So, the day started off well enough, I go and collect some travertine samples from the post office, I think we’re going to go with:  http://www.floorsofstone.com/tiles/travertine/ in the bathroom the premium classic range.   And I’m almost dancing on the escalator’s up to Kings Cross as I stand there switching between DJ Zinc and Florence and the Machines – I’m feeling good.  Nothing too worthy of note happens until I get a call at approximately 11.15am from Ashley the gas safe plumber.  The conversation goes a little like this:

Ashley: Er Suzy (the lack of hello immediately sets off alarm bells) I think I might of had a little accident.

Me: OK, what’s happened?

Ashley: Well I was flushing the system out (I’ve got no idea what he’s talking about) and one of the pipes must be broken…

Me: Right…

Ashley: And, well I couldn’t work out where the all the water was going (massive alarm bells going off) I probably did two flushes, before I turned the machine off, and realized that they water was going down stairs and the neighbour isn’t in.

Me: in my head – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  F***ing great we’ve flooded the downstairs flat. 

In real life – right OK, thanks for letting me know.  Bye.

I try to call Jerome, I can’t get through, not great, but what can you?  Well in my case, I think I’ll just check my bank account to see if the refund I’ve been waiting on from Ikea for the last 7 days…And I log in and I see that no Ikea haven’t paid me my refund and I’m £1473 overdrawn NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   WTF?!!  My day is just getting better and better.  In brief people, what’s happened is the £1500 I negotiated off from the sale of the flat which was given to me in the form of a cheque from the seller has just bloody bounced.  OK, so on a scale of 1 to I am so infuriated I might do or say something so incredibly aggressive it’s probably best I go and sit in a darkened room on my own for about 10 hours – I’m definitely around a 9.5. 

So, what do I do?  Instead of waiting until I’m calm and can breathe and can have a constructive conversation with my traditional 72 year old, Nigerian seller, I call him straight away and really irritate him with my tone, my apparent lack of respect and general bullishness…But I assure you, Iirritated him, absolutely no more than he has totally angered me.  I finish my second call in 10 minutes to him, with my traditional Nigerian seller telling me not to call him…He would get back to me when his bank got back to him. 

Just to give you a little taste of what the conversation went like

Me: Do you have any ideas what time your bank will be getting back to you.

Nigerian seller: Look, stop asking me silly questions your starting to annoy me now.

Me: Excuse me, as much as you might find my question annoying, I am currently £1500 overdrawn, because the cheque that you issued has bounced, I am not a large corporation and am getting charged for the funds that should be sitting in there…

Nigerian seller: Are you finished?

Me: Yes.

Nigerian seller: I will call you back when my relationship manager has spoken to me about the payment.

Me: Fine

After I finally get to express my rage to the J Man, I think I might even use the C word as I relay the morning’s events.  Jerome diplomatically says you didn’t call him the C word did you?  I explain that I’ve just reserved that for us during our conversation, he sounds relieved.  And sensibly advises me that getting angry isn’t going to endear our Nigerian seller to me, so to just try and stay calm and he will deal with Ashley the gas safe plumber over the damage…I’m very grateful.

And despite not being on the booze really 2 doubles and a single vodka, soda’s and lime later, I’m unsurprisingly feeling slightly less stressed…Thanks Gus.  We head back to the office after a lovely client lunch and I phone our Nigerian seller once again.  However, this time I take a different tack, well I apologize, for expressing my frustration, and actually it’s appreciated.  He tells me that if I haven’t heard from him by the end of the day then he will have transferred the money into my account.  Diplomacy rules.

The vodka’s starting to wear off a little when Jerome phone’s again and I can tell by the tone in his voice that thing’s aren’t great.  He’s gone home and spoken to Ashley who thinks it literally gallons of water that has gone downstairs….I really can’t bear it.

I’m sitting on the train before the next call comes through, it’s Jerome again, he asks me if I got his message, I say know, I can almost hear a smile, he says he thinks we might have gotten away from it.  I’m like what?  Jerome’s been downstairs into the flat and there doesn’t appear to be any damage at all, he doesn’t understand, I don’t understand it, Ashley definitely doesn’t understand it, but you know what…I couldn’t care less.  Where this water has gone, I will never have any idea, the mystery of the magical, disappearing water will forever remain an unknown…But it really doesn’t matter, it hasn’t cost us a fortune and that is definitely the main thing.

Despite feeling wired, stressed and knackered we go over to the flat to do some work anyway.  I have now filled in all the cracks in the back room with polyfiller and the whole room now has an undercoat.  So the plan is tomorrow I’m back in with the sandpaper and a second coat  of emulsion.  Mmm, shattered!

….Any sympathy or empathy greatly welcomed. xx

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