Nov 12, 2019: Later

The doorbell went today, mid-way through a game. Generally, we don’t answer the door if we’re not expecting a team, or someone’s let us know they’re coming for a specific reason, because it’s usually some scallywags being arseholes – we get there and there’s nothing.

But we’ve had a couple of “could not deliver” slips for something we’re not expecting at all so I thought it might be that. So I went downstairs.

I wish I’d not bothered.

Not because there wasn’t anyone there, but because there was.

A man, clutching a clipboard. Wanting to see the manager because he wondered if we’d want to advertise in some sort of tiny little student book. We probably would, to be fair, if the rates were right.

But trying to explain – while I had a team playing upstairs – that the manager, boss, owner or whatever wasn’t here and didn’t work out of the premises is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

We’re only in work if there are bookings. We don’t hang around all day on the off-chance someone wants to play. Sometimes it would be easier to do that, but it’s not viable as there’s not much to do that can’t be done between games on a normal day.

I told the man his best bet would be to ring and discuss it. He looked at me like I’d asked him to poo on his children. And then said, again, that he wondered if we’d want to advertise in this booklet. To which I, again, said we possibly would but he’d need to phone.

“So if I pop back later?” he asked.

I mean, he could. Nothing would be any different. He’d still be better of phoning or emailing the details.

Oh, chances are no-one would be there at all.

I said all this and he still looked bewildered. And all the time I’m conscious of the fact I have three people in a room upstairs playing a game.

I explained I couldn’t stay and talk two or three times and that he would be best phoning.

Which started to make me think maybe we wouldn’t want to advertise in this thing after all. And that he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

I almost had to shoo him away so I could shut the door.

I think he’ll be back.