Lizzie works in retail. She is an area manager for a chain of homeware stores. Occasionally she gets complaints from customers and she placates these people in an amiable and efficient way because she isn't me.
Over a drink in the pub (we have to go to the pub to talk because at home we just end up working or watching tele, I know we're rubbish) she tells me about a complaint she received today.
'Last June I purchased a set of tupperare containers for £14.99. Imagine my surprise when I walked into your store this March and discovered that the containers were now £11.99 in the sale.'
Please can I reply Liz; please. Oh please.
Our Support Centre staff are a dull lot at the best of times and frankly, when it comes to imagining things, they just don't cut the mustard. We have sent them off on courses to improve their creativity but they are still unable to find words to express the level of surprise you must be feeling at the discovery that an item in our sale was being sold for less than the price it was being sold at before the sale.
Perhaps you could help us. Might you give your surprise a score out of 10, where 1 = the discovery that your boiled potatoes had insufficient salt at lunchtime and 10 = an elephant walking into the living room and sticking its trunk up your arse. Armed with this information we will be able to brief our staff to find the right facial expression from their considerable repertoires when refusing you a refund.
If you pop into our Gerrards Cross store you may well find a supply of heavily discounted brains, some of which have been used for training purposes and are undamaged. We will happily offer you a replacement.
Someone brighter than you.
Sadly she won't let me write it. Ah well. Back to pastoral work.