the electricity one) and then to my spare room, where he had to clamber upon on a sofa to view the gas meter which, for reasons I know not, is situated in the top of a cupboard. He took a reading and punched it into his hand-held device.
Next he wished to look at my appliances. I took him to the kitchen and showed him my oven and hob. He said that first he’d like to look at my boiler (fortunately I knew where that was).
He looked inside the cupboard containing the boiler and within seconds announced that my pressure was a bit low, albeit he could rectify that for me. I was delighted by this news because it was only about ten days ago that I found out from my sister-in-law that you are supposed to get boilers serviced annually. This I didn’t know, which is why mine hadn’t been serviced in seven years.
He declined my offer of a cup of tea. Making conversation, I apologised for the state of my kitchen, explaining in mitigation that if I’d known he was coming, I’d have washed up after breakfast. He assured me he was unconcerned. I returned to my computer whilst he began tapping information into his mini-computer thing.
Suddenly, he apologised.
He’d just realised that he was in the wrong premises. He’d been sent out to visit a property with my number … but at an entirely different address!
To be fair, the address he had been aiming for was not wholly dissimilar but it was clearly not mine. With that, he apologised again, saying he must have had a senior moment, and I saw him to the door …