Sometimes being British sucks.
And I don’t mean because we have all this Brexit bullshit to put up with. Or the fact that we have to put up with the wonky teeth, red buses and black cab stereotypes in films. Or the love of tea (because it is lovely) and queuing (because that’s the right way to do things).
No, the thing I hate is the politeness.
I waited in for the British Gas new boiler blokey today. I make that sound like I had loads of plans. I didn’t. I did some washing and made some bread. All based around when this guy would come. For his hour and a half meeting, as you may remember. He was due between 1.30 and 3.30 according to the email I received yesterday. He rang at 3 to say he was twenty minutes away.
He entered our house at 4pm. He left at 4.30. So for starts who the frick knows where they got the hour and a half thing from. I assume that must be the time it takes people who have hundreds of radiators to count or whatever, but we just have a few and it’s easy. Plus we need a new boiler because our old one is actually so old half the parts aren’t even available anymore if it did break. So there’s that.
But I was cross that he didn’t arrive when he said. I was kind of in a holding pattern of doing things. The washing had finished, but I didn’t want him to arrive while I was pegging up pants. Likewise, I could have been getting on with my bread baking, but I didn’t want to be breaking off the discussion to nip into the kitchen and pre-heat the oven or take the freshly baked rolls out or whatever. So I was in limbo.
I was texting Carole that I wasn’t impressed with the time-keeping. I was walking round the house muttering. Angry pacing. Looking out of the window constantly, that sort of thing. I got to watch a man across the street pick up a massive turd his dog had just done. That was nice. But no gas man.
And then he arrived, pulled up outside the house and drove two doors further on for some reason. Where he parked and then sat in the car for a further fifteen minutes.
All the while I’m muttering.
And then he eventually knocks on the door and I let him in.
“Sorry about the delay,” he says.
“It’s fine,” I say. British as anything.